Computer games have the perfect ingredients to captivate the interest of kids. We all know that to some degree. After all, who wasn't enthralled by Super Mario Bros or Contra when they were a kid!
But games also have the power to educate kids in a fun and indeed unique way with colourful animations, catchy sounds, and of course, continuously moving objects.
Give kids the key to build their own games and you have the perfect recipe for them to learn how to code. In this story, we'll help you understand exactly why coding games are one of the best ways for kids to learn how to code.
We'll breakdown the perfect programming languages to build games based on age group and tell you how Camp K12 brings all of this together to create the perfect learning experience.
Coding a game or building a game is one of the best ways for a kid to learn to code. It takes the monotony out of the learning experience by replacing the monotony of, for example, building an accounting app, with an action packed end goal.
When a kid learns how to code by building a game, they are learning programming concepts with the drive to replicate a game they like or build a magnificent world of their own that has unique characters and landscapes.
Summary: Coding games are fun and useful projects that teach kids coding concepts in an efficient way.
Scratch is a free to use, block-based programming language developed by MIT. It lets you execute commands with a simple drag-and-drop feature, one of the primary reasons why it is ideal for kids between the age of 6 to 14.
Scratch allows kids to build simple coding games of their own in a fun and interactive manner. It allows them to be creative while introducing important coding concepts. Basically, kids learn coding without realising they are 'studying'!
Game made using Scratch: Chase HQ
HatchXR is a popular free to use platform that lets users build 3D games. The learning curve is smooth and is perfect for kids to create marvellous 3D games or worlds of their own within a short space of time.
HatchXR allows both code and no-code functionalities and has a smart code editor that allows users to set their own custom parameters for their 3D games.
Game made using HatchXR: Rocket launch
C# is widely preferred by many expert game developers because of its neat functionality and the robustness of its overall make-up. It is a multi-purpose, object-oriented programming language that enables building games seamlessly.
The popular Unreal game engine was built using C#. While it's easy to learn, it's advised for kids above the age of 11 who have basic understanding of programming and mathematical concepts.
Game made using C#: An FPS game
C++ has a tough learning curve but comes with its perks. It can literally be used to build anything from a website to a robust game. It is an object-oriented, general purpose programming language recommended for kids above the age of 14.
Game made using C++: Cereal adventures
Best Coding Games for Kids for Age 6 to 10 Years
1. Platformer Games
Platformer games are simple, 2D or 3D programs where the goal is to get your main character from point A to point B (with features like jumping or ducking). Popular examples of this include Mario, Sonic, Prince of Persia, and more.
Scratch is one of the most useful programming languages for platformer games as it's super easy for kids to add visual elements, sound snippets, and characters to liven up their very own gaming world.
Game: Forest (a platformer) (v.4.0)
2. Arcade Games
Arcade games were once physically present in the form of machines in popular hangout places. However, they slowly began to shift online with games like Pacman and Pinball going digital in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
The games are simple enough for kids to recreate on their own using programming languages like Scratch. But they can choose to add more complexity to the in-game mechanisms based on their vision for the game.
Game (Simple): Space Invaders
Game (Complex): Donkey Kong
Summary: Best coding games for kids between the age of 6 to 10 include platformer games and arcade games that use simple languages and tools like Scratch or HatchXR.
Best Coding Games for Kids for Age 11 to 14 Years
1. 3D Games
HatchXR is powerful because it lets users create worlds that are vast and expansive. Kids can use HatchXR's existing modules to create wonderful 3D games. They can even add their own elements, shapes, sounds, and characters using the code editor.
Game: Ghost Chase Adventure Game
2. Minecraft World
Minecraft is a beloved game that encourages kids to explore world building like none other. Using a few simple lines of code, kids can create a horse, a mountain, or a full digital (and unique) world where kids can invite their friends to play in.
It allows the exploration of creativity and polishes the way a kid thinks in the 3D space. Of course, there's an element of mathematics involved for spatial awareness that is always useful. We don't want the horse to end up beneath the ground!
Mastering these qualities are crucial when solving problems at scale later on in life. Here's an example of a custom Minecraft world in action.
The backend design:
Summary: Kids above the age of 10 can build challenging 3D games from the world of Minecraft with programming languages and tools like Scratch and HatchXR.
Long story short, yes! Any kid above the age of 6 can learn to code a game of their own. Kids have the unique ability to think and create in a way that is different from grown ups. Kids can use this particular ability right from the age of 6 to build simple games of their own.
However, it's important to identify the strengths of your child to understand if they can learn coding by building games. That's exactly where a leading IT education expert like Camp K12 comes into the picture.
Summary: Any kid of the age 6 and above can learn programming by building games. But it's essential to go through the proper learning curve like Camp K12 perfect learning path.
Camp K12 is the best place for kids to learn programming by building computer games. Most games are fun but if the concepts behind them are not introduced properly, the kid can lose interest.
That's why Camp K12's curriculum is designed in a progressive way. Kids will follow a learning path towards mastering a particular domain or programming language.
There's room for learning, innovating, and above all, having fun with coding! After all, the essence of coding lies in the beauty of creating worlds or programs of your own.
At Camp K12, kids can learn to build games with programming languages and tools like:
The game development projects through which kids learn programming include:
- 2D games
- Arcade games
- 3D games
- Platformer games
- Minecraft-like world
Check out the course curriculum at Camp K12’s website today.
Summary: Camp K12's programming courses for kids includes game development projects that are exciting yet powerful. Camp K12's curriculum includes 2D games, 3D games, arcade games, and more with programming languages and tools like Scratch and HatchXR.
No, you don't need to purchase any software for your kids to learn programming by building games. The programming languages, tools, and libraries used in Camp K12's curriculum are free to download and use.
Summary: You don't need to purchase any software when you enroll in any coding course for kids at Camp K12.
Your child would require access to a basic laptop to enroll in any course at Camp K12. However, if you enroll in a course for more than 6 months, you'll get a free laptop sponsored by Camp K12!
Summary: All you need is a basic laptop to learn coding at Camp K12. Don’t worry if you can’t get a laptop. Enroll in a course for 6+ months and Camp K12 will give you a free laptop.