Self-paced tutorials focused on coding concepts

The following are all free, self-paced tutorials appropriate for younger children to get familiar with core coding concepts. A few require a free account login to use beyond a certain level.

Tips for parents

While these are indeed self-paced and ideal for solo work, we strongly recommend that parents participate, provide encouragement, and assist if the child gets frustrated. (A little bit of struggle is normal as kids confront the challenges, but if they get frustrated sometimes a little reassurance is in order).


For kids just starting out that are brand new to computers / code, and are not strong readers.

Mastery of drag and drop, and shapes used in subsequent lessons.

Angry Birds, with arrows. More or less the same as the main hour of code introductory course but doesn’t require reading.

Kodable, using arrows.

Readers / Introductory Code Lessons for first-timers

Fundamentals of sequences, repeating code, and loops

Angry Birds hour of code. After about 10 levels it switches to Plants vs Zombies.

  • Moana has an almost identical format, if you want a different character and setting.
  • There are many other alternatives including Minecraft, Star Wars, and others, but I prefer to start with Angry Birds and then do the more “open” ones, as these tend to be somewhat more frustrating for kids to start with.

Tynker Hot Wheels Obstacle Course

Intermediate Code Lessons without directly writing code

These lessons hit on slightly more complex concepts like procedures, but still abstract the code itself using blocks.

Lightbot – has recursive procedures in more advanced levels. Can be completed in about an hour.

Scratch – an open ended and incredibly powerful drag and drop coding engine

Introduction to text-based coding

CodeCombat – character-based coding that feels like playing a video game; in python, javascript and lua

For true coding without the game-based style, you can use the free resources at Codecademy, though we prefer Khan Academy

Advanced, Challenging Computer Science resources

Project Euler – challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve

Resources for HTML / CSS / JavaScript learning

Recommended editors:

  • Mozilla Thimble is a free, browser-based editor. It’s convenient because it lets you focus on the markup and code, but don’t have to worry about installing anything, uploading files, version control or servers.
  • CodePen is another option.