Teaching your child to code is like giving them a superpower.

Being able to code gives them a better understanding of the world around them and allows them to become innovators. Learning to code is a great way for kids to express their creativity and build tangible skills at the same time. 

However, if you’re not a programmer yourself, you may find it difficult to teach your child to code. You understand the importance of coding for kids and how it can have a positive impact on their future. But, where do you start teaching your child to code?

Even with no programming skills, you can take steps to get your child familiar with programming. 

If you want to teach your child to code, let’s discuss effective strategies to teach coding in a fun and engaging way. There are many ways to teach coding to kids and I encourage you to find the one that suits your child best. 

Why teach kids to code? 

Coding has become an essential skill for future generations. Learning to code not only creates more confident and successful kids, it gives them unlimited opportunities to create and innovate. 

There are also many benefits to teaching kids to code that affect their cognitive development, adaptability, and professional development.

No matter what age your child is, there are skills they can practice with coding that translate to everyday life. 

Some of the top reasons and benefits to teach kids coding include:

Learning Problem-Solving Skills

Kids need to develop a problem-solving framework to tackle situations in real life. In coding, they solve many small problems that make up a larger problem. For example, in order to add a button, they need to figure out the steps to create the button, place it on the page, and then add styling to it. By completing those actions, they will have a clickable button.

Developing Logical Reasoning Skills

We want kids to think for themselves, so they need to have logical reasoning skills. Not only can they solve a problem, but they’re also able to explain how and why they solved it that way. Every coding project has many ways to solve the same problem. They require logical reasoning to determine the best solution.

Building Self-Confidence

While learning to code, kids meet small milestones that add up to big accomplishments. This builds their self-confidence through consistent positive feedback. They find ways to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. As a result, they believe in themselves and feel confident they can be successful.

Expressing Their Creativity

Kids who learn to code get to be creative throughout the entire process. Everything from the design to the features to the written code utilizes creative thinking. In this way, coding is enjoyable for kids who want to learn about math and science as well as design and art.

Opportunities for a High-paying Job

It’s estimated that computer science majors can earn 40% more than the college average. In the US, we are anticipating a supply gap of over 1 million workers who lack coding and STEM skills. That’s an opportunity for kids to fill these positions. Not only can they find a high-paying job, they can make a difference in an industry they care about.

5 reasons kids should learn coding

If you’re not convinced, see 26 reasons why learning to code benefits your child.  

How to Teach Kids to Code

Get Kids Excited About Coding

For kids to want to learn, it’s important that they are interested and excited about coding. Some easy ways to do that include:


We encourage kids in our coding classes by using their favorite topics. Whether that is art, science, or gaming, there’s almost always a connection to code. 

If your child is interested in art, show them the design aspects of code and Creative Coding, a method that uses computer programming for artistic expression. If your child loves playing games, like Minecraft, teach them about game development and how code is the foundation of their favorite games. They can even learn to code in Minecraft and expand their worlds.

In everyday life, kids are interacting with code on websites, games, and apps. Let’s say your child is a big fan of YouTube. They might be interested to know that the bulk of the codebase is written in Python. They also incorporate other languages like JavaScript, C, and Java. 

If your child wants to build something like YouTube or even work there one day, learning to code is the first step. Coding gives them unlimited opportunities in the real world too. They’ll see how they can use their coding skills to shape the future. 

Make coding fun using games and activities. To stay engaged, kids have to be having fun. Find different ways to teach them coding concepts and syntax. There are all types of games and activities that can make coding feel like play. For young students, try toys and board games. For older students, mobile and online games that allow them to advance or play against others.

In our coding classes for kids, kids build a new project or game in every class. Once they’ve started, make sure they are having small wins along the way. This will encourage them to keep learning and tackle challenges along the way.

Teaching boy with headphones to code

Teach an Introduction to Coding

Before diving into writing code, a good place to start is to answer the question, What is coding?”.

In simple terms, coding is using a set of instructions to communicate with computers. Lines of code create computer programs that run websites and software.

Computer programmers are the ones who write, modify, and test the code. They may work with designers, engineers, and others to develop the code and instructions. 

Coding languages are how the programmers write the code. Different languages have different uses, for example there are languages used for coding websites versus mobile applications. 

Try this easy activity as an introduction, which of these uses code? 

You can discuss which elements do or don’t use code. For example, a basic lightbulb may use electricity but not require code. However, a smart light bulb that connects to your phone could use code.

Choose a Programming Language for Kids

Next, pick a coding language to learn. Most languages cover the same concepts, but with different syntax and level of complexity. You want to pick a language that is easy to learn, has real practical purposes, and that will serve them well in the future.

We recommend these as a starting point based on your child’s age:

Scratch 

Ages 8-10

Scratch is a drag-and-drop coding platform that doesn’t require advanced typing skills. That’s why it’s a great way for younger students to learn fundamental coding concepts without being held back by their typing skills.

Learn about Scratch for kids.

HTML/CSS/JavaScript

Ages 11-13

Kids in middle school can start to learn text-based programming languages. The most foundational web languages are HTML/CSS and JavaScript. All major web browsers use JavaScript and this language is integral in adding increased functionality and interactivity to websites, online games, and apps.

Learn about HTML for kids.

Python 

Ages 11-18

Python is a text-based programming language that can be used to create webpages, games, software, and much more. When compared to other text-based languages, Python is relatively simple to read and understand, which is why it’s a great option for kids. Python is a powerful language, which is why it is so in demand by employers, but it’s also a great stepping stone to other languages.

Learn about Python for kids.

Java 

Ages 14-18

In general, Java is considered best for students in middle and high school. It is also the language that is used for AP Computer Science courses in high school, so students who are interested in getting this AP credit would do well to learn Java. 

Learn about Java for kids.

Which of these use code

Recommended: 10 Best Kids Coding Languages

Study Basic Coding Topics and Theories

Coding relies on many fundamental concepts. Even if you don’t have professional experience as a programmer you can help your child learn the basics. The best way is to study these individually, and then eventually put them together.

Beginner Coding Topics:

Sequencing and Algorithms: Teach kids about the importance of step-by-step instructions in coding.

Variables: Explain the idea of variables as containers for storing information and how they can be used to change values in a program.

Data Structures: Introduce concepts like arrays and lists, showing how data can be organized and manipulated.

Loops: Explain the concept of loops with examples like making a character move in a pattern without repeating the same command multiple times.

Conditional Statements: Introduce “if” statements by having them make decisions in their code based on certain conditions.

Functions: Introduce simple functions that encapsulate a series of commands, helping kids understand how to reuse code.

Events and Interactivity: Teach kids how to make things happen when certain events occur, like making a character jump when a key is pressed.

Debugging: Teach kids how to find and fix errors in their code and that it’s okay to make mistakes. 

Advanced Coding Topics: 

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): Teach kids about classes, objects, and how to design and create their own custom objects.

Advanced Functions: Extend their knowledge of functions by teaching them how to pass parameters and receive return values.

Recursion: Explore the concept of functions calling themselves, helping them solve complex problems using recursive approaches.

Event Handling: Teach them how to respond to various events in a more intricate manner, such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, or touch interactions.

APIs: Show them how computers can integrate to share data and capabilities using Application Programming Interfaces. 

File Handling: Introduce file input and output, teaching them how to read from and write to files, which is crucial for data storage and retrieval.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Concepts: Introduce the basics of AI and ML through interactive projects like image recognition or simple chatbots. There are many positive ways to use AI while being safe.

Other Ways to Teach Programming to Kids

There are different resources to help you teach coding to your child. Here are a few of our favorites for beginners.

Coding Classes

There are self-paced classes or live, instructor-led classes. If your child needs more support or just wants to learn fast, we recommend a structured coding program with teachers that help them every step of the way.

Blue CodeWizardsHQ Logo

CodeWizardsHQ 

Ages: 8-18

CodeWizardsHQ has the best online coding classes for kids and teens ages 8-18. Kids work with passionate, live instructors in small-group classes to learn coding principles and master coding languages. They complete fun projects in every class and have access to support the entire way.

Students are introduced to Scratch, HTML & CSS, JavaScript, WordPress, Responsive Design, App Development, Python, MySQL, and Git. Coding classes are available for kids in elementary, middle, or high school. There are also afterschool coding classes and a summer coding camp for kids.

tynker

Tynker

Ages: 4-14

Tynker is one of the best coding websites for self-paced online programming kids. It’s created for kids to build their own games and apps and teaches in both block programming and text-based classes. The programming courses are game-based and space-themed with space aliens and rocket ships.

They have a collection of courses rela