Best Free Coding for Kids Websites and Apps to Learn Programming Skills

The internet is full of coding programs for kids, but which are the best? We tested them all. Photo courtesy of Kodable
The internet is full of coding programs for kids, but which are the best? We tested them all. Photo courtesy of Kodable
12/14/23 - By Lisa B

Coding for kids has become an essential life skill and, luckily, there are lots of free learn-to-code websites for kids, plus coding apps too. Kids can learn to code online and for free with coding websites that make learning to code fun with coding games and programs that help kids refine their design, logic, and problem-solving abilities, and also allows them to express ideas and creativity in unique ways. 

Here we've rounded up our favorite free learn-to-code websites, games, and programs for kids. Psst, we've also included the best paid options that offer free trials. 

Find even more fun ideas for building children's coding and STEM skills in our STEM and Science Experiments Guide.


MBlock teaches older kids several program languages.
MBlock teaches older kids several program languages. Image courtesy of mBlock

Free Coding for Kids Websites

This nonprofit foundation's coding website is an excellent starting point for kids. It shares useful online coding resources, apps, and even local schools that teach coding. The creator behind the Hour of Code movement that has led many tech companies to create free tutorials and basic programs accessible to all,'s own Hour of Code page for kids includes dozens of grade-level-based coding games, from Barbie to Minecraft. What's especially nice is how many activity options are accessible offline for kids with spotty internet.

Code Monster

Code Monster's free coding website has a simple code-learning program that helpfully illustrates how code translates into what you see on the page. Two side-by-side boxes show your code and what the code does. As you play with the code (with some help from a prompt, and maybe a parent to begin with), you learn what each command does. if you have an older kid or 'tween who gets the basics, try Code Maven, a sister site.


Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language that is the foundation of many schools' coding programs lets kids build almost anything they can dream up. There are no obscure lines of code here. Instead, arrange and snap together Scratch blocks as if they are virtual Legos. It's more than just a coding guide; it's a vibrant online community of programmers who swap ideas and inspiration.


Based on Scratch and its "building block" approach to code, mBlock offers a step up for older kids who want to learn to code Python, robotics, AI, and other skills, too. For kids who learn best by playing games, the platform is available for free on mobile apps, too.

Khan Academy

Known for its extensive and challenging math games, Khan Academy also has basic programming tutorials that teach kids how to build graphics, animations, interactive visualizations, and more. Its Hour of Code section is guided by an interactive video that guides users through the process of making a simple snowman and links out to more advanced projects from there.

Swift Playgrounds

Designed by Apple for the iPad, Swift Playgrounds is a much more sophisticated-looking (but still simple to learn) version of Code Combat (see below), with the added benefit of being free. Best for ages 4 and up, Swift prompts kids to solve interactive puzzles in the guided "Learn to Code" lessons to master the basics of coding. Children can go on to experiment with a wide range of challenges that let users explore many unique coding lessons and experiences.

RELATED: 75 Easy Science Experiments Kids Can Do at Home

CodeWizardsHQ gives kids and teens a comprehensive and structured coding education. Photo courtesy of CodeWizardsHQ

Best Learn-to-Code Websites with Free Trials or Deals for Kids


At CodeWizardsHQ, top-rated instructors teach real-world programming languages through live online small-group classes. With a four-session 100% money-back guarantee, kids and teens can try the program risk-free. And, for a limited time, Mommy Poppins readers can save $25 on tuition with the code MOMPOP.


Codingal offers K-12 students a platform to learn coding through one-on-one online classes and fun coding competitions and hackathons. The curriculum uses coding to help students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through coding. Participation in hackathons and coding competitions is free of charge and gives students a chance to win certificates from prestigious universities. You can also sign up for a free trial class.

Code Galaxy

Code Galaxy is a full-service online coding school that offers online coding classes, summer camps, private tutoring, and more. With flexible scheduling, live instructors, and cool work-at-your-own-speed projects (with help always available on Discord), Code Galaxy is a great option for kids who are truly interested in coding and just need a little structure and feedback.

Courses on game development and design, web development, Python programming, and other STEM-related programs, are all available by signing up for one of the school's monthly plans; and you can easily book a free trial online to see if this is a good fit for your little coder.

Code Avengers

Classes at Code Avengers are grouped into data representation, programming, or computational thinking and are for kids ages 5 to 16. Get started with a free trial, which grants access to the first five lessons in each course, ranging from Python to web development, JavaScript, and more. If you like what you see, purchase a membership plan.


Best for older kids, CodeCombat uses an interactive, competitive gameplay mode for its coding program for kids. The first game is free to try, but after that, parents need to purchase a subscription.

Code Monkey

Kids have to move a monkey around to solve problems, and get rewarded with stars as well as funny graphics and images along the way. Though a deeper dive into Code Monkey comes at a (still relatively affordable; it's the cheapest service on our list) cost, there are a substantial number of free challenges in the game to give kids a real experience without keying in the credit card.


Put those ubiquitous emojis to work educationally with this website that eschews complex codes for user-friendly expressions, quite literally: Kids learn to code by using emojis to substitute for HTML or CSS codes, and then can unleash their skills in the "playground" or "workshop" section of the site. Parents appreciate the clean, easy-to-follow design of the website.

Codemoji offers free coding courses for kids all year through the Hour of Code program, and there are two free coding activities for kids to learn basic programming. For other classes, a 14-day free trial is available.


Kodable has built a full-fledged coding curriculum for kids ages 4 to 10. Kindergartners can learn basic programming logic and build from there so that by the time they're in fifth grade, they're writing JavaScript code. Widely used in schools, Kodable is also available on iOS devices. Free for the first 7 days, and then you can select a monthly, yearly, or lifetime membership.


Like many popular coding programs, Tynker works with interlocking blocks of code, making the language accessible to kids (5 to 17 is the recommended age range). Self-paced classes are split into recommended-age categories for easy entry points. Each child needs an account, but multi-child discounts are available, and there are occasional sales, too.

Tynker is not the cheapest of these websites, but it is the most popular, and every plan includes accounts for up to three kids. Try it out with a free 7-day trial, and if you decide this isn't a good fit within the first 30 days of getting a membership, you can get a full refund.

Kids can try self-paced classes with Tynker's coding program.
Kids can try self-paced classes with Tynker's coding program. Photo courtesy of Tynker

Free Coding for Kids Apps for Phones and Tablets

In addition to the computer coding programs above, there are tons of great mobile apps if you're looking to teach your kids to code on the go. This is just a short list of free coding apps for phones and tablets that have gotten thumbs-ups from parents; more are being released all the time. 

Code Karts

Code Karts is for kids ages 4 and up. introducing pre-coding concepts and coding fundamentals through a fun game. The free version has 10 levels; if your kids get addicted, you can purchase all 70 levels for about a dollar.

Daisy the Dinosaur

This coding game uses an easy-to-learn drag and drop interface that allows even the youngest children. to learn coding fundamentals. 


The Hopscotch app lets kids create their own games, art, or stories and learn coding skills with tutorials. Best for kids 9 & up.

Space Coders

This learn-to-code platform offers 8 modules and 60 levels to learn coding skills. For kids 3-8 years old.

This article was originally published in September 2013. Drew Kristofik and Kelley Heyworth contributed additional reporting.