The Best Hour of Code Resources

Are you ready for Hour of Code? Or maybe you are brand new to coding and intimidated by the whole concept. No worries, we got your back! Here are all the resources you need to make this year’s Hour of Code a huge success!

Hour of Code in the Classroom or Home

Hour of code resources for teachers and parents

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So first up, you might be asking, what is hour of code? Hour of code is an initiative to help get kids coding by introducing it in a fun and non-threatening way. Usually kids start out by learning simple coding techniques that over time they can apply in more complex situations. Hour of Code is an international initiative that takes place in December every year to coincide with Computer Science Education Week.

What Is Coding? 

One of the things I love about teaching coding is that it is really a universal second language that is so important for all people to know. Our world is dominated by computers and technology. Speaking their language will help you succeed in a world where we have immense computing power in our pockets.

Coding also teaches kids amazing critical thinking, problem solving and attention to detail. Nothing derails a nice string of code faster than a misplaced bracket!

Simplifying Coding Lessons

One of the things I hear a lot from educators and parents is that they don’t know coding and can’t teach it. I’m here to tell you today that you absolutely CAN teach coding to your kids. Advanced coding may be beyond your current expertise, but the basics of coding, which is the foundation of Hour of Code, can be taught by anyone who is able to think logically and sequentially.

To help you out I’ve rounded up a ton of valuable resources to help you make your Hour of Code week a massive success!

Getting Started With Teaching Programming To Kids

This article includes some great programs, apps and websites to help you get started with teaching your kids programming and coding. Sometimes the best way to get started with coding is a fun game!

Beyond The Code

The reason I believe anyone can participate in Hour of Code is because coding is really about building a variety of vital skills, not just memorizing a bunch of programming languages. This article dives into all those skills that kids should develop to help them become efficient and strong coders.

Coding Toys – Hands On Coding Fun

If your budget allows, there are some amazing toys on the market that teach coding skills. The best part with these toys is that your kids will spend hours practicing and mastering their new skills, all with a smile! These toys are a genius way to engage kids at all levels of abilities in coding. Our personal favourite that has been used for years is Sphero, but all our coding toys get a lot of use. I highly recommend breaking out the coding toys for Hour of Code.

Check out our top Coding Toy picks here.

Our top coding toy picks for preschoolers, kids and tweens. The best Coding Toys for Kids!

Screen Free Coding

Sometimes we want our kids to learn a little coding screen free. Here at STEAM Powered Family we have developed a number of different screen free coding games and worksheets. You can find all of them in our STEAM Powered Family Shop or Teachers Paying Teachers Store.

You can also grab this Wizard inspired coding packet for free!

Get a FREE Wizard inspired learn to code fun pack!

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    Coding Subscription Boxes from Creation Crate

    If you are ready for a bigger commitment to coding, I highly recommend Creation Crate. They have a variety of subscription box programs that teach circuits and coding. It is an amazing program that is delivered in a box to you every month. Take your Hour of Code and turn it into a year of coding fun with Creation Crate. Here you can check out a box we did from their original Creation Crate program. They also have Creation Crate Jr., Girls that Make, and Creation Crate 2.0.

    Out of the Box Coding

    These are a few creative ways we have had fun with coding.

    ThinkFun Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 10 and UpThinkFun Robot Turtles STEM Toy and Coding Board Game for Preschoolers - Made Famous on Kickstarter, Teaches Programming Principles to PreschoolersOsmo - Coding Awbie Game - Ages 5-12 - Coding & Problem Solving - For iPad and Fire Tablet (Osmo Base Required)Osmo - Coding Jam - Ages 6-12 - Music Creation, Coding & Problem Solving - For iPad and Fire Tablet (Osmo Base Required)Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy for Kids - Learn JavaScript, Scratch & SwiftSphero Mini (White) App-Enabled Programmable Robot Ball - STEM Educational Toy for Kids Ages 8 & Up - Drive, Game & Code with Sphero Play & Edu AppSphero BOLT: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Matrix, Infrared & Compass - STEM Educational Toy for Kids - Learn JavaScript, Scratch & SwiftSp hero BB-9E App-Enabled Droid with Trainer

     

    Books on Coding

    With the popularity of coding in education a number of new books have come out. Your library is an amazing resource for getting these books for free, you can also check them out on hoopla digital. Need something more? Here are a few of our coding book picks.

    Code Your Own Games!: 20 Games to Create with ScratchPython for Kids: A Playful Introduction to ProgrammingGet Coding!: Learn HTML, CSS & JavaScript & Build a Website, App & GameCoding for Kids: Python: Learn to Code with 50 Awesome Games and ActivitiesCoding Projects in Python (Computer Coding for Kids)Python for Tweens and Teens: Learn Computational And Algorithmic ThinkingJavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

     

    More Resources on Coding For Kids and Hour of Code

    Mythbusting Coding For Kids – If you still are unsure about the world of coding.

    Hour of Code Activities – So many amazing options here!

    Khan Academy Resource for Hour of Code – A fantastic resource.

    Hour of Code with Disney – For all your young Disney fans!

    Outschool Coding Classes – Outschool is an online virtual school where your kids can learn coding (and lots of other subjects) from teachers online. Simply search “coding” to find upcoming classes.

    CODING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    With hour of code happening so close to Christmas it is only natural to try and incorporate some holiday themed coding activities.

    These secret image reveal coding challenges are so much fun! They teach children about algorithms and debugging, plus there is a bonus section on graphing. All with a festive theme!

    Christmas STEM Printables with Coding

    Some fun for the holidays, decode the ornaments to reveal the words and complete the ornaments. Check it out here.

    Decoder Christmas Ornament

    No matter how you decide to embrace Hour of Code this year, make sure you have fun doing it! Coding is a fantastic skill for everyone to learn. Just make it fun, interesting and you will find your students embracing the challenge and asking for more!

    Happy Coding!

    Hour of Code resources and materials for teachers, educators, schools and parents looking to introduce their kids to coding

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