This is my favorite time of year. You might be thinking that I love this time of year because it is getting close to Christmas, but that is not the case for me. For one week in December, schools have an annual Computer Science Education week. During this week there is also an event called Hour of Code. For those who love computers, like me, this is a week to focus on exploring the exciting world of computers with kids, and with adults too. In honor of this week, and the Hour of Code event, I would like to share with you fun ways to learn about computer programming.  You might think that this is too difficult a topic to learn about, but there are some fun and engaging ways to learn about computer programming. If you have ever wanted to explore the subject of how to talk to computers and get them to do things in new and interesting ways, check out these online sites and apps. 


Scratch is a programming language developed by MIT to help teach students how to program in a playful and visual way by snapping together different types of programming blocks to create a program. With this programming language, you can create games, program characters (also known as sprites) to dance, or create interactive stories. You can also share these projects with the Scratch community to gain support for projects you are working on. If you are a teacher, you can also sign up for a teacher’s account in order to create a Scratch studio where you can teach your students about computer programming. This site gives people a fun way to begin learning coding concepts such as conditionals, functions, and loops.  

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Snap is another fun programming language for both kids and adults. Like Scratch, it uses a block-based programming language, which allows you to create programs by snapping together colorful blocks. This language can be used to program robots like the Finch robot, as well as other engaging projects.  

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Swift Playgrounds

If you enjoy using an iPad or iPhone, consider downloading the Swift Playgrounds app. This program gives you a fun way to learn about using the Swift programming language, which allows you to create programs for Apple devices. The app provides an environment where you use code to direct a creature through a range of tasks that become increasingly more complex, and introduces learners to coding concepts as they progress through the different challenges.  

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Sphero Edu

If you have a mini sphero robot, consider trying out the Sphero Edu app. This app allows you to program your sphero through drawing, using a block programming language, or learning how to use JavaScript to program your robot.  

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For those who would like more of a challenge, consider learning Python. This language is an excellent language to begin with, and has real-world applications. You can find the Python program and IDLE software at If you have a Windows 10 computer, you can also install Python by downloading it from the Microsoft store. If you are unsure of how to get started with this language, consider checking out the Great Courses How to Program class from the library’s Kanopy streaming service. W3Schools also offers helpful courses on learning Python and many other programming languages as well. 

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One last online resource that is worth checking out for kids, and for those who are kids at heart, is This website gives you the opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code event that happens annually. It also will give you access to resources that will help you learn more about coding, as well as resources for teachers who would like to help their students explore the world of computer programming.  

In addition to these websites and apps, there are many wonderful books and resources that the library has to offer for those interested in learning about programming. The library’s database Udemy offers courses on programming languages such as Python, Java, C#, and C++. There are also many wonderful books on this topic to check out from the library. Some examples of these books are Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World and Beginner’s Step-By-Step Coding Course

Learning more about the world of computer programming is a valuable experience. Computers are tools that are present in everyone’s life, and understanding how computers work and how to talk to them, is a very valuable skill. Hopefully these resources will help you to have as much fun with the world of coding as I do.