Hit Refresh with Activities & Games for National Coding Week!

Strengthen your child’sdigital literacy skills during National Coding Week, kicking off September 18th!

National Coding Week is a great opportunity for learners of all ages to explore coding and programming while developing theircomputational thinking skills – a problem solving process that uses math, patterns and logic to create solutions.

For young people growing up in a digital age, computer science is a big part of their lives, even if they don’t become professional computer programmers or software engineers. It can help give them the fundamental skills to thrive on screen and off.Coding—the process of using a programming language to give a computer instructions to perform specific tasks—teaches kids problem-solving, analytical thinking, and teamwork. It also provides valuable opportunities to explore theirimagination and flex their creativity.

Check out the byte-sized activities, games, and videos below to start incorporating coding, programming and computational thinking practices into your family’s everyday life!

Learn About Computational Thinking & Coding

“Break It Down” and Other Ways Preschoolers Can Practice Computational Thinking

Grades PreK-K
Computational thinking is a creative and organized way to solve problems using a toolbox of skills from computer science. Learn more about these foundational skills linked to success and kindergarten readiness using inspiration and examples from our favorite Work it Out Wombats! friends.

Practicing Computer Science Skills Anytime

Grades K-8
Computational thinking practices set up learners for more than working on a computer. Building your child’s computational thinking skills will increase her confidence and better prepare her for the road ahead. Read about skills like decomposition, debugging, persistence, and pattern recognition, and scroll through a list of books for STEM-based learning.

How to Make a Video Game

Grades 3-12
Video games are fun to play, but have you ever wondered how to make one? Carmelo, a grad student in the MIT Media Lab, shows how anyone can start learning how to create video games by talking to machines through programming languages.

The Art of Creative Coding | Off Book

Grades 9-12
Programming plays a huge role in the world that surrounds us, and though its uses are often purely functional, there is a growing community of artists who use the language of code as their medium. Their work includes everything from computer generated art to elaborate interactive installations, all with the goal of expanding our sense of what is possible with digital tools. To simplify the coding process, several platforms and libraries have been assembled to allow coders to cut through the nitty-gritty of programming and focus on the creative aspects of the project.

Crash Course Computer Science

Grades 9-12
Join host Carrie Anne Philbin for Crash Course Computer Science! In this series, trace the origins of our modern computers, take a closer look at the ideas that gave us our current hardware and software, discuss how and why our smart devices just keep getting smarter, and even look towards the future! Computers fill a crucial role in the function of our society. Over the course of this series, you’ll gain a better understanding of how far computers have taken us and how far they may carry us into the future.

Games, Activities, and More!

Corn Maze Craze

Grades PreK-K
Your child can practice the fundamentals of engineering and programming in this maze-building game from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Robotics and Coding: Walk This Way | Let’s Learn

Grades K-2
In this video from Let’s Learn, Joy Kalfus of Bedtime Math explores coding using robots. Students can practice writing a series of instructions, or code, to program a robot to walk.

PBS KIDS ScratchJr Collection

Grades K-2
With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, kids can create their own interactive stories and games featuring their favorite PBS KIDS characters. The storytelling possibilities are endless with this creative coding app for children ages 5-8. In this PBS LearningMedia collection, you can find resources and activities designed for educators to support the use of the app in both formal and informal learning settings. Download the app and get started coding today!

SciGirls| Aquabot

Grades 3-8
Your child will learn about persistence and debugging by designing an underwater ROV to help retrieve the ring from the water in this online SciGirls game.

The Code Behind a Photo | Interactive Lesson

Grades 9-12
Explore how the details visible in an image are affected by how each pixel is defined. Students relate the quality of an image to the amount of information in the image and use mathematical representations to make predictions about photos.