Free Games for Teaching Computer Programming to Kids

6 Free Games for Teaching Kids Computer Programming

Posted by SM Bruner on

BrainPOP’s GameUp has six excellent free games to introduce students to coding and computer programming. Click on each link below to view our game resources, including related BrainPOP movie topics, lesson plans, game trailers, and tips and tricks for implementation:

1) Blockly Maze: Developed by Google, this game introduced students to concepts behind simple computer programming with a graphical editing tool that uses blocks instead of typed characters. Students learn to drag blocks together to build a simple web application, instructing a character to move properly through a maze in order to reach a specified target.  The game covers simple directional commands, simple loops, while loops, and if-then-else statements.

2) Turtle Academy: This game introduces students to the popular programming language Logo which was developed as an educational tool in the 1960s. Logo is a graphic-based computer language that allows students to move a triangular “turtle” to create line graphics in predictable ways. As they successfully complete basic levels, students will encounter more and more complex Logo tasks and commands.

3) Tynker: Puppy Adventure: Students learn to drag function blocks together to build applications of increasing complexity in order to move a lost puppy named Pixel toward various desired goals. As challenges get harder, students will learn to properly bundle commands and create algorithms. Created by Tynker, these puzzles are designed to teach students about sequencing, repetition, and conditional logic.

4) Tynker: Lost in Space: In this game, students learn to drag function blocks together to build applications of increasing complexity that move an astronaut named Biff and his spaceship toward desired goals. As challenges get harder, students will learn to use logic skills to bundle commands and create algorithms.

5) Tynker: Sketch Racer: Students program a turtle named Snap to mimic geometric shapes and follow set patterns. Tynker has designed each puzzle so that it presents a pattern and a starting position for Snap. Students are required to program the turtle using the tile-based commands such as “move forward,” “move backward,” “turn to the left” and “turn to the right.” Each puzzle may have a number of correct solutions, but players are encouraged to solve them using the fewest possible blocks. With Sketch Racer, students will learn about sequencing, repetition and algorithmic logic. They will need some prior knowledge of angles and geometry to successfully complete the puzzles.

6) Tynker: 15 Blocks: Students create a simple computer app using no more than 15 blocks. The activity allows players to work with pre-loaded characters, backgrounds, and movements to create an animation that requires logic and creativity to build. Programming commands are based on the Tynker system of visual programming blocks, which simulate basic coding commands and processes.

What games do you use to teach coding and computer programming? We’re always on the lookout for high quality games to add to our site, so please share your favorites in the comments!