Tag Archives: fun learning

Text-based and block-based coding for kids

Tech has become inevitably present in our everyday lives and will become even more so a few years from now. In consequence, tech or XXI century skills have passed from novelty to an actual necessity. Learning how to code has quickly become a must in every school, rather than just an elective. Coding enables children to express their creativity through another language, the language of the future.

You may be wondering if a child of any age can learn how to code…. well, believe it or not, the answer is yes. Even kids who can’t read and write yet can do it. Yes, as surprising as it might sound, it’s true. This is possible because there are 2 types of coding languages: block-based and text-based (line) code. Let’s explore a little bit more about the coding languages that your child can start with.

Block-based coding

About 20 years ago the MIT Media Lab introduced the concept of block-based code with a language named Scratch. The objective was to create a way to program computers by simply dragging and dropping puzzle blocks that represented complex programming commands. This new method opened the doors for kids to create through programming without having to write a single line of code. With block-based code, teaching and learning the basics of computer science became accessible to young learners.

Text-based and block-based coding for kids

But how does block-based code work? Block-based code, or visual coding, uses colorful drag and drop shapes in a workspace to simulate the coding. Children can create sequences of actions according to the color-coded categories they choose. There are movement blocks, control or events blocks, blocks for adding loops, variables, and functions. 

Block-based code is the simplest and most fun way for kids to start learning the logic of coding. The best thing about this is that despite being a simplified form of code, your children will be able to create and run games, apps and animations. Besides, block-based code will give them a solid basis to understand text-based code later.

Scratch is one of the most popular block-based coding languages out there. We actually use Scratch in some of our Micro Coding Classes because it favors pattern recognition, enhancing the understanding of the structure and logic behind programming. Additionally, block-based coding is a great first step for kids to go from the basics of programming to a more advanced level with text-based line code used by professionals.

Text-based coding

On the other hand, we have text-based line coding. This type of coding language is basically typing instructions while following syntax. Syntax, just like in spoken languages, is the grammar and spelling rules of a coding language. It can easily be introduced to kids after they understand block-based coding or if they are at an appropriate developmental age.

Learning the syntax of text-based coding languages is easier when kids recognize that each section of text-based code corresponds to the blocks they learned with block-based code. This is where kids will start understanding text-based coding languages and applying real computer science knowledge.

In simple terms, text-based programming languages are typed using a keyboard and stored as text files rather than the drag and drop style that block-based code uses. Some of the most popular text-based programming languages are Python, Java (used in Minecraft), and JavaScript.

With text-based coding, kids, and even expert coders, can tackle some typical problems while starting coding. Some of the most common ones are Syntax Errors, Code Styling, and Readability. These are small and very common errors that learning how to face can help kids better understand the languages and processes they are learning.

The question about when we should start teaching our kids text-based coding often arises. And the answer is, there’s no specific age to start with. To use text-based code, kids should know how to write and read, but other than that there’s not a specific age when to start. Actually, just like in any other spoken language, the earlier a child is exposed to it, the easier it is for them to catch it. 


Learning to code at a young age is a fundamental skill that will grow in children as they enter into adulthood. It enables children to understand the technology that surrounds them, becoming not just users, but developers and creators of their own reality. 

A Fun STEM Project to Complete Over Winter Break

At CodeREV Kids we see it all the time: A kid who once didn’t care at all about school can get so excited about science and technology classes that they’re actually sad to take a break over the holidays. The good news is that we’re here to help! We offer awesome winter camps but we’re also here to offer advice on a cool science project that can be completed over winter break.

Science that doubles as a snack

Do you remember rock candy from when you were a kid? It’s actually fairly easy to make, but it does take some planning and a lot of patience. To get a completed product, you’ll have to wait a week to ten days but it’ll be well worth it.

Your end goal is large crystals but you’ll need to start with small ones. Begin by dissolving two cups of sugar into a cup of boiling hot water. This is very hot so be sure you’re supervising or taking the lead on this part.

Then let it cool for ten minutes. Pour it into a clear glass, such as a mason jar. Take a pipe cleaner (which you may see marketed at a chenille stem) around the middle of any pencil. Leave a tail at the end that’s about four to six inches. Put the pencil on the rim of the glass to let the tail hang down into the solution. As you’re waiting for your crystals to form, keep the glass out of direct sun and away from doors or vents. The purpose is to keep the temperature constant.

Every day, take a few minutes to check the progress and track the growth. After about a week to ten days, take the pencil out of the jar. Don’t worry if there’s a layer of sugar that tries to keep it stuck, just break it off with a spoon. Then rinse your candy and put it on waxed paper to dry.

Make sure your kids write down what they believe is happening

This is a cool experiment that results in a tasty treat. Be sure to teach kids the science behind the crystals and why they’re “growing.” As with coding classes, this is a lesson taught that won’t even feel like a lesson!

If you want to learn more about winter coding classes for kids, why coding is great for them, or different ways you can get kids excited about science, CodeREV Kids is here to help.