Do you have a child that is interested in Game Design and Coding?

What are good games that stimulate programming? What are good websites? I get these questions a lot from parents.

Recently, a 7 year old took my Game design course and was so inspired, she wanted to learn more. Perfect! So for all the parents, kids and teachers out there, here are 4 great links that get you into Game Design.

Minecraft (of course)

Your kids are probably already playing it. Minecraft is a fantastic environment for early Game Design. In "creative mode", you can run around and build entire 3D worlds. System blocks are a feature which allow events and game mechanics to be programmed using some basic coding. Due to it's popularity, there are a variety of sites, videos, tutorials and friends to learn more from on how to "create" in the game.

One excellent site is which supplies educational resources using Minecraft's platform. Teachers and classrooms all over the world are turning to Minecraft to teach a variety of subjects in a simulated environment. Everything from Geography to Physics is being taught using Minecraft. Have a look at this mod developed for Minecraft that teaches Quantum Physics principles.

Introducing qCraft, a mod that brings the principles of quantum physics into the world of Minecraft.

This game was designed to teach the basics of coding in a leveled game. You have to help a monkey, er code monkey pass each level. To do this the players must type code commands to move objects to let the monkey pass. Each level teaches a new step in the coding process with fun animals to help remember the terms. Like Turtles for SHELL commands. Help the Code Monkey!


This is a fantastic game that is available on the iPad. It teaches the basics of coding using pre-made animations, characters, and an easy to use interface. I was lucky enough to get a first hand workshop in the game by the co-creator at DLDWomen conference. I watched as two middle aged women in my group learned how to code their first game. It was a blast.

These are all projects made by kids using the Hopscotch App. Awesome, right?


MIT has made an online coding site, much like Hopscotch. It allows users to easily build programs using code as lego blocks. Each project can be shared to the public to be played. If you see a game you like on scratch, and want to learn how they made it, just click “see inside”. This allows you to copy the project and change it around to make it fun for you.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab. Music: "And It Spread" by The Avett Brothers.


Super Mario Maker

This Game allows players to design their own Super Mario Levels. This is a great way to learn the basics of level design in a 2D platform game. Have a read from Chris Kohler's Wired review about What Super Mario Maker taught him about Game design so far.

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