At What Age Can a Child Start Coding? (2023)

Your kids have probably been computer-savvy with video games, smartphones, tablets, and other electronics from a young age. They might also have started to express an interest in learning how to code and program their own games. But, is this a good idea, and should you allow young kids to jump into coding?

Kids as young as 7 years of age can start coding and learning programming basics. In fact, coding for kids has gained popularity rapidly in recent years as technology becomes increasingly part of everyday life. Kids who learn to code when they’re young can set themselves up for a lifetime of opportunities for success.

In this article, we’ll discuss coding in its most basic terms to give you a primer of what it means, what it involves, and how it could be beneficial for your child.

Handy Hint 1: You will also be able to find useful links to the FunTech coding summer camps that we run for kids. We have multiple locations in London, plus elsewhere in the UK. You can see all of the locations by clicking here.

Handy Hint 2: We’ll also share some top tips to introduce coding to children so they can sharpen up their coding knowledge. If you’re the parent of a child interested in coding, this article should help you understand what you’re dealing with and where to begin.

Let’s get started.

What is coding?

Coding is also known as computer programming or developing. Coding utilizes a creative process in which computers are “told” how to execute different actions. This is done through code, or a set of instructions a computer needs so it can function a preferred way.

Stripping coding back to its very fundamentals, it’s simply computer language. It involves a series of inputs and outputs, actions and reactions.

One example of coding can be seen in everyday in your kitchen microwave! When you make your lunch, you enter the cooking time on the keypad and hit the start button. The code which runs the microwave then starts up and uses the cooking time you input to begin working.

The motor within the microwave turns the plate inside. The microwave is only activated once the door is closed, and then the timer counts down on the digital screen. Once the timer hits zero, all the moving parts stop and the microwave beeps or dings to let you know the task is complete.

Most of the time, you only interact with a tiny fraction of what coding can do by using an interface. This could mean the keypad on the microwave, your computer keyboard, or the touchscreen on your smartphone. The capabilities of these codes are all determined by programmers or developers.

Once you start to wrap your head around coding a little bit, you can start asking yourself what changes you might make to a device if you had the know-how to do so.

Maybe you speed up the plate in the microwave (we don’t recommend you try this at home…) or change the pitch of the beep or ding. Look around the room. How do you think the inputs and outputs of the electronics around you actually work? Coding presents countless solutions if you know what you’re doing.

What is the right age to start coding?

As we said in the intro, if your child is 7 years old, then they’re capable of grasping at least beginner’s coding concepts. Of course, the right age to start coding will change from child to child, but the basics can be taught from 7 to many kids.

(Video) The Best Age To Start Programming

Coding for kids involves using high-interest forms of content for creative projects. When kids learn to code, it’s typically done under the guide of a game.

This makes the process fun and engaging while the kids are still learning a new skill.

In fact, many of the FunTech coding summer camps and term-time courses with involve programming, are focused on game development. We find that we can take the passion your child has for computer games and turn that into a fun learning environment.

Handy Hint 3: If you would like to see all of the coding summer camps currently on offer at FunTech, please take a look at our available coding courses.

Why should kids learn how to code?

When talk first started about kids learning coding a few years ago, it was thought of more as hype than anything else. At the time it was a novel idea to the education system and one which wasn’t exactly taken as seriously as it now is.

Over time, the thought went from being “coding is pretty cool, so try it out” to “coding is cool, and you can make a very good living from it!”.

There are a lot of well-paying jobs to be had out there if your kids have the right skillset, with the demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) jobs projected to grow over the next decade.

However, it isn’t just a case of how cool the jobs are which makes coding worth learning, either. Let’s take a look at a few other good reasons why kids should learn to code:

1: Coding helps kids understand the connected world better

Most people don’t know much about how our smartphones, tablets, or computers run. We take many of these things for granted on a day-to-day basis.

Having a basic understanding of programming can change the way kids look at everyday technology.

It may also open their eyes to the limitless possibilities coding knowledge offers.

2: Coding can give your kid a competitive advantage

Mastering a skill many of their peers may not have could mean your child is a more desirable candidate for colleges, universities, work experiences, and jobs.

Coding has become a highly sought-after skill in recent years, and one statistic shows computer science graduates have the potential to earn up to 40 percent more than average.

3: There’s a high demand for computer programmers

Another stat from shows that 58 percent of jobs in the STEM field are in computing. The problem is only 10 percent of graduates from STEM programs are in computer science.

(Video) When is the Best Age to Begin Computer Programming Computer Coding for Kid is Good for Bright Future

That’s a 48-percentage shortage in the field. Coding will give your kids a better chance to lock down a lucrative career.

4: It’s satisfying and fun!

Computer programming is a logic-based activity, but it can also be a creative outlet at the same time.

Many programmers live for the challenge of creating something and the reward of seeing the results.

Don’t be scared off by the terminology involved or the thought that coding is too complicated. Given the right instructions, learning to code can be fun and easy.

Handy Hint 4: We’ve actually detailed even more reasons why kids should learn to code… Click here to see 13 reasons why you should encourage this type of learning.

How do you introduce coding to kids?

If your kids have expressed an interest in learning to code, you’re faced with the daunting task of figuring out where and how to get them started. There are books, apps, websites, YouTube videos, courses, and all sorts of different avenues.

So, which do you choose?

We believe that a fun, safe, and structured learning environment is the best approach. At FunTech, we run Ofsted-registered summer camps managed by expert coding tutors. You can see view all of the possibilities in our coding courses section.

We have courses for complete beginners at any age, plus more advanced camps for kids up until the age of 16 years old.

However, there’s nothing to stop you getting started at home before your child attends a FunTech summer camp. In fact, when your child finishes a week with us, they will always be given projects to take home with them to continue at home.

How to start coding (for kids)

Firstly, doing too much too fast could end up causing frustration. You want your child to enjoy coding if they are going to get the most from it.

It’s better to start coding slowly, take your time, and accomplish small goals along the way.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how to introduce coding to your kids in a way they will enjoy and excel at it:

1: Introduce them to the basics first

It isn’t easy to master something if you can’t quite grasp the basic concepts. The best way to show your kids the fun of coding is with some light reading or viewing.

(Video) Introducing Kids to Coding

Find articles, books, or even YouTube videos which cover the basics of coding.

Once the kids understand the general idea of coding, they’ll be able to explain it to friends and relatives in a few short sentences. If you’re unfamiliar with coding, you might even end up learning something, too.

2: Learn a little more

Talking with others about something new is a great way to help it stick in your head. Encourage your kids to chat with their friends about the subject.

For example, they might be able to relate it back to the latest video game they’re playing; your child can explain how the game wouldn’t exist without coding.

At school, they can ask their science teacher about how coding helps power robots.

Your kids may not have anyone in their everyday circle who’s interested in talking about coding. In this situation, you’ll need to branch out a bit. Visit a technology museum or have the kids join an after school club that’s related to coding.

Here, they can better learn about coding and talk about it with other people who are interested in it as well.

3: Try something small

One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning something new is going overboard. Your kids have recently learned how coding is the backbone of movies, robots, and video games. They’re excited and ready for more info, which is great.

However, their first project shouldn’t be designing the next open-world adventure game or battle bot. While anything is possible, keep their expectations realistic in the beginning.

Have your kids start with something small instead.

This way, they can get a feel for coding before they fully dive into it.

Online learning programs such as Scratch are a great way to start, as well as introductory mobile apps like Move the Turtle. We actually taking bookings at the moment on our Scratch Coding summer camp.

Both these resources will pave the way of learning to code while allowing for fun at the same time.

4: Move onto something bigger

Now that your kids have the basics under their belts, it’s time to move onto bigger and better things. Keep in mind they shouldn’t be shooting for the stars quite yet, but they’re ready to take the next step in the journey.

(Video) Coding for Kids |What is coding for kids? | Coding for beginners | Types of Coding |Coding Languages

Stick to something that feels familiar to them.

This will help them see how different parts and pieces come together to bring something to life. Perhaps they create a relatively simple mobile app or online game – in fact, this is task is a core part of many of our summer coding camps.

The possibilities are endless.

Handy Hint 5: Python is a coding language that is simple to get started with. Read our blog post about Python for Kids as it contains more info and links to related coding courses.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction and explainer for what age a child can start coding.

Kids as young as 7 years old are able to do amazing things with code. With apps, summer camps, and online programs, there are many different ways to teach your kids this awesome skill.

Mastering coding can set them up for future success in college and their career. They may even end up creating the next smash-hit game.

All of the FunTech kid’s summer camps have a core STEM focus, with a focus on using gaming to engage and teach your child.

We take the possible concerns you might have as a parent about the amount of screen time your child has playing games and help turn it into a more productive talent leading to long term success.

Why book a kid’s coding summer camp with FunTech?

Our summer day camps are ideal for children who want to learn how to code as well as for parents who want to help their children possibly have a brighter future.

When you book with FunTech you benefit from:

  • Ofsted registered.
  • Childcare vouchers accepted.
  • 9am to 5pm times.
  • Structured (and fun) learning.
  • Over 21 years of experience.

FunTech summer camps are a fun way to keep your child happy and engaged, whist helping them to prepare for a digital future.

We are proud of the results our pupils go on to achieve.

In fact, in 2017, 75% of FunTech students achieved A* and A grades for GCSE Computer Science. That’s way above the national average of 20.6%.

(Video) What can kids use code for? What is the ideal age to get started with coding?

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What is the best age for a child to start coding? ›

Early elementary school is the optimum time for children to begin coding. Strengthening cognitive skills through coding helps to plant seeds for eventual complex knowledge. We have confidence in the fact that the optimal age for children to begin learning to code is around the age of 6-7.

Can a 3 year old learn coding? ›

Yes, kids as young as 3 can start to learn the basics of coding with these fun and innovative coding toys. With so many coding toys on the market, it can be hard for parents to choose the best one. We've curated a list of the best coding toys for 3 year olds to help you decide.

Can a 2 year old learn coding? ›

Many seem to think it is just for adults (or nerdy computer programmers!), but that's not the case. Coding can also be for children as young as preschoolers. Yes, really!

Can a 5 year old do coding? ›

Coding for kindergarten is actually much simpler than you think! Kids as young as five can already understand some of the basic coding concepts, even if they don't know what they are specifically. So what exactly does coding for 5 year olds look like?

Is coding for kids is good or bad? ›

1. Coding Boosts Problem-Solving Skills. Coding is, without a doubt, one of the most straightforward ways for children to boost their problem-solving skills. But before we get into that, let's take a step back and clarify the term.

Is it too late to start coding in 4th year? ›

Not at all. There are at least four reasons why you can start to learn to program at any age and become successful—especially if you are only 25 years old!

Do 3 year olds know ABCS? ›

Typically, by the age of three, children should be able to recite the alphabet. However, every child is different. Some toddlers may learn in their twos, and others might not pick it up until the late threes. Children generally learn how to recite the alphabet through repetition.

What is advanced language for a 3 year old? ›

Advanced Sentence Structures

By age 3, a gifted child's language may already resemble adult speech. They are able to use time markers, like now, later, first, and then, which—along with their advanced vocabulary and more complete sentences—allow them to carry on full conversations with adults.

Is it worth teaching kids coding? ›

If we want to set our children up for academic success, every child should learn to code. Coding for kids not only helps improve their mathematics and writing skills but also gives them valuable skills in life and eventually in the workforce.

Should 2 year old know ABC's? ›

By age 2: Kids start recognizing some letters and can sing or say aloud the “ABC” song. By age 3: Kids may recognize about half the letters in the alphabet and start to connect letters to their sounds. (Like s makes the /s/ sound.) By age 4: Kids often know all the letters of the alphabet and their correct order.

How fluent should a 2 year old be? ›

Between the ages of 2 and 3, most children: Speak in two- and three-word phrases or sentences. Use at least 200 words and as many as 1,000 words. Ask questions that start with who, what, where or why, such as "Where is mommy?"

What should a 2 year old be able to write? ›

In terms of skill level, most 2-year-olds can make a 'v,' a circle, and vertical or horizontal lines, although not with utmost control. By three, some children will be trying to write some letters or make “tadpole” people, which marks an important transition to representational uses of symbols.

What is coding for kindergarteners? ›

Coding for kids is how we teach kids about coding and programming. In kid-friendly terms, coding is using a set of instructions to communicate with computers. There are different coding languages and they all have different rules and uses, but they all give computers instructions on how to do specific tasks.

Does age matter in coding? ›

Let's get this out of the way: no, you are not too old to program. There isn't an age limit on learning to code, and there never was.

Can 4 year olds learn to code? ›

One great way to introduce coding to four-year-olds is through unplugged coding activities. These are engaging and fun and the perfect start for kids in learning the basics of coding. You're never too young or old to learn the basics of coding!

Is coding good for kids brain? ›

Learning to Code Builds Success

Just as learning any new language fosters the development of new areas of the brain and enhances learning and memory abilities, learning to code improves a unique set of skills that support emotional health, learning abilities, social skills, and executive functioning.

Why is coding not taught in schools? ›

A major reason many school districts are unable to offer computer science (CS) education is a lack of teachers in the subject. Right now, there is a deficit of computer science graduates: 58% of all new jobs in STEM are in computer science but only 10% of graduating STEM majors are getting CS degrees.

What is the best coding for kids to learn? ›

The best online coding classes for kids
  • #1. CodeMonkey. We have to start with CodeMonkey. ...
  • #2. Scratch. Next up, we have Scratch — the world's largest coding resource for kids. ...
  • #3. Khan Academy. ...
  • #4. Code Monster. ...
  • #5. Blockly. ...
  • #6. CodaKid. ...
  • #7. CodeWizardsHQ. ...
  • #8. Codecademy.
Nov 17, 2022

How many years does it take to be good at coding? ›

It can take anywhere from three months to four years to become a programmer, depending on your dedication, current knowledge of coding, time available, and learning method. If you want to earn a programming degree, you will need at least two years.

How long does it take to learn coding from scratch? ›

It typically takes 6-12 months to learn to code on your own. Likewise, a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer programming usually takes four years.

Can you make money coding without a degree? ›

Can you get a programming job without a degree? Yes, you can. If you are more interested in beginning a career in tech quickly, then you don't necessarily need a degree in coding. Coding bootcamps can get you the skills you need, in a much more affordable and time efficient way, to start your career in coding.

How do I know if my 3 year old is gifted? ›

Signs your kid may be gifted

Keen observation, curiosity and tendency to ask questions. Ability to think abstractly, while showing signs of creativity and inventiveness. Early development of motor skills (e.g., balance, coordination and movement). Finds joy in discovering new interests or grasping new concepts.

How high should a 3 year old count? ›

Most 3-year-olds can count to three and know the names of some of the numbers up to ten. Your child is also starting to recognize numbers from one to nine. He'll be quick to point it out if he receives fewer cookies than his playmate.

How can I tell if my 2 year old is advanced? ›

12 signs of a gifted child
  1. Quick learning. According to Louis, a telltale sign that a child is exceptionally bright for their age is how quickly they learn. ...
  2. Big vocabulary. ...
  3. Lots of curiosity. ...
  4. Eagerness to learn. ...
  5. Early reading. ...
  6. Talent for puzzles or patterns. ...
  7. Exceptional creativity. ...
  8. Advanced reasoning skills.
Aug 4, 2022

What are the signs of gifted child? ›

Common Characteristics of Gifted Children:
  • Ability to comprehend material several grade levels above their age peers.
  • Surprising emotional depth and sensitivity at a young age.
  • Strong sense of curiosity.
  • Enthusiastic about unique interests and topics.
  • Quirky or mature sense of humor.

How does a gifted child behave? ›

Gifted children can think faster and/or more deeply than other children their age. So they're often good at imagining what it's like to be in somebody else's situation. Sometimes these qualities mean your gifted and talented child gets along well with others.

Is gifted the same as autism? ›

Many profoundly gifted students are likely misdiagnosed with autism, whilst many autistic children are likely undiagnosed as gifted. Given the incredibly complex, and similar, nature of both giftedness and autism, the diagnosis itself is rather unimportant.

What is the difference between coding and programming? ›

Coding is a part of programming that deals with writing codes that a machine can understand. Programming is a process that creates programs that involve the ratification of codes. Coding requires basic knowledge of programming skills without any software tools.

What percentage of schools teach coding? ›

In California, there are currently 49,040 open computing jobs with an average salary of $115,754. Yet, there were only 9,339 graduates in computer science in 2020 and only 40% of all public high schools teach a foundational computer science course.

Why is coding so hard? ›

What Makes Programming Difficult To Learn? The major reason why programming is considered difficult to learn is primarily due to the complexity of the instructions that computers comprehend. You can't give computers instructions in English or any other human language.

Should a 2 year old know colors? ›

Should a 2 Year Old Learn Colors? A two-year-old may not be able to understand the concept of colors completely but they should be able to identify at least one color at this age. By this time, the child should learn how to name colors and identify basic shapes and numbers.

What should a 2 year old know academically? ›

Learning, Thinking Skills

Starting sorting shapes and colors. Complete sentences and rhymes in familiar books. Play simple make-believe games. Follow two-part instructions (such as "drink your milk, then give me the cup")

What is Hyperlexic? ›

Hyperlexia is advanced and unexpected reading skills and abilities in children way beyond their chronological age. It is a fairly recently named condition (1967) although earlier descriptions of precocious reading do exist.

How do I know if my baby is advanced? ›

Here are the main signs of an intelligent baby to keep an eye out for and how to nurture them.
  1. Hits milestones earlier than other babies their age. ...
  2. Has very good focus. ...
  3. Likes solving problems. ...
  4. Enjoys (even prefers) solitude. ...
  5. Extremely curious. ...
  6. High birth weight. ...
  7. Alertness.
Jul 2, 2020

What are two-word phrases for toddlers? ›

Ways to teach your child to say two words utterances:

“open door”, “pour milk”, “light on”, “cuddle teddy”, “eat apple”. choice (eg. “block on” or “block off?”; “more cake” or “more drink”.)

What are red flags for 18 month old milestones? ›

At 18 months, according to the CDC, developmental red flags may be when a child is not copying others, not gaining new words, and losing any skills they may have once had. For a 2-year-old, look out for an inability to follow simple instructions, walk steadily, or use common items like a spoon.

Should my 2 year old be reading? ›

Reading to toddlers often (if possible, at least once a day) is a great goal. Choosing regular times to read (especially before naps and bedtime) helps kids learn to sit with a book and relax. But you can read anytime your child seems in the mood. If your toddler will let you, hold him or her in your lap when you read.

Can a 2 year old write their name? ›

Some children will learn to write their name when they are 2 or 3 (this is rare, don't feel like your 3 year old should be able to write their name) while others are still having difficulty when they are in year 1 (this is something that I would certainly be working on, but I see it often enough to know its common).

How does a 2 year old hold a pencil? ›

Between two and three years of age, a child's pencil grasp will transition from the cylindrical grasp (this fisted, whole hand grasp) into the radial cross palmer, where the fingers are all pointed down toward the paper, rather than the palm.

How do I teach my child basic coding? ›

10 resources to teach your kid to code
  1. Daisy the Dinosaur. Daisy the Dinosaur is an app that helps kids as young as 4 learn the basic concepts behind coding. ...
  2. Move the Turtle. ...
  3. Kids Ruby. ...
  4. Hackety Hack. ...
  5. Sphero. ...
  6. Robot Turtles. ...
  7. Made with Code by Google. ...
  8. Hopscotch.

What is an example of coding for kids? ›

For example, you can refer to a video game (the way they're able to tell their character what to do through their button pushing is similar to how they can command a computer with code); a recipe (the way they follow a recipe to make something is similar to how a computer follows instructions to create apps, websites, ...

How do I get my 5 year old into coding? ›

Best Tips to Teach Your 5-Year-Old How to Code
  1. Teach them the Basic Coding Concepts. At age 5, some children may already be familiar with coding and have a basic understanding of it entails. ...
  2. Introduce Coding Toys. ...
  3. Coding Books. ...
  4. Let Them Enjoy Coding Activities. ...
  5. Let Them Use and Play Applications.
May 28, 2022

What grade do kids start coding? ›

Early elementary school is the optimum time for children to begin coding. Strengthening cognitive skills through coding helps to plant seeds for eventual complex knowledge. We have confidence in the fact that the optimal age for children to begin learning to code is around the age of 6-7.

What grade do you learn coding? ›

At what age can students learn coding? Coding instruction can begin as young as 5 years old., for example, has a full offering of courses for grades K to 5.

Should a 4 year old be able to say the alphabet? ›

A child should be able to recite the alphabet anywhere between the age of 2 and 4. This is also the time when they should be able to distinguish colors and shapes.

What should my child know academically at 4? ›

Count 10 or more objects. Correctly name at least four colors and three shapes. Recognize some letters and possibly write their name. Better understand the concept of time and the order of daily activities, like breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner at night.

Can a 4 year old code? ›

Coding for 4 Year Olds: Is It Possible? Teaching kids to code is a tough task, and it's not realistic to expect a 4 year old to be able to start designing apps or writing code. However it is possible for to teach coding for 4 year olds using the basics concepts of coding.

What age is too late to start programming? ›

There isn't an age limit on learning to code, and there never was. But all too often, insecurity and uncertainty compel older adults to put a ceiling on their achievement potential.

Can a 7 year old learn Python? ›

Can a kid learn Python? Absolutely yes! Python is one of the easiest text based programming languages for kids to learn. Python has an easy-to-understand syntax which makes it ideal for beginners.

Is coding good for 6 year old? ›

Programming helps children learn to problem-solve

It also teaches them how software engineers use math in order to solve problems in a logical and creative way. This is an important reason that coding should be taught in schools, so children learn these skills while they are young.

What a 4 year old should know academically? ›

Count 10 or more objects. Correctly name at least four colors and three shapes. Recognize some letters and possibly write their name. Better understand the concept of time and the order of daily activities, like breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner at night.

Can 4 year olds count to 10? ›

The average 4-year-old can count up to ten, although he may not get the numbers in the right order every time.

How long does it take to learn coding to get a job? ›

If you're coding in your spare time it could take anywhere from six months to two years to get an entry-level tech role. If you treat learning how to code like a full-time job then you can break into the industry in as little as three to eight months.

Is coding and programming the same thing? ›

Coding is a part of programming that deals with writing codes that a machine can understand. Programming is a process that creates programs that involve the ratification of codes. Coding requires basic knowledge of programming skills without any software tools.

How do I teach my 7 year old to code? ›

Coding for 7 year olds is best taught by using high-interest forms of content for creative programming projects. We have found that the best way for a child this age to learn to code is by using the game design and development.
Coding classes for 7 year olds
  1. Minecraft with Mods. ...
  2. Scratch Coding. ...
  3. Lego Robotics Junior.

How do I teach my 8 year old to code? ›

Let Them Learn with Intuitive Coding Platforms

MakeCode, CodeMonkey, and Scratch/Scratch Junior are excellent platforms that teach young kids how to code. Most online coding applications cover various topics, from simple games to advanced coding tutorials.

What is the best age to start Python? ›

With the increased utilisation of digital devices, Python is an important skill that you can teach your children. This computer language is easy for children as young as 10 years old to understand. With this type of coding your child can learn and develop their skills so they can create websites, games, apps and more.

Is coding difficult for kids? ›

By experimenting, children can foster their talents and learn through their mistakes. Coding is complex, challenging and can be incredibly frustrating but it can also teach us from a young age, how to solve problems and look for solutions.


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