We’ve listed our top 10 STEM apps to get kids coding. What’s more, they’re all free!
No. 10 – Swift Playground
SUMMARY: In this game, players write code to help their character, Byte, move around and collect gems. The accompanying tutorials make the game relatively easy to understand. The app is created by Apple and features beautiful visuals.
TOP TIP: The app takes up quite a lot of room on an ipad so make sure you have plenty of space. You’ll also need to be running one of the more recent software updates.
No. 9 – Kodable
SUMMARY: This app allows the player to sequence a set of instructions to make their character roll through the maze highlighted in each level. We love the simple kodable interface and friendly characters. This game is a great way to introduce young children to coding.
TOP TIP: There are some really great resources on this app for parents who need some help understanding the programming language used in the levels.
No.8 – Bee-Bot
SUMMARY: Many of us have used the tts bee-bots in the classroom and now you can access them through this free app! Much like the classroom floor robots, the aim of the game is to move the bee-bot around the screen to get to the flower. Players will need to program in directional code in order to do so.
TOP TIP: This app is a good introduction to coding and works well with younger children.
No. 7 – Daisy the Dinosaur
SUMMARY: The Daisy the Dinosaur character is sure to appeal to younger users as they guide Daisy through the different challenges. Each stage introduces new coding skills. There is an option either to work through the challenges or apply your new skills in ‘free play’.
TOP TIP: This game is worth downloading for its simple, child-friendly interface and the fact that it doesn’t charge for access to the more advanced levels!
No. 6 – Cargo Bot
SUMMARY: The aim of this game is to move the cargo around using the cargo-bot’s robotic arm. First time users can work their way through the tutorial levels before applying their coding skills to the main levels in the game. It’s a simple idea that proves to be an addictive challenge!
TOP TIP: This game is better suited to the upper end of the primary school age range due to the complexity of some of the levels.
No. 5 – Tynker
SUMMARY: Tynker is full of lots of fun, story-based puzzles that gradually introduce the player to coding. Children will enjoy customising their character and appreciate the funny story lines.
TOP TIP: As with many of the apps we have featured, only a few levels of the game are available for free.
No. 4 – LightBot
SUMMARY: The user takes on the role of the lightbot, sequencing the instructions to make this character walk, jump and, most importantly, turn on lights. As the player progresses through the levels, there are clear tutorials for new actions.
TOP TIP: Some of the levels are fairly challenging so children may want to pair up and work together as the levels get more advanced.
No.3 – Hopscotch
SUMMARY: As children drag and drop the commands and instructions into the script they will make the various characters move. We love the instructional videos that accompany each of the projects in this coding app.
No. 2 – Hour of Code
SUMMARY: Although not strictly an app, the Hour of Code website is full of one hour long coding tutorials. The tutorials are filtered by both age and ability and link up to many of the other coding apps recommended by us. Access it here:
TOP TIP: Watch the Hour of Code video with your class to inspire them with their coding and introduce them to some inspirational coding role models.
No. 1 – Scratch
SUMMARY: Now a staple app on most school ipads, Scratch Jr is a great way to introduce children to coding. The app involves programming scratch and his friends to move around using jigsaw-style coding blocks. It also allows the user to change the background, personalise the characters and add audio clips.
TOP TIP: First time users will need a bit of teacher guidance to get going as this app is not always self-explanatory.
For more great STEM app ideas, check out our webpage here.