This year, Computer Science Education Week is taking place on Dec 5-11, 2022. Now is the time to celebrate! Break out the laptops, mechanical keyboards, iPads, or even pencils – whatever you’re coding with for these free Hour of Code activities.
What is Computer Science Education Week?
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field.
What is Hour of Code?
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.
For organizations that are dedicated to coding and STEM education, this week is a time for us to introduce more kids to coding in a simple and fun way.
One of the best ways to participate is through Hour of Code. Spend one hour this week coding and see if coding is right for you. If you’re a teacher, organize an Hour of Code for your class. You can start with the activities below or get creative and create your own.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite free games and activities here for you. We have over 25+ Hour of Code activities, games, and tutorials for kids and teens of all ages. It’s never too late or too early to learn computer science and we encourage every child to try. These activities are beginner friendly and easy to complete.
Free Hour of Code Activities for Kids
Here are some of the best Hour of Code games, tutorials, and activities for all ages.
Table of Contents
- Hour of Code Tutorials
- Virtual Robotics Competition
- Unplugged Coding Activities
- Hour of Drawing with Code
- AI Lessons Unplugged
- Code with Ana and Elsa
- Digital Escape Room
- Code an Impact Game
- Minecraft Hour of Code
- Lego Plants and Pollinators
- Google CS First
- Code Your Hero
- CodeBytes Daily Live Mini-Lessons
- Building a Galaxy with Code
- Monkeying Around
- Tinkercad 3D
- Moana Hour of Code
- Coral Reef Cleanup
- Kids Code Tutorials
- Hour of Code Dance Party
- Crack a Caesar Cipher!
- Hour of Code with Your Besties!
- Khan Academy
Grades K – 12
Grades K – 12
For students and teachers, Tynker has over 500 challenges in 14 coding puzzles and 40+ tutorials. You can check out these Hour of Code activities by grade or topic that feature themes like Barbie and Hot Wheels. If you’re looking for inspiration, the gallery is full of fun examples from other kids.
Grades 1 – 12
Tech Point Youth is celebrating in Indiana with a robotics coding challenge. Students will code their way through one of the activities using VEXcode VR for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Play with a team, even if you can’t meet, and complete this Hour of Code robotics activity from the comfort of your own home.
Grades K – 5
Go sans screen time with Kodable’s coding unplugged collection of Hour of Code games and lessons. No computer? No problem! Learn basic programming skills and practice using core coding commands without the use of a device. Students will watch a video about programming (optional), then complete self-guided worksheets about coding basics. All worksheets will include instructions and examples so you can get started right away.
Grades K – 5
Free unplugged lessons about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning from Edsquare. It’s available in 2 versions: online (Google Slides) and printables. You get 5 activities for elementary school learning activities that make AI simple and fun for kids.
Grades K – 5
Use these Hour of Code activities to join Anna and Elsa as they explore the magic and beauty of ice. You will create snowflakes and patterns as you ice-skate and make a winter wonderland that you can then share with your friends. Watch the video for hints and a walkthrough of the code in Blockly.
Grades K – 5
Your class is ready to code when a firewall goes up and no one can get online! In this Hour of Code activity, your teacher needs you to use logic and reasoning to break through and save the day in this digital escape room. Clues are all around and might even be hidden in the Blockly maze game.
Grades K – 12
Create and modify a Scratch game into an impact game, a game that’s designed for the player’s entertainment AND to make a change in the world with a mission beyond entertainment. You’ll research an important issue and design an Hour of Code game where players can learn about your important issues in a unique and fun way.
Minecraft has teamed up with Code.org for a new Minecraft Hour of Code activity: A Minecraft Tale of Two Villages. In this new Hour of Code activity, students will be in a world where there are two villages. For centuries, the Villagers and Illagers shared the same space but NEVER interacted with each other. Now you can use the power of code to bring the two villages together. This year’s lesson is offered in both Blocks and Python. The free lesson is available to all users, even those who don’t currently have a Minecraft: Education Edition license.
Recommended: Summer Minecraft camps
Using a LEGO representation, you will model the relationship between a pollinator and flower during the reproduction phase. This Hour of Code activity includes lessons and materials for both teachers and students.
Grades 4 – 8
Explore computer science without a computer. CS First includes a free printable booklet for coding unplugged that contains three computational thinking activities in which students learn about how computer science helps us communicate and stay connected with people around the world. You get a print-friendly booklet and other materials that don’t require any technology.
Grades 3 – 5
Choose an everyday hero from their own lives and build a story or game using code that gives their hero superpowers. You can read over the free lesson plan and watch videos. Follow along to learn about computer science and Scratch, and turn an everyday hero into a superhero.
High school students have a host of Hour of Code tutorials with CodeHS. Use react native to code a mobile app, do web design and digital art, or learn the basics of Java. They even have something for advanced topics like cryptocurrency and data visualization.
Grades K – 12
Interactive mini-lessons from CodeBytes are fun and simple, only 20 minutes each. Train a computer for AI, simulate a virus outbreak, or take a journey with Minecraft in these fun Hour of Code activities.
Recommended: 7 Free Printable Coding Worksheets
Grades Pre-K – 6
Non-readers can start learning coding fundamentals with CodeMonkey Jr. while older students can start playing with CodeMonkey. Use these mini lessons to learn block programming using sequencing, loops, logic, and more. Teachers can get access to solutions and lesson plans with a free account.
Tinkercad is a free online collection of software tools that help students create in 3D. Interactive learning activities help beginners take their first steps in computational design and modeling. They also feature 28 interactive lessons on exploring physical computing and coding with Arduino, which is a great learning tool for kids interested in coding and hardware.
Disney princess Moana takes you on a quest wayfinding with code. Join Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Disney’s Moana, and get involved with Hour of Code! Team up with a virtual village of coders to stop the Kakamora coconut pirates from wrecking the internet. Complete 19 lessons to defeat the Kakamora and earn your badge.
This aquatic challenge is a great place to learn, whether you’re a beginning block coder or have experience. Vex Robotics gives you different levels based on experience. In the Coral Reef Cleanup activity, you are equipped with a VR Ocean Cleaning Robot to help clean the Mangrove Reef. Collect as much trash as you can before the solar-powered batteries on your robot run down.
Grades K – 12
One of my favorite things to do with my students, host a dance party! This was a popular new activity from last year and it includes popular songs from your favorite artists that you can’t help but dance to. Complete the free hour and try the extended project to keep dancing.
Learn about simple encryption in this lesson. You will be introduced to why we need encryption and simple techniques for breaking (or cracking) secret messages.
Vidcode teamed up with Girl Scouts of Greater New York for a series of free coding activities centered on a shared commitment to give teen girls leadership and STEM opportunities. Vidcode teaches teens computer programming through one of their favorite hobbies: video-making. Try these collaborative, social, and creative coding activities.
Don’t be intimidated, try coding for just one hour.
Code builds the world around us and digital literacy can help kids find success in college, career, and beyond. Hopefully these activities inspire and educate you. If you have an activity for Hour of Code, share it in our Facebook group.
Thanks for celebrating Computer Science Education Week with us!