Books, Products, Recommended

Computer Coding Games For Kids Review: The fun way to get your kids to learn

One book got my attention when I was walking around in a bookstore a while ago, trying to find interesting new books to read to my kids. It was the book “Computer Coding for Kids” by Carol Vorderman.

Since I got hooked on coding, already by the age of 9, I hope that my kids also will become interested in this area. I think they could have so much fun with the know-how about coding in life. I have written another post about why I think it is a good idea to teach kids coding, which you can read here: How to teach kids about coding and 3 reasons why to do it.

As I see it, the three main reasons to teach kids about coding are to improve their skills to:

  1. Think creatively
  2. Work collaboratively
  3. Reason systematically

I think it is very important to improve the kids’ skills to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically.

I would say that will be really helpful in their lives. I believe that our children will be asked to solve many problems that will require them to think for themselves and come up with their own answers, especially since we live in an increasingly technological and global world.

Here follows my Computer Coding for Kids review.

(Note: Several of the links in this post are affiliate links for amazon.com, and I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking on the links. Read my disclosure policy here)

 

Language: Easy and simple. (Note: The book that I bought was translated into Swedish from English).

Content: Instructions to make 8 basic games + basic information about computer games and the programming language Scratch

Price: Check current prize on Amazon. The Scratch community is for free.

Age: For kids between 8-16 (and older)

Level of fun: 4 (of 5) (Note: according to my eight-year-old son)

Customer rating on Amazon: 4-4,5 stars (of 5)

Author: Carol Vorderman, who is a mathematician and a journalist.

So, time to scratch the surface to get your kids started on coding


The book covers topics like what coding is, what ingredients make a game good, how to create a special game atmosphere, which types of games there are, and how to get started.

All eight games have step-by-step scratch instructions with short descriptions that describe what, why and when things are needed in the code. The content is laid out in a really easy to read way with short blocks of writing and colorful pictures and diagrams in between.

As a parent, you don’t need to have any coding experience at all! The book is written for beginners, and complex computer jargon is avoided. This book guides children through creating computer programs starting with the very basics. 

Pros


  • The instructions are written in an easy language. It is very easy to get started, and I would recommend you to go directly to chapter 2 and follow the instructions. Chapter 1 is also important, but maybe your kid will not have the patience to listen or read through everything.
  • Both you and your kids will learn a lot about what makes a game great. In the long run, I think this will boost creativity as your kids’ progress and start to create their own games.
  • You as a parent do not need to have any experience in coding.
  • No complex computer jargon.
  • You will have quality time with your child and be able to discuss a lot about what you are doing and why computer programs work as they do.
  • Good ratings, at least on Amazon.

Cons


  • Though you just follow the instructions in the book page by page, this will take time. I and my son got stuck a little in chapter 8 “The dog’s lunch” since the game did not do what we expected it to do in the beginning. One thing that was strange was that when we pressed the left arrow, the figure started to move to the right. I still don’t understand why it did that. But we continued and kept on following the instructions, and all of a sudden the previous strange behavior was all gone. Now the figure moved in the right direction and did what we expected it to do.
  • Scratch has an updated interface, so the images in the book will look a bit different due to they are an older version.

I have written a more about Scratch here.

When they designed Scratch, they aimed for kids in the ages between 8-16. But it is not limited to that since age doesn’t really matter. According to the info on the community’s website, Scratch is available in more than 150 countries and it has been translated into more than 40 languages.

And, there is an option for the younger kids too. There is a free app called ScratchJr, which is recommended for kids in the ages between 5-7. One small drawback with that app is, that it is only available in a few languages, for the time being.

 

Summary


Computer Coding for Kids is ideal for kids looking to take your first steps into programming or those that are already interested and hungry to learn more. If you are looking for a book to help your kids to get started on coding, I do recommend Computer Coding for Kids by Carol Vorderman.

Have you read the book? Do you have any comments about the review? Just let me know. Leave a comment below!

 

4 comments

Hi Marika,
Thanks for your post on this. Coding has changed some much from when I was a kid learning the craft and thankfully it’s much more accessible to all these days. It certainly seems one of these skills that every kid should be taught now as it’s a very strong career path. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more info on this topic.

Cheers
James

Hi James, Thanks for your comment. Yes, I will write more on this topic, since I really enjoy teachning this to my own kids, and they show great interest in it! I hope I will be able to maintain that interest for a long time.

Marika

I love how this book is written in easy language and not jargon, and even parents who are not coders can buy it for their kids and follow along. thanks for the great review and recommendation!

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