Unplugged Coding Activities for Kids

Coding is an important skill for children to learn. It helps develop their logic and problem-solving skills.

These fun coding activities are easy and intuitive for kids of all ages. They use real-world objects to teach students about coding algorithms like conditionals. Some even use no computer screens at all!

Unplugged Coding Activities

Unplugged coding activities are the perfect way to introduce kids to computer science without ever having them touch a screen. They help students learn the basics of coding before moving on to more complex ideas like algorithms and debugging. They also provide a great way to get all of your students involved, as many coding games are gender-neutral and simple enough to be easily understood by the youngest learners.

One fun coding activity that is sure to grab students’ attention is the Route Mapping Coding Game, which is suitable for kids aged 4 and up. This unplugged outdoor coding activity requires nothing more than chalk and an area to play on, so it’s the ideal choice for parents who want to encourage their kids to learn coding but are reluctant to expose them to technology too early.

The game helps children practice sequencing, debugging, and loops by following instructions to navigate through a dotted hopscotch maze. They must follow the order exactly as written, or they will need to debug and begin again. This is a great way to teach children the importance of following directions and building their communication skills, which are essential for many STEM careers.


Scratch software is a block-based programming language designed for kids 8-11. This and other similar visual programming languages were developed by MIT Media Lab in the early 2000s to introduce children to computer programming and coding. Many colleges now use them to teach introductory computer science classes.

Scratch has a large library of pre-made “starter projects” that kids can remix, but it’s also easy to create your own interactive stories using the software. The elf adventure game Treasure Cave is a good example of an engaging and interactive story that can be created using the program. This type of storytelling and coding is great for kids of all ages because it teaches the concept of decomposition — breaking down a complex project into small, easy-to-understand parts — a key computer science principle.

Another cool Scratch project is this one that teaches kids about binary code, a series of 1s and 0s that forms the basis for all computer coding. Students will build a code that instructs a robotic mouse to navigate a maze. The code must be written in advance and can only be executed if the mouse makes it to the end of the maze without hitting any obstacles along the way.

Play That Tune

While most coding activities require kids to use a computer or tablet, many unplugged activities can teach them some of the basics. These screen-free coding activities help children build important patterns and skills that are the basis of coding.

For example, this fun coding activity teaches kids how to write a sequence of 1s and 0s, the basic computer coding language. This activity also introduces the idea of conditional statements, which are statements that can change a program’s actions based on specific conditions.

Another fun unplugged coding activity is this one, which teaches kids about binary code (a series of 1s and 0s) by building a LEGO maze that they can then program a mouse to navigate. This is an excellent way for older kids to begin thinking of code as a different language, and it also helps them understand how to debug, which is the process of finding the part of a program that doesn’t work correctly.

Another fun coding activity is this one, which lets kids create their own websites using HTML, the programming language used to create websites. This is a great option for middle school students who are ready to start putting their coding skills to the test!


If you have a kid who loves LEGOs, many fun unplugged coding activities utilize the little plastic blocks. Binary puzzles, for example, help kids understand how code is written, as every block represents a binary number of 1s and 0s. This activity is great for preschool-age children.

Another fun coding activity uses Legos to teach sequencing and debugging. Kids build a sequence of steps that the robot must follow, and then they play the game to see if it works. This is a great way to help students think like computer programmers and use problem-solving skills to find errors in the code.

For older students, a variety of board games introduce programming logic and syntax. For instance, the free Hot Dog Coding Game teaches kids to program the robot to move the bread to the hot dog while avoiding tables and chairs. Other popular coding games include Code Monkey Island and Robot Turtle, both of which teach students how to debug code and understand programming concepts.

For middle schoolers, there are a number of coding platforms that allow them to write code and watch it execute. One such platform is Lightbot, which allows students to create their own robots and write code that they can immediately test. Other platforms, like Minecraft for Education and Tynker, allow students to learn about coding through an interface they already know well.

Egg Carton Coding

At this time of year, many families have a lot of egg cartons on hand. They make for excellent STEM activities for kids to have fun while developing their logic and problem-solving skills. This unplugged coding activity is a great way to introduce the idea of algorithms while teaching kids how computers think (in a very fun and playful manner).

The tops of many egg cartons read like veritable billboards with words such as “free range” and “hormone free.” But a few codes on an egg carton tell us a little more about the eggs we buy.

One code on an egg carton is the Julian date, a 3-digit number that indicates when the egg was packed in the carton. You can use this information to find out how fresh the eggs you’re buying really are. Another code on an egg carton is a batch or lot number that can be used to track the source of the eggs. This code can be particularly important if there’s a product recall or if you’re worried about the safety of an imported egg. Domino offers a variety of industrial egg carton marking options, including our Gx series thermal inkjet coders. This coding solution is specifically formulated to address the challenges of printing legible codes on transparent substrates such as plastic egg cartons.

Water Blasters

This fun water-blaster game allows Kids to learn coding basics without using a computer. It teaches them about sequencing and decomposition, both essential computer science skills. They’ll practice breaking down a task into small parts to create a specific sequence and then finding out if they did it correctly.

This is a great way to introduce the concept of binary code used by computers. It’s a fun, hands-on activity that can be completed in any outdoor setting and works for kids of all ages.

Younger children can learn about coding through a LEGO-based activity that teaches them the importance of each block and color and how these can be translated into binary codes. They’ll also have a blast building their own robots and playing a game that teaches them the difference between sequence and order.

This coding app allows kids to use blocks to program a virtual robot to complete tasks. It’s one of the most interactive ways to teach coding and is designed for kids as young as preschool. Students can even compete with their peers online and use their coding skills to save a virtual yeti! They’ll also love a free coding game developed with Disney to help Moana protect her island from coconut-stealing pirates.

Cup Stacking

Cup stacking (also known as sport stacking or speed stacking) may not look like much of a sport but watch a few video clips of competitive cup stackers, and you’ll be amazed at the dexterity and focus required. In fact, studies have found that speed stacking improves reaction time by as much as 30% and helps to develop hand-eye coordination and attention skills.

While the skill level required to participate in cup stacking can vary widely, most children are able to learn how to stack cups up into pyramids of three or six and then back down into nested columns. The sport has grown rapidly and is now a popular youth activity, with recreational and sanctioned competitions occurring throughout the United States and around the world.

Bob Fox first introduced speed stacking to Texas schools in 1998, and after an overwhelming response, he started traveling across the country to present this new sport to PE teachers. By 2000, he had left his school district and dedicated full-time to Speed Stacks as a home-based business. Today, more than 20,000 schools worldwide have incorporated speed stacking into their PE programs.