Finding the best coding books for kids may not be something that immediately occurs to you when you first think about how to start coding for kids. Isn’t learning to code supposed to be a hands-on activity? Well, not entirely! And coding books can really facilitate the process of code learning.
Hence we have gathered a list of the best programming books for kids below including how-to manuals and interactive workbooks to help you encourage your children’s programming skills. They are organized by age groups and each one (except for number 3) covers a specific programming language for kids.
1- The Official ScratchJr Book
Help Your Kids Learn to Code
The Official ScratchJr Book is a full-of-hands-on-activities supplementary book that introduces young learners to ScratchJr—a drag-and-drop programming language for preschoolers. In short, the activities in this book are broken down into simple-to-follow steps to assure you that your children can actually “build” something from the very beginning. In summary, this book is a must-have among all coding books for kids and for learners with zero coding experience who are using the ScratchJr program by themselves or are taking an online ScratchJr course. Actually, if you try an interactive guided Scratch course you may not need to go through the book at all.
Age Range: 4-7
Price: 11.99$ (Kindle), 8.39$ (paperback) – Prices may change
Buy this book: The Official ScratchJr Book
2- DK Workbooks:
- DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook
- DK Workbooks: Coding in Scratch: Games Workbook
- DK Workbooks: Coding in Scratch: Projects Workbook
- Coding Games in Scratch
- Coding Projects in Scratch
The author Dr. John Woodcock has written all the programming books for kids in this series in an easy-to-follow format. Arguably the best book for complete beginners who want to build basic programming skills with Scratch. The first book explains how coding works and helps children accomplish easy coding actions. So, it’s better to start with the first one and continue with one of the following two companion coding books on the list. The first three programming books in this series include written concept quizzes as well in order to examine children’s understanding of basic programming concepts.
The only downside of this series is that since all these coding books are written for Scratch 2.0 and there are not any revised editions for Scratch 3.0 available yet, some of the tasks may not match the menus if you are using Scratch 3.0. If you think that your child may feel confused about how to complete the tasks, you can benefit from DK Workbooks: Computer Coding with Scratch 3.0 Workbook by Craig Steele from the same publisher. A better option is to take an online guided Scratch course that costs less and covers similar tasks.
Age Range: 6-9
Price: From 5.99$ for each – Prices may change
Buy This Book: DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook
3- Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook:
The Complete Middle School Study Guide
The content of this book really matches its title! It splits into 8 units that start with explaining computing systems, data analysis, software engineering, universal programming principles (variables, conditional statements, loops, events, procedures). After that, it moves on to clarify how two programming languages (Scratch & Python) and web development tools (HTML & CSS) work. This programming book for kids is more of an introduction to computer science and fundamentals of coding with Scratch, Python, HTML, and CSS rather than a workbook that enables children to explore a specific coding language.
Age Range: 11-14
Price: 11.09$ (Kindle), 11.57$ (paperback) – Prices may change
4- The Ultimate Unofficial Encyclopedia for Minecrafters:
An A – Z Book of Tips and Tricks the Official Guides Don’t Teach You
Think twice if you believe that your “Minecraft expert” doesn’t need anything besides Youtube videos and Minecraft “Guide to” series. This 176-page book written by the New York Times bestselling author Megan Miller gives insight to boys and girls who want to gain a good understanding of each topic; mining, building, the Nether, etc.
The overall structure of the book is similar to an encyclopedia which makes it easy-to-reference. However, you might find topics that are not covered in this programming book because the target audience is mostly “readers who love the fight of good vs. evil, magical academies like Hogwarts in the Harry Potter saga and games like Terraria and Pokemon GO.” according to the book description on Amazon. If you are considering starting Minecraft with educational purposes to introduce coding to your young kids, put this book aside and enroll in a Minecraft online course that does the same thing and saves you time and money.
Age Range: 7-12
Price: 11.99$ (Kindle), From 14$ (paperback) – Prices may change
Buy This Book: The Ultimate Unofficial Encyclopedia for Minecrafters
5- Python for Kids:
A Playful Introduction to Programming
Python, as you may know, is a programming language that resembles English in syntax and avoids the complications that some text-based languages do. A good option for children! For kids who are seeking to learn Python on their own, this book is a great resource. Children will have done building at least two games and understood the basics of programming with Python by the time they finish this book. It is divided into three parts. The first part explains the basic functions like variables and loops. The remaining two parts are for projects that inspire children to make more games later. Among all coding books for kids, this one is a little bit more serious on the content. We can say that it is one of those programming books for kids that even the complete beginner adults can take advantage of. Regardless of the target audience which is the children.
Age Range: 10+
Price: 20.99$ (Kindle), 20.76$ (paperback) – Prices may change
Buy This Book: Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming
6- Java Programming for Kids:
Learn Java Step By Step and Build Your Own Interactive Calculator for Fun!
Bestselling author R. Chandler Thompson will help your children begin their journey as Java programmers by presenting easy-to-follow instructions in his programming book for kids. He explains Java as a programming language first and then moves on to giving instructions for operating the language, building interactive programs, and creating a talking calculator. In conclusion, the best aspect of this coding book is that it offers basic foundational information that enables children to work on other Java projects on their own.
Age Range: 12-18
Price: 20.99$ (Kindle), 12.99$ (paperback) – Prices may change
7- C++ for Kids:
A fun and visual introduction to the fundamental programming language
One of the best coding books for kids who are absolute beginners, want to shift from Scratch to another programming language, and those that are looking for an introduction to C++. Just consider it as a brief colorful book to introduce loops, arrays, functions, and if statements to your kids. Children are not automatically going to start programming on their own in C++ after finishing this book. But, if your children are already familiar with the environment of this programming language and you are looking for something that enables them to code in C++ the next programming book can be your top-notch choice.
Age Range: 7-9
Price: 7.95$ (paperback) – Prices may change
8- C++ Programming In Easy Steps
From the “in easy steps” series written by Mike McGrath, this book starts with explaining how to install a free C++ compiler. A compiler converts your code to a machine language that the computer understands so that you can build your own programs by duplicating the projects in the book. In addition to these basic assignments, C++ Programming in Easy Steps covers examples of object-oriented programming in an easy-to-follow style. This strategy makes it a good option for the kids who simply need tip-top coding books for children to begin learning on their own. At the same time, even grown-ups can benefit from it if they find the other C++ books difficult.
The other aspects of C++ language that are covered in this book are guides to performing operations. Making statements, handling strings, reading and writing files, pointing to data, creating classes & objects, harnessing polymorphism, processing macros, and programming visually. All in all, the material in this book is concise, well-written, and accompanied with visually appealing graphics.
Age Range: 13+
Price: 9.39$ (Kindle), 9.41$ (paperback) – Prices may change
Buy This Book: C++ Programming In Easy Steps
Age Range: 10+
Price: 20.99$ (Kindle),20.76$ (paperback) – Prices may change
10- The Ultimate Roblox Book:
An Unofficial Guide: Learn How to Build Your Own Worlds, Customize Your Games, and So Much More! (Unofficial Roblox)
Here is another bestseller on our list of best programming books for kids. The Ultimate Roblox Book helps children build their own games with the Roblox platform where people can make their own games and share them with other players.
To begin with, the game is coded in Lua under an object-oriented programming paradigm. This coding platform enables the players to manipulate the game environment as they want. This book also prepares children to begin making their own games. This is done by giving tips on everything they might need, from guidelines for playing the game to basics of coding in Lua.
Age Range: 8-11
Price: 12.16$ (Kindle),From 9.99 $ (paperback) – Prices may change
11- Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids
In brief, what makes this book one of the best coding books for kids is its engaging story with its two adorable characters, Ruben and Scarlet. Kids learn strings, boolean, loop, flow, and other coding concepts through these two characters’ adventures in a magical land. It is consequently guaranteed that children will be hooked on programming to help Scarlet and Ruben solve the kingdom’s problems; for example, they help the plumber to fix the flow of water in a broken pipe. By the time your kids finish this book, they will have a basic understanding of Ruby.
Age Range: 9-12
Price: 17.99$ (Kindle),23.55$ (paperback) – Prices may change
Buy This Book: Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids
Note: Just bear in mind that coding is a vast subject. It certainly takes time to identify what programming language and teaching methods are best for your child. Reading books can be challenging and time-consuming for some kids (especially for little children). Above all, you may get constantly and unwantedly involved to help them find their way through the book. Not to mention that the cost of books can be a barrier. If you want your kids to start learning to code we suggest enrolling your children in an online Scratch course first. Then, You can decide what step to take next.
We tried to gather a list of programming books that are appropriate for novices that we hope you experiment as you wish. Please drop a line in the comment box if you have any experience with coding books for kids that we haven’t mentioned here.
Editor: Michael Mitryakov | Writer: Negin P
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