Lightbot Jr : Coding Puzzles for Ages 4+

Cute, simple intro to programming for young learners

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 2 reviews

Privacy rating

Not yet rated
Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Topics


Price: Paid
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire

Pros: Simple interface, delightful graphics, challenging puzzles engage young learners.

Cons: There's not a lot of content here, and the app stops short of teaching programming.

Bottom Line: This is a fun and engaging introduction to the world of programming.

For the teacher looking to provide a savory taste of what computer programming is like, Lightbot Jr is a perfect snack. The charming Lightbot, in boy blue and girl pink, seems harmless as he or she marches and hops across the minimalist landscape. And with few actual commands available, kids can quickly pick up the basics and will enjoy playing through the puzzles. Once hooked, a teacher may want to take advantage of some of the lesson supports available on the Lightbot website. And the regular Lightbot app is a great follow-up app for kids to expand their new skills.

Lightbot Jr presents kids with a cute little robot, small levels comprised of blocks, and a handful of drag-and-drop programming icons. Move, turn, light, and jump comprise the core of Lightbot Jr's available commands. And when the player places these command tiles in a row, LightBot Jr moves merrily through the level, lighting up designated tiles. The player must light up the correct tiles to move on to the next level.

Because Lightbot Jr focuses on the gameplay, it's easy to get kids engaged. But without some context and possibly some guidance and encouragement, young players may get stuck long before they internalize some of the key lessons of programming. Also, when compared to the many learn-to-program titles on the market, Lightbot Jr only scratches the surface. This is a fine introduction to programming concepts for young kids, but for a deeper dive into coding, kids will have to look elsewhere.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Featuring a colorful and inviting graphical style, the puzzles will draw kids in.


Puzzles really only scratch the surface, providing little more than an intro to programming concepts.


The game offers simple support and direction; kids may need help from an adult.

Common Sense reviewer
David T.
David T. Director of academic technology

Community Rating

Visual coding application that teaches computational thinking

For the majority of our Grade One to Five students, completing the Basics was a reasonable challenge with our Grade One students appropriately needing the most support and encouragement. However, what was most interesting to me was how this app and way of thinking encouraged new students to emerge as leaders in programming and computational thinking. Students who were USED being challenged by new learning demonstrated much more grit and perseverance than those students not used to having to work hard to find success (i.e students experience consistent success in academics.) This app (website) was very popular to learners from Grade 2 and 5. Moving to the Procedures levels was a bit of jump for many students. Perhaps more videos and examples would help learners be more able to make the leap from Basics to Procedures levels. (The pace is much slower in the paid app which allows learners a more gradual progression of difficulty. The Hour of Code (has 3 Levels: Basics, Procedures and Loops) whereas the paid app adds levels called "Jumping" and Overloading" BEFORE the Procedures Levels. (The Loops Level was challenging but demonstrated the concept in an intuitive manner. Overall, all students found success with with app especially in the first Basics Level and I would recommend this app and website as a popular introduction for students new to programming. Allow them to collaborate and encourage them to demonstrate grit and perseverance, two important 21st century skills and you will have a busy, noisy but engaged class for students aged 6 to 12.

Continue reading

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings