December 9-15, 2013 is Computer Science Education Week, and this year their big push is to get coding incorporated into school curriculums everywhere. There are lots of reasons why kids should be coding, but none more than the fact that there are more resources than ever to help students and teachers get started, regardless of their previous experiences with computer programming. So, in honor of the #HourOfCode project, here is my BIG list of iPad coding apps for kids. There is something here for students of all ages.
Bee-Bot (Free) – The new Bee-Bot App from TTS Group has been developed based on our well-loved, award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.
Bee-Bot Pyramid ($0.99) – A fun educational Numeracy game which encourages directional language, sequencing and problem solving. The Bee-Bot app teaches children how to direct and move their Bee-Bot character by giving it a set of sequential commands that they programme in, by pressing the keypad buttons.
Coddy Free or Coddy Luck (Free or $1.99) – CODDY FREE is an original educational tool with the MAIN OBJECTIVE of creating a sequence of steps so that the pencil Coddy can draw a pattern you have chosen from the menu or created by yourself. DO YOU THINK IT IS EASY? There are max. 220 rows to be filled in and there are 7 basic commands to be used. NOW, CAN YOU MAKE IT?
KineScript Lite or KineScript (Free or $1.99) – KineScript is a visual programming language that children can learn a code and share it. It’s easy to make a scene with built-in sprite characters, stage images and sounds library. Drag a script and build the script block to control the flow and to change the behaviour. You can build animations, games and stories easily to share them by email.
i-Logo – LOGO was created in 1967 for educational use, is a computer programming language with functional programming capability. This version of LOGO is an interpreted language, but isn’t a lite version. Functional programming with global and local variables is implemented.
Cato’s Hike Lite or Cato’s Hike (Free or $4.99) – Cato is a little boy who just like every little boy likes to go out and play. One fine day Cato was playing outside when a portal to another world opened up in front of him; a portal to another world! Cato stepped through and discovered that this world unlike his own didn’t follow the same rules. Every time he tried to take a step or an action he’d find himself stuck in place. Stuck that is until he finally discovered the rules in this universe: by writing a program for himself he would be able to overcome all obstacles and learn something new along the way!
Kodable or Kodable Pro (Free or $0.99) – The fuzzFamily crashed their spaceship on Smeeborg and need your help to explore the planet’s Technomazes. Use your finger to drag and drop instructions for your fuzzes to follow. Then hit Play to watch them roll through the maze with curiosity. BEWARE: Fuzzes are very LOGICAL and will follow every command exactly as you tell them! Get rewarded with stars, coins, and even EXTRA members of the fuzzFamily as you successfully complete mazes. Beautifully designed with little ones in mind, Kodable Pro comes with 3 worlds and 90 levels of programmable fun!
Codea ($9.99) – Codea lets you create games and simulations — or just about any visual idea you have. Turn your thoughts into interactive creations that make use of iPad features like Multi-Touch and the accelerometer. Codea is designed to let you touch your code. Want to change a number? Just tap and drag it. How about a color, or an image? Tapping will bring up visual editors that let you choose exactly what you want.
Daisy the Dinosaur (Free) – Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app’s challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.
L2 Code CSS ($2.99) – Download L2Code CSS today to master CSS and begin creating professional and polished webpages directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Are you CSS ready? Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the next step from basic HTML. If you want more control over the look and formatting of your webpage, then the L2Code CSS app will help you easily learn how. It provides step-by-step instructions and practice tutorials to help you master layout, colors, and fonts.
L2 Code HTML ($2.99) – L2Code HTML walks you through the instructions and practice tutorials one step at a time and even checks your work along the way. Many other websites and apps may give you the instructions, but only L2Code HTML includes the one tool you need to successfully build your webpage – a built-in text editor! This feature allows you to test your code immediately to see if your webpage will appear the way you want it.
RoboLogic 2 HD Lite or RoboLogic 2 HD (Free or $1.99) – Robo Logic 2 HD, the successor of the popular iPhone puzzle game “Robo Logic”, redesigned for the iPad. You have to “program” a robot’s movements by dragging commands to the memory of the bot. Your goal is to activate all the marked boxes. Very soon you will realize though that using only the main memory is not enough and you will have to start creating and calling re-usable functions to achieve the goal.
Light-Bot Lite, Light-Bot Hour of Code, Light-Bot (Free, Free, or $2.99) – Get kids hooked on programming within minutes! Light-bot is a programming puzzle game: a puzzle game that uses game mechanics that are firmly rooted in programming concepts. Teachers worldwide are choosing Light-bot first out of other games and software when introducing their students to programming.
Move the Turtle ($2.99) – Move The Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands. Do you remember the Logo programming language? A friendly Turtle will introduce your child step by step to the basic concepts of programming in a colourful graphic environment. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next outstanding programmer!
My Robot Friend ($3.99) – Take control of your robot friend, Alpha-1, using logic, puzzle solving and math skills. Use your arsenal of shrink rays, invisibility cloaks, shields, propeller packs and a whole lot more as you program your way through 80 mind-teasing levels. Program a sequence of instructions for your robot to follow, and earn all 3 ribbons per level by creating efficient programs and collecting all the coins. There’s just one catch: Your arch nemesis Fat Cat will try to thwart your every move! (Oh no!)
Hopscotch (Free) – Hopscotch teaches kids to code using simple, intuitive building blocks. Kids can create games, animations and other programs in this colorful, interactive environment. Program your characters to move, draw, and collide with each other, and use shaking, tilting, or even shouting at the iPad to control them. Hopscotch was inspired by MIT’s Scratch and gives kids a creative way to learn the fundamentals of computer programming. Be sure to check out Wes Fryer’s free ePub guide to using Hopscotch in the Classroom.
Cargo-Bot (Free) – Presenting Cargo-Bot. The first game programmed entirely on iPad® using Codea. Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right? Try it out!
LEGO Fix the Factory (Free) – Meet EV3RSTORM, the cool LEGO MINDSTORMS robot who can walk, rotate, grab, shoot and put the misplaced battery packs at the NOGO factory back in their right place – if you tell him the right moves to do it!
Tynker (Free) – Solve fun puzzles and learn to code. Simply drag & drop visual code blocks and program your characters to beat the level. The first adventure includes 20 puzzles that are free to play. Additional adventures and puzzle levels are available as in-app purchases.
A.L.E.X (Free) – A.L.E.X. is a fun puzzle game and a great way to train your brain. A.L.E.X. helps you think and plan logically as you program your robot A.L.E.X. with a sequence of commands to get through each level from start to finish.
Processing (Free) – Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Initially developed to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing also has evolved into a tool for generating finished professional work. Today, there are tens of thousands of students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists who use Processing for learning, prototyping, and production.
Which of these are your favorite iPad coding apps for kids? Did I miss any out that should be on this list? Leave a comment below, and if you are still in need of some additional inspiration, check out the TED talk below to see what one 12-year-old did with programming skills that he taught himself!
For more collections of classroom apps, see the My Big Lists page!