The Best Coding Apps for Children of 2021

Best Coding Apps for Children Apps Badge

Coding is currently one of the most in-demand skills, and children’s coding apps help kids learn this valuable skill through engaging games, puzzles, and story-based lessons. Kodable is our pick for the best children’s coding app due to its large library of coding activities, focus on real coding languages like JavaScript, and great tools for both parents and educators. But depending on your child’s age and learning preferences, we found nine other great coding apps that may be a better fit. Here are the 10 best coding apps for children available on Google Play and the App Store.

Top 10 Coding Apps for Children to Try

How We Chose the Best Coding Apps for Children

When making our list of the best coding apps for children, we focused on apps that offer features for parents to learn with their kids, tools for educators, game or puzzle-based coding lessons, and group lessons. These features ensure that the coding apps on our list allow kids to learn valuable coding skills at home or at school via interactive lessons.

Choose the children’s coding app that’s right for you

Most of the coding apps on our list offer free versions with several introductory lessons and activities. The best way to find the right app for your kids is to test them out for yourself and see which ones fit your children’s learning habits. We also recommend reading reviews from other parents to learn more about the learning experiences each app provides.

Learn with your children

One of the best ways for kids to learn new skills is to learn with their parents. Most of the apps on our list are great for parents to use with their children as they learn new skills and concepts. By walking them through the more complex lessons and testing their knowledge, you can help your kids develop a solid foundation in coding.

Our Children’s Coding App Reviews

Kodable — Best for Top Pick

Kodable App feature

Download: iOS

Kodable is an award-winning coding app designed for children ages four to 10 and is our pick for the best overall children’s coding platform. Unlike most coding apps for children, Kodable focuses on teaching real coding languages, like JavaScript, Python, and Java. The app features age-appropriate games that teach important coding concepts, like sequencing, syntax, properties, variables, and object-oriented programming. Kodable also offers tools for educators, including over 80 scripted lesson plans, hundreds of on-screen activities for students, and group lessons. Kodable even has visual lessons designed to help pre-readers learn to code. For parents, subscriptions start at just $6.99 per month, while subscriptions for educators start at $1,250 per year. There is no free version, but parents can get started with a seven-day free trial to see if it’s right for their children.

Notable features:

  • Free version not available
  • Subscription plans: Monthly (For Parents): $6.99 month; Premium (For Educators): $1250/year; Premium+ (For Educators): +$750/year
  • Support available: Help Center, Chat
Kodable Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Teaches in-demand coding languages No free version
Game-based lessons  
Tools for educators  

ScratchJr — Best Free Coding App for Children

ScratchJr App feature

Download: Android | iOS

ScratchJr is a completely free coding app for children based on the popular Scratch programming language offered by MIT and the Scratch Foundation. Children can use the app to create games and animations using drag-and-drop coding. By snapping together programming blocks, kids can make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Kids can even record their own voices to use in character animations. This teaching method allows young children to learn important coding concepts like problem-solving and design without having to learn a complex coding language. ScratchJr does not contain any in-app purchases or subscriptions.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, FAQs
ScratchJr Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Interactive learning No tools for educators or parents
Drag-and-drop coding  
Kid-friendly characters and animations  

Daisy the Dinosaur — Best for Basic Coding Concepts

Daisy the Dinosaur App feature

Download: iOS

Daisy the Dinosaur, from the creators of Hopscotch, is a free app designed to teach children the basics of coding. Similar to ScratchJr, kids can use the app to drag and drop coding commands (e.g. roll, jump, turn, etc.) to animate Daisy and make her dance on their screen. Through solving in-app challenges, children learn basic concepts like objects, sequencing, loops, and events. In addition to the coding challenges, Daisy the Dinosaur also features a “free play” mode that allows children to experiment with coding. Unlike other apps on our list designed for young children as well as teenagers, this app is designed specifically for four to seven-year-olds, making it an ideal choice for young children with no coding background. Instructions are text-based, though, so parents may need to help walk their children through lessons depending on their age.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Contact Form
Daisy the Dinosaur Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Child-friendly mascot No tools for educators
Lessons designed for ages 4 – 7  
Free play mode for experimentation  

Tynker — Best for Educational Games

Tynker App feature

Download: iOS

Tynker uses puzzles and educational games to teach kids important coding concepts. Kids can use the app to learn coding concepts as they fly drones, make Minecraft mods, and program with Barbie. The app features step-by-step tutorials, engaging puzzles and stories, drag-and-drop coding tools, and a library of coding courses. Unlike similar apps, Tynker also includes a library of community-generated projects to explore to offer kids a group learning experience. Tynker also features tools for educators, including lesson plans, automatic assessments, and classroom management tools. The app does have a free version, but if your child enjoys it, it’s worth upgrading to Tynker Essentials or Tynker Plus to unlock more tutorials, activities, and courses.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Individual: $25/month billed quarterly; $15/month billed annually or $7.50/month one-time payment; Family Plans: $40/month billed quarterly; $24/month billed annually or $12/month One-time payment
  • Support available: Help Desk, Ticket, Forum
Tynker Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Coding games, puzzles, and stories Not available on Android
Features for educators  
Community coding features  

Hopscotch — Best for Making Games

Hopscotch App feature

Download: iOS

Hopscotch is a children’s coding app that lets kids make their own iPad games. While most coding apps focus on teaching coding fundamentals, Hopscotch also excels at teaching kids both artistic and STEM skills through step-by-step tutorials. The app’s video tutorials teach users how to make games like Crossy Road and PokemonGo, and kids can explore and play games made by other users. After creating your own game or story, you can publish it to Hopscotch’s fully moderated community. The free app has plenty to keep kids entertained, but parents can upgrade to Pro for $9.99 per month (or $79.99 per year) to unlock more creation tools. For educators, Hopscotch offers a selection of free lesson plans and student accounts.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Pro: $9.99
  • Support available: Chat, Help Center/Knowledge Base, FAQs, Contact Form
Hopscotch Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Teaches kids how to code apps Not available on Android
Free lesson plans for educators  

Lightbot — Best for K-12

Lightbot App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Lightbot is a programming puzzle game designed to teach children or teenagers about programming logic. The app is designed for users in grades K-12, unlike other apps that focus on smaller age ranges. Puzzles can be challenging and may require parents to help their children understand more complex coding concepts. There is no free version, but for $2.99, you get access to 20 engaging levels and separate progress tracking for multiple players. Lightbot also supports multiple languages, including English, French, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese, making it a great choice for non-English speakers.

Notable features:

  • Free version not available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email
Lightbot Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Challenging coding puzzles Limited support options
Supports multiple accounts No free version
Available 20+ languages  

CodeSpark Academy — Best for Pre-Readers

CodeSpark Academy App feature

Download: Android | iOS

CodeSpark Academy is a children’s coding app that focuses on teaching programming via educational games and activities. What sets CodeSpark apart from similar apps is its “no words” interface, making it a perfect choice for kids that haven’t yet developed their reading skills. The app’s learning activities include puzzles, games, step-by-step creative projects, game design lessons, and offline printables. CodeSpark provides personalized daily lessons based on your child’s progression, and it supports up to three individual child profiles. When completing activities, children are awarded bonus points for efficient coding to reinforce positive practices. The free version of the app includes plenty of games and activities, but subscribers get access to new content every month to keep their kids entertained.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Monthly: $9.99
  • Support available: Email, FAQs
CodeSpark Academy Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Game-based coding lessons No group lessons
Text-free interface for pre-readers  
Does not collect private data  

Mimo — Best for Daily Coding Exercises

Mimo App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Mimo is one of the most feature-rich coding apps for all ages, including children and adults. One of the app’s best features that makes it stand out from similar apps on our list is its daily bite-sized coding exercises. These exercises are designed to reinforce positive learning habits while practicing coding. Users write real code in Mimo’s code editor to complete exercises and create real-world projects like landing pages, homepages, and e-commerce stores. The app provides real-time feedback, and users can earn a certificate to demonstrate their newfound coding skills. Daily exercises are as short as five minutes per day and teach the basics of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, and SQL.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Pro: $9.99/month
  • Support available: Email, Help Center
Mimo Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Teaches in-demand coding languages No games for children
Bite-sized daily exercise No tools for educators
Real-world projects  

Lego Boost — Best for Drag-and-Drop Coding

Lego Boost App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Lego Boost allows children to build different Lego models and program them using drag-and-drop coding blocks. After building and programming their Lego models, kids can choose an activity to play with their custom models. There are more than 60 activities included for free, and the LEGO® BOOST Creative Toolbox set is available for purchase separately. This set includes more Lego pieces, new activities, and more programming features. While the app does not excel at teaching advanced coding concepts, it is the best option for drag-and-drop coding and children who love Lego.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Phone, Email, Chat, Help Topics
Lego Boost Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Drag-and-drop coding BOOST Creative Toolbox costs $159.99
60+ free activities No tools for educators

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues — Best for Story-Based Lessons

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues App feature

Download: Android | iOS

While most of the apps on our list teach coding through games, puzzles, and lessons, Nancy Drew Codes and Clues uses stories to teach kids the basics of coding, reading, and critical thinking. As kids discover clues and review evidence, they’ll learn important skills like sequencing, loops, pattern recognition, spatial visualization, problem-solving, and algorithmic thinking. Nancy Drew Codes and Clues also includes an Obstacle Course mode with additional coding activities and challenges. The free version includes the first chapter of the story for free, and the entire game can be unlocked with a one-time purchase of $3.99.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $3.99 per item
  • Support available: Email, Phone, FAQs
Nancy Drew Codes and Clues Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Story-based coding lessons Free version only includes first chapter
Teaches reading and critical thinking No tools for educators

Coding Apps for Children: Features Summary Table

Coding Apps for Children Comparison Table
App Subscription Fees or In-App Purchases Features
Kodable — Top Pick Monthly (For Parents): $6.99/month
Premium (For Educators): $1250/year
Premium+ (For Educators): +$750/year
For Parents
For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
Group Classes
ScratchJr — Best Free Coding App for Children None X For Parents
X For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
Daisy the Dinosaur — Best for Basic Coding Concepts None For Parents
X For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
Group Classes
Tynker — Best for Educational Games Individual Plans:
$25/month billed quarterly;
$15/month billed annually or
$7.50/month one-time payment
 
Family Plans:
$40/month billed quarterly;
$24/month billed annually or
$12/month One-time payment
For Parents
For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
Group Classes
Hopscotch — Best for Making Games Pro: $9.99 For Parents
For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
Lightbot — Best for K-12 None X For Parents
X For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
CodeSpark Academy — Best for Pre-Readers Monthly: $9.99 For Parents
For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
Mimo — Best for Daily Coding Exercises Pro: $9.99/month X For Parents
X For Educators
X Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
Lego Boost — Best for Drag-and-Drop Coding None X For Parents
For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes
Nancy Drew Codes and Clues — Best for Story-Based Lessons $3.99 per item X For Parents
X For Educators
Game-Based Lessons
X Group Classes