Top Pick

Best Coding Tools for Elementary

These elementary-level tools help kids learn to code by targeting the foundations of programming: problem-solving, logic, and critical thinking. Some of the tools on this list focus on simple, block-based coding, while others use real text-based languages; a few of the tools even incorporate both to help kids with the transition to more advanced projects. By learning these skills through the context of code, kids build essential 21st-century skills for life that empower them to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology. 

If you're looking to begin coding lessons in your classroom, check out our Teaching Strategies for how to Get Started with Coding in Your Classroom.

Block- and Text-Based Code

Root Coding Publisher: iRobot Corporation
First-rate versatile robot for all ages
Grades Pre-K–12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Kodable Publisher: SurfScore
Fun programming logic for kids, great resources for teachers
Grades K–5
Type App
Price Free to try
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
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Code.org Visit Website: http://www.code.org
Popular games, big names get kids and teachers pumped to program
Grades K–12
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
Community rating
SpriteBox Coding Publisher: LightBot Inc.
Appealing puzzle game reinforces essential coding concepts
Grades 1–6
Type App
Price Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Code for Life Visit Website: https://www.codeforlife.education/
Comprehensive coding platform has impressive resources for teachers
Grades 1–12
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Sphero Edu Publisher: Orbotix Inc.
Cool robots and creative play make programming irresistible
Grades 3–8
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Fire phone
Learning rating
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Microsoft MakeCode Visit Website: https://makecode.com/
Bring code to life with circuits, robots, Minecraft, and more
Grades 3–12
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
Community rating
Codesters Visit Website: https://www.codesters.com/
Differentiated text-based coding makes for truly authentic experiences
Grades 4–8
Type Website
Price Free to try, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating

Block-Based Code

Blue-Bot Publisher: TTS Group
Simple robot ideal for introducing programming to young learners
Grades Pre-K–2
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating
Tynker Junior Publisher: Tynker
Picture-based coding app piques early learners' interest
Grades Pre-K–2
Type App
Price Free to try
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Grades K–2
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Chrome
Learning rating
Community rating
Codeable Crafts Publisher: Benesse
Animate stories with accessible drawing tools and coding blocks
Grades K–3
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Blockly for Dash & Dot Robots Publisher: Wonder Workshop
Adorable robots teach hands-on coding skills
Grades K–5
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating
Cork the Volcano - Puzzlets Publisher: Digital Dream Labs LLC
Fun elementary coding through hands-on puzzle tiles
Grades K–5
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating
Path for Dash Robot Publisher: Wonder Workshop
Impressive intro to programming and robotics grows with students
Grades K–5
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad
Learning rating
Community rating
Elementari Visit Website: https://www.elementari.io/
Storybook creation tool offers cool blend of ELA, art, and coding
Grades 1–5
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating
Itch Visit Website: https://www.itchcode.com/
Full-featured tool makes teaching with Scratch easier than ever
Grades 1–12
Type Website
Price Free to try, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating
Scratch Visit Website: http://scratch.mit.edu/
Creative sandbox opens the door to coding in any subject area
Grades 1–12
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
Community rating
Codemoji Visit Website: https://www.codemoji.com
Emoji-based coding tool demystifies web design and animation
Grades 2–8
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Evo by Ozobot Publisher: Evollve, Inc.
Versatile mini robot tailor-made for teaching coding
Grades 2–8
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Hopscotch-Programming for Kids Publisher: Hopscotch Technologies
Easy-to-use visual tool makes coding fun and social
Grades 2–8
Type App
Price Free to try
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
Community rating
Cozmo Publisher: Anki Inc.
A little robot with big personality brings code to life
Grades 2–12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Learning rating
Community rating
SAM Labs Visit Website: https://samlabs.com/
Kids use block code and wireless blocks to program, design, and create
Grades 2–8
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Tickle Publisher: Tickle Labs
Robots, Arduinos, and drones -- the block coding app to rule them all
Grades 2–12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Learning rating
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Google CS First Visit Website: https://csfirst.withgoogle.com
Middle school CS platform offers stellar resources, organizing tools
Grades 4–8
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
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Human Resource Machine EDU Publisher: Filament Games
Challenging puzzles will grab the imagination of any coding enthusiast
Grades 4–10
Type App
Price Paid
Platforms iPad, iPhone
Learning rating
Community rating Not Yet Rated
Made with Code Visit Website: https://www.madewithcode.com/
Enticing projects and inspiring videos offer anyone an intro to coding
Grades 4–12
Type Website
Price Free
Learning rating
Community rating
Cargo-Bot Publisher: Two Lives Left
Challenging game helps kids learn to think like programmers
Grades 5–12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Learning rating
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Text-Based Code

CodeCombat Publisher: CodeCombat
Dungeon-crawling adventure where code is king
Grades 4–12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Learning rating
Community rating
CodeMonkey Visit Website: https://www.codemonkey.com/
Puzzler's use of real code fills niche in crowded learn-to-code genre
Grades K–12
Type Website
Price Free to try, Paid
Learning rating
Community rating
Swift Playgrounds Publisher: Apple
Brilliantly designed iOS coding app great for newbies or pros
Grades 4–12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Learning rating
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