Tynker Introduction to Programming {Review}


When we think of programming we usually think of adults or even older children. I know when I would hear the words “programming course” I didn’t assume it would be something children as young as ours could take! Tynker not only makes that possible, it’s what they are all about! They enable children to learn programming and design, and they get to think creatively and use their imaginations as well! They offer home courses, which are great for homeschool families like ours because we can fit it right in to our curriculum, but they can definitely be used by children who attend a school on evenings or weekend as well because the courses are totally flexible! They also offer grade specific curriculum for schools as well!

Tynker’s Introduction to Programming is recommended for children in grades 4th-8th, but we have been using it with our 7 year old who will be starting 2nd grade in a few weeks when we start our new homeschool year. One of the reasons for the age recommendation is that it does require reading, so I knew my husband or I would have to sit with him during the time he was working on his course. He is on the Autism Spectrum, and reading has been a struggle. Doing things on the computer, though, is something he LOVES, so I knew it would be worth it to see his excitement as he goes through the course!

The course introduction does start off with a story that involves a lot of reading, so I definitely saw right off the bat where that recommendation comes into play. I read all of it, though, and actually had all three kids standing around because it starts off as a fun adventure! Who doesn’t like a good adventure? Not only did it start off as a fun adventure where he is gets to be a superhero, but Brayden was told he would earn badges along the way. So he gets to do something on the computer, which he enjoys, and he gets to have a fun adventure and earn rewards, too!


The lessons go step by step and even have video tutorials mixed in along the way as well. By the end of the first lesson, he was already using codes and put together a scene with a background, character, music, and sound! It didn’t surprise me so much that he did that well as much as how quickly he caught on to the codes just by watching the tutorials. Although he can’t necessarily read what the words say, he can recognize them by their looks and in comparison. The only thing that was challenging (and still is a little challenging) is choosing sound since those are just words and not a visual. Because we sit in with him, though, we are able to just ask what sound he is looking for, and help him find it. Then we allow him to add it to the code himself.

Because we had a stomach bug the week before Thanksgiving (and then I got it again Thanksgiving night), we haven’t gotten through as much of the course as we could have by now. Realistically, you could easily complete one lesson per day – or even more if your child is enjoying it and ready to move on. Because we are sitting in to help and have the other two kids sitting close by “helping” as well, one lesson per day is our maximum. If we hadn’t been sick I believe he could have definitely finished the course in 4 weeks, which would be one lesson per day, 4 days a week as there are 16 lessons.

Of course, there are over 200 activities available over those 16 lessons, and some children may want to just have a couple of days to create projects and have fun! That’s why I love that the course is flexible! Now that we’re all feeling better again, Brayden will be able to wrap up before Christmas, though I know he will be one of the kids that will love to keep creating projects in the Tynker Workshop!

A couple of great features for parents is that we can monitor his progress in the parent dashboard. Although this isn’t a feature we necessarily need since we are sitting in with him during his course work, this is an extremely helpful feature for parents who aren’t that want to see how their child is doing, and how they are progressing. Parents can see the projects their children have created, and they can even choose to add their children’s projects to a showcase to share them with family and friends!

I am so glad we were introduced to Tynker! Brayden gets to do something he really loves, and he feels so good about what he is accomplishing! He is having FUN and learning so much! I think it is a great course, and I love that there is a programming course available for young children! It really breaks things down in a way young kids can understand and makes things fun in a way that young kids love to learn! Find out more about why kids should learn how to code.

Tynker Hour of Code

*Exciting News!*

Tynker is a curriculum provider for the Hour of Code initiative by CSEdWeek and code.org. They have built 8 new free tutorials (pictured above) specifically for the Hour of Code! These free tutorials give you the opportunity to see what coding is all about! They vary in ranges from Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-8 and have both Beginner and Intermediate. Learn more about Tynker’s Hour of Code.

Give the gift of Computer Programming!

More exciting news! Tynker recently enabled gifting on their website just in time for the holidays! This allows any adult (including a parent) to gift the Tynker Home Course to a child. Give a gift that is both fun and educational!

Tynker Gift

For More Information:

Visit the Tynker Website
Sign up for Tynker’s Newsletter
Connect with Tynker on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

*Giveaway!!!* {ended 12/21/13}

Do you know a child that would love to learn programming? Here is the chance to win the Introduction to Programming Course! One lucky reader will win one free Tynker Home Course – Introduction to Programming (A $50 Value)! The giveaway will run from December 7, 2013 through December 21, 2013 at 11pm Central Time. It is open worldwide ages 18 and over. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.

review and giveaway


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  1. hangontite2000 says

    I learned that there are 8 Hour of Code tutorials

  2. Anil Pereira says

    Great blog post. Really well done. Tynker is great.

  3. David Smith says

    I like that as a parent, I can have my son just go to the website and start the lessons. He is wanting to do something in the video game industry when he grows up, so this would help him in learning programming.

  4. A friend passed this on to me. My boys would love it!

  5. lori mallaro says

    My son would LOVE this! He wants to learn all of it 🙂

  6. Tara Carlson says

    I like that their programming puzzles start as early as 1st grade – this is something I would love to see my 8 year old start learning, since he loves computers and video games!

  7. I learned that Tynker is a partner and curriculum provider for the Hour of Code 2013.

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