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Summer Holiday Developer Resources

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Summer Holiday Developer Resources

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I was chatting to my wife, who is a reception school teacher, over a box of “Number 1 Teacher” chocolates about what we used to get up to during the summer holidays. Amongst many fond memory's of karate, swimming, biking and drinking cider in the park I also recalled the hours I used to spend on my C64, Amiga and SNES.

It was during those long summer holidays that I probably started programming. I recall copying a reaction game, line by line, from the back of the C64 manual and being rather impressed with myself when it worked. So I started wondering, how do kids get involved with programming and learning online nowadays? After a few hours of research here is a list of my favourite things for kids to do with computers this summer holiday.

Phonics Play

If your child's a little too young for programming but you want them to learn whilst they are online the PhonicsPlay website provides Interactive games and information for Parents about phonics which is a core part of the early learning curriculum.


A platform on which kids can build games. There is a PC version and an XBOX version, personally I think it works best on the XBOX. Its supposedly just for kids but I must admit to getting quite addicted myself.

Small Basic

Tries to make coding accessible fun for children and it succeeds. As you start to type, the code is explained on the right hand side. The code hinting is fantastic and makes it really easy to experiment and discover new methods and functions.


This LOGO like application allows children to control an onscreen tortoise by using various commands. It has a few different levels and so it can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Of all the programs this was my favourite. There is something about it’s simplicity that I love.

Hackety Hack

This application let's you learn Ruby easily. It's a great way to get someone interested in programming not just Ruby.

  • NO, NO, NO. Get them out in the fresh air, playing with other children. Personal relationships are far more important than personal computers.

  • I'm not saying they shouldn't be out playing... just saying that if you want to introduce a child to programming then this is a good way.

  • Nice one, this is exactly what I was looking for! My 8 yo has been taking an interest in programming and I was wondering where to start. Thanks.

  • WOW!! First these little toys, then next year they can hack into your blog.

    But overall, its a good collection

  • @Klix Haha Maybe that would be a good follow up post. How to get Kids interested in Hacking ;)

  • Nice collection, I'm getting the children on these once they're back from holiday. Thanks for digging 'em up.

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