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FOR KIDS AGED 8-12

10 Best Coding Books For Kids That They'll Love

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Girl Learning to code

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In this technological age, more and more people are becoming interested in computer science.

Being able to code is a valuable accomplishment: it's basically the way we tell computers what to do, and in a world that's increasingly reliant on computers, learning to program them is an immensely desirable and marketable skill.

Whether your child dreams of becoming an employed tech-industry aficionado or simply wants a fulfilling new hobby, teaching them to code is a great thing to do for a number of other reasons. Firstly, it helps kids learn to think logically. Coding is essentially translating the instructions needed for a computer to complete a task into a language it can understand. There are many different computer programming languages, each with its own features, and translating into them requires plenty of rational reasoning and conceptual thinking. Learning to program can help kids practise problem-solving, increase cognitive function and apply analytical thinking. In other words, it's a pretty beneficial pursuit.

In order to teach kids to code, you need to make sure you have the right equipment and resources. A computer and a steady internet connection are, of course, a must. Scratch is an excellent platform for teaching kids the simple coding concepts, though there are lots of other free resources you can check out. Then you need a guide; if you're not a first-class coder yourself, this is where a good kids' coding book comes in. The best programming books for beginners should cover the basic coding concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand format with plenty of pictures and diagrams. Often they will focus on one particular coding language, so as not to overwhelm beginners (Scratch, Python or Java, for example).

If you're looking for the perfect books on computer coding for kids, take a look at our pick of the best coding books; we've specified which language they teach, what their best features are and which age they're best suited for so that you can make an informed decision.

Our Top Choice

KIDADL TOP PICK

Lift-The-Flap Computers And Coding By Rosie Dickens‍

Lift-The-Flap Computers and Coding.

A truly interactive introduction to coding, this book makes use of fun lift-the-flap learning incentives to entice kids into finding out what happens inside a computer and why they do what they do. Each flap represents a different computer part, making for a clear, concise and aesthetically appealing beginner's guide to understanding computers. Younger kids may need some help with the reading, so make sure you're on hand; it might be a good opportunity to learn something yourself!

  • Price: £7.72
  • Age: 7+
  • Length: 16 pages

Best For Website Building

CoderDojo Nano: Building A Website: Create With Code By Clyde Hatter‍

CoderDojo Nano: Building a Website: Create with Code.

CoderDojo is a community in itself, a volunteer-run movement offering free coding workshops for youths age seven to seventeen. This accompanying programming book is an excellent starting point for kids looking to learn the basics of website coding using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Its step-by-step instructions, useful hints and tips and bright illustrations make it a great beginner resource; kids will have their own website up and running in no time.

  • Price: £10.06
  • Age: 8-12
  • Length: 96 pages

Best For Beginners

My First Coding Book By Kiki Prottsman‍

My First Coding Book.

If you're looking to get your five-your-old familiarised with the basic ideas behind coding (the terms, concepts and what have you) before they actually get near a computer, this book's for you. Packed with flaps, sliders and visually-appealing diagrams, it presents the essentials in a straightforward, interactive way that will have them understanding loops, conditionals, variables, debugging and pattern recognition in no time.

  • Price: £11.99
  • Age: 5-7
  • Length: 24 pages

Best All-Rounder

A Beginners Guide To Coding By Marc A. Scott‍

A Beginners Guide to Coding.

Written by the Head of Curriculum Development for the computer science education charity 'The Raspberry Pi Foundation', this coding book is bursting with expert knowledge. It focuses on both Scratch and Python programming languages and details on how to create your own chatbot and even make your own computer games. With a simple, easy-to-follow style and tons of great images, this book will teach kids all the essential skills they need.

  • Price: £6.99
  • Age: 8-10
  • Length: 64 pages

Best For Under 5s

Hello Ruby: Adventures In Coding By Linda Liukas‍

Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding.

This is an excellent kids' coding book for younger children; they don't even need a computer to get learning. The format is a sort of picture-book / workbook hybrid, and it cleverly teaches children as young as four the basic concepts of coding without getting into the actual languages. Follow Ruby on an adventure as she meets different friends and learns how to search for patterns, think outside the box and crack big problems by breaking them into smaller ones. These core programming concepts are presented in a way that will make young kids actually want to learn them.

  • Price: £10.99
  • Age: 4+
  • Length: 112 pages

Best-Step-By-Step Guide

How To Code In 10 Easy Lessons By Sean McManus‍

How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons By Sean McManus.

This is a great guide to coding for children that teaches the core skills in an easy-to-digest step-by-step guide. Kids will learn how to use Scratch to write basic code, use loops, create a webpage and all sorts of other useful skills. A great overview of the essentials with simple instructions and helpful accompanying illustrations that will help any kid get to grips with the basics.

  • Price: £18.59
  • Age: 8-11
  • Length: 96 pages

Best For Tweens

Python For Kids By Jason Briggs‍

Python For Kids By Jason Briggs.

The ultimate guide to learning Python, a popular programming language that's definitely worth learning. It's a pretty hefty text, but it covers everything in exhaustive detail and manages to keep it light and engaging throughout (no mean feat). With tons of activities to complete and lots of handy programming puzzles to keep kids on their toes, by the time they've completed the book, kids will have programmed two entire games, as well as learnt to create animations with Tkinter, use control structures like conditional statements, use fundamental data structures like lists and maps and a bunch of other skills.

  • Price: £20.33
  • Age: 9-12
  • Length: 344 pages

Best For Teens

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide To Programming By Jeremy Moritz‍

Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming.

This computer science book is an excellent introductory guide for teens looking to learn JavaScript. The informal tone keeps things lighthearted without being patronising, and the information is presented in a way that remains compelling throughout, so teenagers won't even think about giving up. Each section builds upon the last so that every lesson is continually reinforced, and routine quizzes give kids the chance to check their knowledge and further solidify their understanding. A clear, entertaining and methodical guide to computer programming for kids that are a little older.

  • Price: £16.56
  • Age: 12-17
  • Length: 232 pages

Best For Under 10s

Coding For Beginners: Using Scratch‍

Coding for Beginners: Using Scratch.

Scratch for kids is the most popular programming language platform in UK primary schools and provides a great way for children to get to grips with the fundamentals of coding. This spiral-bound book is a great resource; step-by-step instructions to creating games, building a brand, making animations and even create a virtual pet are all presented in a bright, colourful layout, with hints and tips suffused throughout.

  • Price: £12.99
  • Age: 7-11
  • Length: 96 pages

Best For Layout

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide To HTML, CSS, And WordPress By Nate Cooper‍

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress.

Not only does this book guide teenagers through the basics of HTML markup language and CSS technology, but it also does it in comic book style! Super engaging, thorough and appealing to the eye, this is one of the best coding books for kids looking to design their own website; it teaches all the ins and outs of WordPress (the content management system used by a huge array of popular websites), instructing kids how to select themes, install plugins and customise a web page in a host of other ways. Your child will be a website whizz before you know it.

Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best coding books then why not take a look at our best children's books about birds, or for something different take a look at our Harry Potter gifts.

  • Price: £11.99
  • Age: 12-17
  • Length: 264 pages
Author

Written By

Olivia Ward-Smith

Originally from Manchester, Olivia has spent the last couple of years living between Toronto and Vancouver. She now works as a freelance writer in London and loves literature, travel and eating anything sweet. Her love of spending time with children began when she worked as an au pair in Paris.

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