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5 Different Resources to Help Kids Learn to Code

Apr 5, 2021

Open a world to coding for young learners today

A recent study found that 76% of parents want their children to end up inSTEM-related careers, and with an ever-growing number of jobs requiring knowledge of new technologies, it isn’t very hard to see why. From manufacturing to marketing, most jobs today are dependent on computers for their success and computers are dependent upon code.

That’s probably why so many parents are hoping to get their kids into coding.

As many as 85% of parents are encouraging their children to learn to code, according to one study, but despite wanting their kids to learn, many parents are at a loss about the best resources available to help kids to code. Where can a parent start when they want to help their child dive into this new field, especially if they don’t know much about coding themselves? We’re here to help! 

We’ll help you narrow down the options by explaining the different categories of resources out there. Then, you can decide which resources best meet your needs.

Coding Classes

One of the best all-around methods for teaching kids to code is taking a coding class. Coding classes come in a variety of formats and price ranges, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. That can make it tricky to pick the right coding class.

For instance, in-person classes have teachers that regularly interact with their students. This is a huge advantage because it means that students can receive real-time feedback on their questions! However, many live coding classes have limited schedules and require you to live nearby. Depending on where you live, it can be hard to find coding classes near you.

Online classes, on the other hand, allow for flexibility in both scheduling and location, but are often pre-recorded. That can limit their ability to respond to questions quickly, or even at all!

Of course, there are other classes that combine the best of both worlds by hosting live classes on an online platform. These allow for flexibility of location and real-time feedback. 

Check out some of these additional online coding classes:

  • Galileo: Use the code, “SPRING15” to save on spring break camps and “SPRING10” on any Wonder Workshop weeklong classes.  
  • Outschool

Coding Apps

Coding apps can be a great supplemental resource for kids learning to code. Many kid’s coding apps use bright colors, animations, and fun gameplay to encourage kids to learn the basics of coding. They can be great for getting an understanding of what a conditional or a loop is, but few of them get into the nitty-gritty of real-world coding.

If you are wanting to get the most out of coding apps, it’s better to use them in conjunction with an established coding course. That way, the base concepts taught in the coding apps can immediately be used in a more and more specific context. 

Wonder workshop offers free companion apps to their robots that promote creativity and problem solving while promoting new coding skills. 

Coding Challenges

Teams from the Wonder Workshop's Wonder League Robotics Competition

Another useful supplemental activity is a coding challenge.

Coding challenges, competitions, or hackathons, are hosted events where coders get the chance to simultaneously reach outside their coding comfort zone and show off their skills. It adds a competitive element to the learning process, which can be a great motivator for many kids.

Usually, there is a specific challenge or set of challenges that must be overcome through the use of code. The difficulty levels can vary greatly between challenges, but that’s part of the fun! Challenges are often teacher-directed events, too. That way, even if a challenge proves too difficult for a kid to figure out on their own, the teacher is there to help them learn and progress.

Coding Camps

While coding classes are the fullest featured and most effective way to learn the intricacies of coding, they do take a while to get through. Sometimes, it can be an effective use of time to move quickly through the basics so you can spend your time on the more advanced skills. Which is where coding camps come in.

Coding camps, or coding bootcamps, are intensive courses designed to get their students through the basics. That way they can focus on the lessons that they really want to be learning. They save valuable time by teaching a wide variety of coding skills quickly.

Since they only last for a short period of time, they are a great fit for students who have a chunk of free time available to dedicate to learning a new skill. Summer break is a great time for this.  More intensive coding camps can help students to master the basics quickly and take higher-level classes sooner. It’s a great way to accelerate their learning.

Coding Books

In today’s connected world, it may seem odd to mention books as being a good coding resource, but there are some definite advantages to the medium.

For one, no one can be online all the time, and books can be a great resource even when screen time is over. Books tend to be a lot more in-depth than many online guides because the authors know that all the necessary information needs to be included upfront. There’s not the option to link to throw in a link to supplemental material.

And, it can be a lot easier to flip between a physical book and what’s happening on the screen without losing your place. Though, that can be a matter of preference.

Of course, the effectiveness of any book as a coding resource depends greatly on which book you’re using. It can be difficult to know if a specific book will cover the things your kid wants to learn. Make sure to choose a book that’s listed as a reliable resource for kids to get the most value. Books can also be a great way to spark interest in coding. Check out this STEM recommended reading list for young coders and robotic enthusiasts.  


No matter where your kid ends up on their coding journey, there are amazing benefits to learning to code. And that will only become more true as time goes on. 

Coding, as a field, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the list of amazing resources is only continuing to grow. These 5 types of resources are a great way to get started, but there are so many other great resources out there. We encourage you to find somewhere to start and explore from there! 


Jannina Gray works as a programmer and runs a small IT store. She has been a programmer for 8 years now and she also tried to contribute by writing all she has learned from her experience to help other programmers deal with their problems that come from this profession.

Wonder League Robotics Competition FAQ | Year 8

Hello, robotics enthusiasts! If you’re here, you’re probably as excited as we are about the 8th Annual Wonder League Robotics Competition! To help you and your teams have the best possible experience competing this year, we wanted to share answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Who Can Compete:

Any kid, anywhere in the world, ages 6-8 (Innovator Cup) and 9-12 (Pioneer Cup). There are two age brackets: 6-8 and 9-12 and team members have to fall within the age category at some point during the competition. Participants must be the qualifying age for their bracket on the last day of the competition, but if they gain a year during the competition, that’s OK. They won’t age out! 

Competition Brackets:

  • Innovator Cup (Age 6-8)
  • Pioneer Cup (Age 9-12)

What Makes a Team:

A team is made up of a supervising adult coach, and one or more children (up to 5). That’s right, kids can compete solo, but a coach who is 18+ is needed to help with the submission process. For multi-kid teams, each member must be in the same age bracket. Coaches may have multiple teams and can register all their teams after registering as a coach. Please keep in mind that each team will need a separate Class Connect registration.

Note: Younger students may participate in the 9-12 age category, but please be aware that the missions have been designed with older students and advanced coding skills in mind.

What a Team Needs to Compete:

Class Connect subscription

The team is made up of a supervising adult coach and one to five members

  1. Compatible device
  2. 5′ x 8′ mat of 30cm squares and basic prototyping materials
  3. Teams in 6-8 & 9-12 age brackets will need a Dash robot
  4. Internet access to download and upload materials

Teams will need one Dash robot:

Check Device Compatibility here:

We will be offering a mat image that you are welcome to use and print with your local printer, but teams are absolutely encouraged to make their own if they prefer. For more on how to make your own mat, check out this blog post.

Coaches will, of course, need internet access to download the apps and keep up with the competition as it progresses, and may want to print out some kid-facing materials that we will provide at each stage.

Class Connect Subscription:

To register for the 8th Wonder League Robotics Competition requires a subscription to Class Connect, providing additional resources like standards-aligned content assignable right inside a student’s Blockly app. Learn more about Class Connect here.

If you already have a Class Connect subscription, you have access to register a team, based on your student license amount. If you have more than one team of 5 students, you will need to purchase another Coach Success Pack or consider a larger subscription to accommodate more teams and students.

  1. A Coach Success Pack provides:
    Participation in the WLRC for up to 5 students
    Access to all Missions
    Full access to Class Connect, (including Math Activities and Dash’s Neighborhood), for 5 students and 1 teacher for 7 months
    A discount code for a Dash robot from our online store at

Please note: Teams will need a physical Dash robot to complete the Missions.
The Coaches’ Dashboard in Class Connect will help our coaches register and manage their team(s). The dashboard will be your one-stop shop for all Wonder League Robotics Competition management. You will be able to access the Coaches’ Corner–where all competition-related content and resources will be hosted–the Heartbeat community forum, and all the submission forms right there on the Dashboard.

Accessing Missions for the Innovator Cup and Pioneer Cup:

Once your purchase is completed for Class Connect, you will receive an email to activate your Class Connect license.

Once this license is activated, you will be able to register yourself as a coach and register your teams. This is done on your portal page under the Robotics Competition tab.

Once your team/teams are registered, you will get an additional email from CoAssemble, our partner hosting the missions this year. This email will state you have been registered for the “2022-2023 Coaches Corner Course”.

Click on the link to be redirected to the CoAssemble website, and you will see the course and can access the Coaches’ Corner Guide as well as the Missions (available November 3, 2022).

Still having trouble accessing all the resources in the Coaches’ Corner? If you have previously had a license to Class Connect and registered as a coach, and have not seen Coaches’ Corner added to your CoAssemble list of courses, please email us at, and we will provide assistance.

Last Year’s Missions:

Taking a peek at last year’s missions might help you get a sense of what the competition is like. Just sign in with your Class Connect subscription and register as a coach to take a peek at the previous years by going to the Coaches’ Corner and selecting the desired year.

2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Milestone Dates:

Here are important milestone dates to keep in mind as coaches develop timelines for teams competing in the 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition.


  1. October 21, 2022: Student Team Registration Opens
  2. November 3, 2022: Round One Opens + Five Mission Released
  3. January 13, 2023: Student Team Registration Closes
  4. January 27, 2023: Mission Evidence Submission Closes 
  5. January 28-March 5, 2023: Invitational Round Notification 
  6. February 6, 2023: Invitational Round Opens + Final Mission Released
  7. March 24, 2023: Invitational Round Submission Due 
  8. April 10, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Opens 
  9. April 21, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Closes 
  10. May 4, 2023: 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Winner Announcement

NEW Award Category: WLRC People’s Choice Award

Teams may opt in to participate in the WLRC People’s Choice Award category by creating a :30 second video explaining the Team’s Invitational Round Final Mission solution that will be shared with the community at in an “online crowd vote” competition. The WLRC People’s Choice Award allows teams to share and celebrate their work in the WLRC and encourage community support in voting for their team. This is an optional category for teams to enter and will not impact scoring of the Invitational Round submission as they will be judged by STEM and Coding experts using a published rubric.

Children’s Privacy:

We take our participants’ privacy very seriously and comply with COPPA when collecting any information. In the invitational round we ask only for the students’ first names, and request parents’ permission. For those that make it into the Invitational Round, we ask for full names, again with permission. We are never marketing, selling to, or corresponding with children. All contact is through the proxy of the coach.