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Best Intro to Coding Books

Today, coding is more than a skill reserved for computer experts. Learning how to code can be beneficial for adults and children alike. However, it can be a challenge to find introductory coding books that not only explain how to code in a way that children can understand, but also make the material engaging. We’ve taken a look at many introductory coding books geared toward children. Our favorites present the material alongside fun activities children can use to apply what they’ve learned. Additionally, we found options that help children learn vocabulary terms related to computers and technology, which can also be beneficial as they begin their coding education.

For children who love video games, “Code Your Own Games!” by Max Wainewright can be an exciting read. In this book, children learn plenty of coding basics as they create up to 20 computer games. These games include popular favorites such as Snake and Brick Bouncer. Everything is presented with step-by-step, illustrated instructions to help guide children through the process in a way they can easily understand. This book is recommended for children ages 6 to 11.

“Get Coding!” helps demystify the inner workings of apps, websites and online games. The book presents a number of fun “missions” that help children learn how to create their own app, make their own game, and even build their own website, among other important tools. All of these missions are not only easy to understand but also help children learn basic coding skills they will be able to build on as they continue to grow. This book is recommended for children ages 9 to 12.

“Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming” offers plenty of exciting lessons on the Python programming language with fun characters and colorful illustrations. The lessons in the book have been crafted with kids in mind and use humorous images of monsters and animals to highlight the ways computer programs can work. The book provides easy-to-understand explanations for new vocabulary as children go along. Each chapter in this book ends with a programming puzzle and, by the end of the book, kids will have programmed two complete games. This option is recommended for children ages 10 and older.

Best for Young Kids

Some of the most important concepts in coding don’t actually involve the use of a computer. That is the foundation of “My First Coding Book” by Kiki Prottsman, which teaches children a wide range of valuable skills that can be applied to coding. The book is filled with plenty of fun activities, from mazes to games, all of which have potential applications in the world of coding. This is an especially great option because these same skills also help to build children’s cognitive development and critical thinking skills. This book is recommended for children ages 5 to 7.

“Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games” is a great option for kids, even if they have never done any programming before. It offers plenty of lessons children can use to create computer games using a free programming language called Scratch. These lessons are easy to follow, featuring fantastic graphics that highlight the programming process and keep them engaged. By the time they have finished the book, kids will be able to build up to eight different games. This book is recommended for children ages 8 to 12.

Expert Commentary

“These books make programming fun and engaging for budding coders. I wish they were around when I was a kid! They are a must for any parent wanting to introduce their children to the fundamentals of coding.”

Our Expert Consultant

Melissa Spurling

Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.