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5 Simple Coding Projects for Kids to Tackle During the School Year

Published on November 9, 2023 | Posted in  

If you have a son or daughter who’s started to show a keen interest in coding, you’re right to nurture their curiosity. Computer programming is an excellent way to foster key problem-solving and critical thinking skills while cultivating creativity — to name just a few benefits!

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple coding projects that integrate basic coding concepts that kids can tackle during the school year. These projects can supplement any RP4K course or can be used to spark an interest in coding in a fun and engaging way. They’re also a great extracurricular activity to help kids learn math concepts, develop their language abilities, and improve interpersonal skills.

Here are five simple coding projects for kids to tackle during the school year.

1. Creating Fun Graphics with Python Turtle

Using a fun and cheery turtle icon, kids can use Python, a coding language used by the pros, to learn how to draw basic shapes, building up to more elaborate drawings.

Python Turtle lets kids start small and progress as they’d like. The options are truly endless: encourage your child to experiment and create codes that make the turtle draw loops all the way up to elaborate multi-coloured patterns and drawings.

Python Turtle is undoubtedly one of the most fun coding projects and allows kids to express their creativity, all while learning about math concepts like angles and coordinates. Kids can get started as young as eight years old.

2. Coding the Unpredictability of Rolling Dice

Coding the ‘roll the dice’ game on Python is another fantastic coding project for kids as it incorporates coding but with an element of the real world for relatability.

This project allows kids to create their very own rolling dice simulation for tabletop role-playing games and board games. Kids will likely understand the premise of rolling two dice: the outcome will always differ. Coding a game that incorporates such unpredictability helps them understand both randomness and basic programming logic; it can also help older kids understand the concept of probabilities.

3. Solving the Mystery of Glitch Manor on Tynker

Glitch Manor is a great place to begin for first-time coders; it's one of the easy coding projects offered on the Tynker site. Working through 16 coding puzzles, kids explore a haunted mansion, fend off zombies and solve mysteries along the way.

This is a fun opportunity for coding during the school season; if kids need a break from their homework, Glitch Manor is a super option as it ensures kids keep learning even as they’re enjoying fun and colourful environments.

As kids advance on Tynker, they can learn to create playable arcade-style games using drag-and-drop blocks of code, letting them explore the fundamentals of computer science even more deeply.

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4. Creating a Virtual Pet on Scratch

Scratch is considered a beginner-friendly code-building platform that uses drag-and-drop style coding. It has plenty of simple coding projects, making it great for kids, though there are some more challenging projects on the platform as learners advance.

Most adults will remember the days of Tamagotchis, giga pets and nano pets. In today’s digital age, and with the help of Scratch, your child can learn to create their own versions! When creating a virtual pet, kids use their creativity to choose and animate their animal. They can also interact with their pet by feeding it and playing with it, all while keeping track of how hungry it is.

Creating a virtual pet is one of the cool coding projects that incorporates the fundamentals of coding, like variables, conditionals, and events, with an element of real-world responsibility— and all without a litterbox or goldfish bowl to clean in sight.

Scratch is aimed at kids between the ages of eight and sixteen, and Scratch Junior is available for younger learners. It will operate in most current web browsers and laptops, desktops, and tablets.

5. Creating a Countdown Timer

The Python countdown timer is another coding project for kids. It helps users get to grips with the Python coding language while gaining an understanding of time manipulation.

Creating a countdown timer teaches kids basic programming concepts, like user input, loops, conditionals, and variables. Kids can make their countdown timer as simple or as complex as they want. They can add features like setting the timer duration, sound alerts, or even customizing the appearance.

The end result is a tangible product that they can use in their daily activities — they’ll never be late downstairs for dinner again, and there'll be no excuse for overdue homework.

Summing It Up

These five fun coding projects are perfect if your child has little experience with coding but you've been impressed with their computer literacy and you’d like to support and encourage them with fun, engaging tasks. They’re also great for kids who have a better understanding of coding and who would like to keep dabbling on different projects in their downtime to supplement what they’ve learned in our weekly coding classes.

RP4K hosts coding classes that are capped at four students, maximum — and if we don't reach the four-person mark for a class, we'll still go ahead. Nothing can replicate the ability to chat one-on-one with an expert instructor who can guide kids through the obstacles and the ins and outs of real coding. Like most things, learning to code takes plenty of practice and a little trial and error to get it right!

Taking some time to work on or complete a coding project in the evening after school, on a Saturday morning before softball practice, or in the morning before the school bus arrives are fantastic ways kids can explore, create and have a little fun. But it’s more than that. Enrolling in a coding course for kids can often reinforce and bolster their brick-and-mortar education. It encourages their ability to express themselves, to work collaboratively with their peers, to think critically and to solve problems. With a bit of encouragement, they’ll develop into creative and tech-savvy individuals in no time!

Whether your child has no coding experience or has already taken a keen interest, connect with us to learn more about our weekly courses. Kids always learn plenty and have lots of fun when they come to RP4K!

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