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Before I begin, please ensure that you are happy with the app's or website's content and supervise your children when online.

Coding is now on the curriculum, starting from the ages of 5. “What???”, I hear you say. Don’t panic, it’s not as scary as it sounds. You actual know how to code at key stage 1.
Coding is extremely important in the world of computing, mobile phones, smart TV, cars, Alexa. It’ hidden on everything we see. It’s embedded in websites, apps and games. We can’t see it unless we’re programming ourselves. It all sounds a bit like something from the film The Matrix and complicated but it’s a lot simpler to understand than you think.

Coding is a set of instructions that teach a computer to perform a task (bear with me). For example, if you were a computer and I was your programmer, I would write a set of instructions to teach you how to pick up a cup of coffee. For example; grab cup, lift cup, move towards mouth, open mouth and drink.
If you’re still with me, congratulations, you now understand KS1: Coding basics. Now you’re ready to find the coding apps and links to make your child into the next programming genius.

The child ratings are by my 8 year old daughter.

LIGHTBOT HOUR-FREE Android & Ios & Online
6+ I have put this at 6 plus because the levels progress very quickly but I think you could go younger with parent-help to keep it entertaining.
Kids really enjoy this simple coding app, direct the robot to the end by selecting the correct directional arrows and the light panel for the end. It’s very easy to use and progress through the levels. 
Child Rating ++++
Parent rating +++++

RODOCODO ONLINE (app store not tried) Provided by the school
Create a pattern to guide your avatar around the map to collect coins. It’s easy to use and very intuitive. You have to achieve 3 stars to gain next level access. The company has rated this 4-11, so there will be plenty of levels to get through. This has been provided by the school so I cannot find pricing information but I am sure if you contact the company, they will be able to help.
Child Rating +++++
Parent Rating ++++

Untested by me but looks very good for Primary & Secondary
The Amazon Future Engineer Programme is investing heavily in schools, pupils and future teachers. There are couple of free interesting games here to try all in Python.
Hour of Code: Dance Party Primary age
Primary aged content. An interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial that gives students the opportunity to build their computer science skills and have some fun coding characters to dance to songs from leading artists.

Build the Future: Secondary age
Join Amazon Future Engineer and fly drones, design smart cities and create chatbots with Python. Access 20 hours of free content, these resources use a Python Programming Platform, exploring ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ themes, plus a moderated forum and handy FAQs. Students can earn experience points for completing the work and earn badges when they unlock skills.

8+ years 
This website has lots of video tutorials to help parents to teach their kids code. There is a great programme called Scratch that can be found at www.raspberrypi.org. It’s taking the basics that you have learned in Rodocodo and lightbot and pushes you further into the programming world.
Once you’ve messed around with Scratch you can then try Python which is fantastic program language. Sounds a little like a dangerous snake but this is a very good program that allows you to practice code. It’s a common computer programming language, so if your kids fancy becoming the next games developer or app maker, you can use Python with Raspberrypi.com or with Python.org.

This is for the hands-on parent who’s willing to mess around with computer code and their 10 year old child or for the competent 11+ years.
I would suggest starting with downloading the FREE Python software at www.python.org . There is a lot of information to help but to get you started double time go to the https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers and scroll down to Resources for Younger Learners with lots of links. There you can build a Tamagotchi style pet called Build a Pypet  There is more to download but so far it appears free.

There are so many tools and resources out there it’s a very exciting time to be a programmer.



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