Introduce coding, computer language and programming skills to kids as young as six in a fun and imaginative way. With Tynker, a newly released iPad app, your budding coders will build their engineering skills through fun games and storylines. With science, technology, engineering and math simplified into a gamified experience, Tynker will make coding your kid’s second language.

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Photo: Thijs Knaap via creativecommons flickr 

Why Tynker
With 5 million users to date, Tynker originally started out as an online school with tutorials, lessons and programs for kids to learn. Its powerful visuals and easy to use toolset encourages kids to logically and creatively engage with technology. Tynker’s game-like environment also rewards kids with badges for overcoming challenges as they understand computer language more and more. Now by popular demand, Tynker has just released an iPad app for tiny programmers who want to learn on the go.

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Tynker with Games and Stories
When you download the free app, only one game is included (the rest must be purchased in-app). With Puppy Adventure, little coders will get the chance to figure out how to program Pixel, the lost puppy, to run and jump back to his owners. As kids drag and drop visual blocks, they’ll learn how to recognize patterns, solve problems and develop logical skills to reach their goal. The game also utilizes a step-by-step process that tests kids’ mathematical skills (for example: making sure the correct number of commands is inputted). Blocks will light up as Pixel obeys them, which shows little ones exactly what’s happening and why. Kids can always go back and redo each level to perfection.

Real Life App-lication
Best for kids who can read and count, or tots with parents who want to read aloud, the app’s courses are aimed towards kids ages 6 and up. The guided yet self-paced lessons help kids build proficiency in problem solving while increasing success. If your kid stumbles through the course, the app will offer encouraging answers so that even tiny techies with no experience can learn through trial and error. As kids strengthen their programming concepts, they’ll gradually be able to progress towards real programming languages like Javascript or Python.

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At the moment, the app preview comes with one free storyline and two other in-app purchasable games (for $1.99 – $2.99), which include over 130 puzzles (these storylines are free if you play online through their “Hour of Code”).

To learn more about Tynker, visit their website or download their app at the iTunes store here.

Tell us what you think of this new app.

— Christal Yuen