Summer Picks: Coding for Kids!
Summer is a great time to try new things and hone your skills! In recent years, we’ve seen wave after wave of great books for young readers of all ages on fun topics like art, cooking, sewing, origami, and… coding! Here, full-time librarian, part-time Blue Willow staffer, and all-time tech guru Lisa Stultz shares a few of her favorite coding books.
Have you ever thought you wanted to code, but you weren't sure where to start? Maybe you're already into coding, and want to take your skills to the next level. Either way, we've got recommendations below for all skill levels. From babies to adults and everyone in between, there's never been a better time to dive in. Many of these books don't even require a computer to start learning how to code.
You may think that learning to code is only helpful if you want to get a job as a programmer, but there are so many more benefits: improving your collaboration and communication skills; improving problem-solving and critical thinking; even building your own website.
Now I love a good story, so my favorites among these are the fiction books in which the characters solve a mystery using coding (like in the great Girls Who Code series) or learn to problem solve (as Pearl and Pascal do in How to Code a Sandcastle and How to Code a Rollercoaster). But I can't deny the appeal of a great step-by-step guide, either!
So whether you or your kids are looking to get into coding, step up your coding game, or just learn more about the world of computers, coding, and those who have played a part in changing the world through coding, these books are sure to get you thinking creatively, working collaboratively, and reasoning logically!
From the series Code Babies, this board book is along the same lines as Astrophysics for Babies in that it helps break down a complex concept, in this case the use of hexidecimal web colors, into easily understandable bites of information. Although targeted to the youngest among us, this title could be used to introduce web colors to learners of all ages. This book would also make a great baby shower gift.
In the first book in the Girls Who Code picture book series, Pearl and her rust-proof robot, Pascal, introduce readers to basic concepts of coding like loops, if-then-else, and sequencing during the story of Pearl's attempts to build a sandcastle that won't get washed away.
In this follow up to How to Code a Sandcastle, Pearl and her robot, Pascal, use coding skills as they make their way around an amusement park. Concepts such as variable, conditional statements and sequencing are explored as she explores the park.
This second book in the Ruby series focuses more on the inner workings of a computer rather than coding. The second half of the book features activities like building a computer model out of paper.
This board book uses interactive lift-the-flaps and pull-tabs is a great introduction to coding language and does not require a computer to learn.
An introduction to programming that is part workbook, part chapter book. Parents may need to assist those younger future-coders as they go through the activities at the end of the book.
Young coders-to-be will learn about the internet in this workbook/chapter book hybrid.
This series is great for fans of the Babysitter's Club books—in the first book of the series, a computer coding club brings together a diverse group of middle school girls to solve a mystery using code.
An intermediate-level workbook for kids who have done the basics in Scratch and are looking to sharpen their skills and create music, games and open-ended projects.
An introduction to website coding with detailed instructions for creating your own website app.
Teaches Scratch 3.0, provides an overview of coding concepts and applications plus nearly 2 dozen challenges with solutions provided.
A general introduction to coding, the internet, various coding languages, gaming and other topics.
This updated edition covers Scratch 3.0 in a visual format, this book is great for beginners who want to create their own games, interactive artwork, and animations.
Kids can build the logical thinking skills of computer coders by completing the hands-on, no-tech-needed activities like making friendship bracelets, drawing, paper fortune tellers and more.
An engaging nonfiction introduction to and stories of women in coding today written by the founder of the Girls Who Code movement. The audience for this book could be girls who have never coded before, girls who know code but want to learn more about the women making a name for themselves in the coding world or parents wanting to empower and inspire their own girls.
Part journal, part activity book, this book is all about inspiring creativity in coding.
Intended for parents to help guide their kids with basic coding projects in Scratch and Python. A visual guide with examples, tips from experts, and a glossary.