Learning to encode is a big thing for the kids these days and for good reason. It is a great way to learn problem solving, logic and help with brain development ̵1; even for children who are not focused on a computer science career.
In addition to the problem-solving skills, coding also teaches how to create things for themselves, from programming routines for robots to simple apps and software. Buy them a coding subscription box and you will put your child up with some valuable transferable skills.
Unlike STEM-based boxes – like those found in our best science signing boxes for kids list – there aren't many coding options that give you a physical subscription but those out there are pretty good. We have narrowed things down to some specific categories, so whatever your child's interest, there is something for them here. Here is our choice of gang.
Best Overall: BitsBox ($ 24.95 per month to $ 37.95 per month)
BitsBox is the best coding subscription out there. Each month, your child is introduced to a new computer science concept through some fun but educational projects.
Another theme is provided each month, such as animals or robots, so there is something fun and immediately available to the box, even if your child has no clue about it yet. For $ 24.95 a month, Basic BitsBox provides multiple app projects, a binder to keep all materials stored, along with stickers and progress schedules. For the adults there is a guide that teaches them the finer details of the coding concepts and commands that are taught to the child that month – the adult guide that helps you follow and interact with your child is a really nice touch. For $ 37.95 a month, Deluxe BitsBox offers everything there next to a set of trading cards with extra apps to build, temporary tattoos and a mysterious toy as well.
Whatever you go with, it's pretty good value for money as well as high learning.
Best for a bulk purchase: Thimble ($ 99- $ 199)
Thimble is not presented to you as other subscription boxes. Rather than paying each month and getting a new box sent to you a few weeks, you buy the whole course and split yourself for a few weeks. It's worth it.
Currently, there are four different courses with intro to technology and computer science as the most logical place to start. For $ 99, children can learn the basic building blocks of electronics and computer systems while assembling 12 mini-projects from start to finish.
The kit comes with a number of basic sensors, indicators and actuators, all based around the Arduino (so it is cross-compatible with other coding kits). You can do something fun like a Simon Says machine or robot lover, and mount a doorbell or intruder alarm. Thimble can do away with some of the shorter elements that something BitsBox offers, but it's great for young teens to grab things without feeling patronized. Later kits contain a climate-based kit, as well as more advanced robotics. Keep in mind that these more advanced kits cost $ 199.
Best to get hands-on: MakeCrate ($ 24.95 per month)
Much like Thimble, MakeCrate is a pretty handsome -coding learning. There is some physical assembly and sub-programming. Each month, a kit is sent containing the parts needed to complete at least two projects. Interestingly, you can also combine items from previous months, so there is always a point to keep track of items. Each month builds on the knowledge you gained last month.
All projects follow step-by-step instructions that go you and your child through every part of the journey. There are also video tutorials to enhance the knowledge. Projects can include things like building your own calculator, musical instrument or room alarm. Basic, fun projects that your child will use throughout their daily lives.
Best For Crossover Skills: Creation Crate ($ 29.99 per month)
We have recommended Creation Crate before but it is worth mentioning twice. Partial electronics, sub-programming, there is a natural overlap here, which means that it is perfect for showing children how their coding ability can lead to other things.
Box Electronics and coding is the one that should go for this. It teaches children how to program and build electronic projects using Uno R-3 and other components. Compatible with Arduino, it is a good thing to come in if you want your children's knowledge to expand over time.
Every month you get everything you need. It includes all the craft materials you need, each component needed for assembly, along with detailed instructions on what you need to do. There is also access to the online classroom for further insight into what you learn and how it can interact with other parts of the study. Each month, the projects become a little more challenging so your child will continuously learn new ideas.