Monday, 5 December 2016

Hour of Code 2016 - Join in at Home

The Hour of Code 2016 runs from Monday December 5th to Sunday 11th December. The event aims to get lots of kids (and teachers) to try an hour of coding through a variety of fun activities for different age groups and abilities. Your children may get to do an hour of code and come home wanting to do more (yay!) or they may not get the chance. Either way you can join in with the Hour of Code at Home.

This year there are loads of Hour of Code activities. There's a new Disney Moana activity and another Minecraft themed activity from, the host organisation for Hour of Code. And there are lots of activities from other organisations. Many of the activities allow kids to earn a printable Hour of Code certificate which is always very popular.

The Hour of Code a great opportunity for kids to try coding for the first time or to try a different kind of coding. It's also a great way for parents to try out coding in a fun no-pressure environment.

You can head to to find activities suitable for different ages and experience levels.

Here are a few highlights that we think are worth checking out:
  1. The new Minecraft activity allows kids to spawn mobs and control their behaviour. I've already used this activity with children in an after school club and it went down very well. They're experienced Scratch coders but sometimes it's nice to do something a bit different. 
  2. Kano is a Raspberry Pi based computer and operating system for kids. but you can do their Pixel Hack Hour of Code in a web browser. My 10 year old and I used this programmatically create some pixel art from Elbrie's Pixel Art Advent Calendar
  3. Wolfram Cloud has an interesting musical Random Melodies activity. My older son is really interested in programming music at the moment so we're going to give this one a go. 
  4. AgentCubes online has an Hour of Code tutorial that teaches kids how to built a Frogger style game with 3D graphics
  5. Program your own pixel art avatar with School of Code using HTML and CSS and then animate it with JavaScript. 
  6. For something a bit different, try the text compression activity which is introduced by musician Aloe Blacc. Kids will learn how text, graphics, music and videos are compressed to take up less space. 
  7. For teens and adult beginners we like Hello Processing which introduces the processing language for creating electronic art and media. 
  8. Make School has a Build an iPhone app in a web browser tutorial using the Swift language from Apple. 
Don't miss the Robotics section which is on a separate page. This section features several of the robots that we have reviewed here at Tech Age Kids including Sphero, Dash & Dot, and OzoBot.

Also, take a look at our Hour of Code - What's New for 2015 post from last year as there are lots of fab activities there that you can still do next year.

The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.

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