Digitization has long ceased to be a trend – it is a ubiquitous reality. Software development is therefore not only a lucrative profession, it will remain essential in an increasingly networked and technologized society. So it stands to reason that we should give the next generations the opportunity to find their way around the digital world at an early stage and gain initial experience in the field of programming.

There is already a wide range of learning apps that teach children the basics in a playful way. We present 5 of them – also against the background of the current situation that the coronavirus brings us. Let us use the time wisely.

Grid Garden – design with CSS

The free Grid Garden program teaches the basics of CSS Grid using a digital carrot garden. Prior knowledge does not have to be present. The game is designed to give you a first impression of the layout creation.

Grid modules have the advantage that they can address both columns and rows and thus expand the CSS options and make them clearer. There is a garden field divided into individual tiles, which offers different challenges for young programmers in 28 levels.

Kodable – From the beginning to JavaScript

Used by many American elementary schools, the Kodable tutorial starts with the very first steps with no prior knowledge required. Step-by-step, children aged 4-10 are introduced to the basic understanding of programming.

Kodable uses various mini-games to convey topics such as syntax, variables, arrays, properties, and more. Above all, it is about giving children an impression of how a programmer thinks and thus getting them excited about further courses and classes. In addition to a free trial version, Kodable also includes paid offers, with which, among other things, not just individual children, but entire classes or groups can be taught. The game is available on the App Store.

CodeCombat – codes against monsters

CodeCombat is suitable for budding programmers aged 9 and over with a preference for computer games. The community project claims to have over 5 million players from all over the world. As the level of difficulty increases, the heroes’ actions must be controlled by means of written codes. The setting is a fantasy world full of mysteries, adventure, and dangers.

What is special: At the beginning, in addition to the character, the programming language to be learned, such as JavaScript or Python, can be selected. The game runs on both Chrome and Firefox and is free. If you want to start programming right away, you can find the link here.

Code.org – Free courses

There is more to Code.org than just a colorful learning program. The non-profit organization has set itself the goal of anchoring the topic of computer science more firmly in schools and providing women and minorities with easy access. In addition to campaigns and developed curricula, children can also conveniently take free courses online. The offer is staggered in age groups, which are aimed at participants between 4 and 18 years and also include offline lessons.

The playful activities are supported by YouTube videos (you can download Youtube to mp4), in which assistance is given for individual exercises.

Code Monster – JavaScript Basics

Would you entrust your children to a little blue monster with horns? Maybe not without reservations – but in this case, we can easily take them away from them. With Code Monster, children learn the basics of JavaScript under the trustful supervision of the little teacher.