Blockly Games Introduce Kids To Code
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 22 August 2014

Google has launched a set of games where instead of just playing you write the code. Using Blockly requires little or no typing and lets young or novice programmers discover core coding principles in an intuitive way.



Google Blockly was launched as a technical preview in June 2012 and as we reported, is a graphical language implemented in JavaScript which can compile to JavaScript, and also to Dart or Python, in which you program by dragging and dropping code blocks onto a design surface.

Since its appearance, Blockly has had a rapid take up and played a major role in last year's's own contribution to last year's Computer Science Education Week. Its Hour of Code tutorial took the form of a set of 20 Blockly-based puzzles designed to  teach the basics of computer science for users aged "6 to106"  with no prior experience and it is the language being used for's K-5 Computer Science curriculum that is about to be launched for elementary schools (kids aged 4 to 8) in the US.

Google Research has now come up with Blockly Games which is intended to "engage kids in constructive, meaningful learning" and turn them into tomorrow's programmers. However, as with the Hour of Code, anyone whatever their age can enjoy the fun - and absorb programming principles along the way.


There are seven graduated activities starting with a simple puzzle to introduce the idea snapping together Blockly's interlocking pieces. The maze game starts simple but gets progressively more difficult in order to provide an introduction to loops and conditionals and in Bird control flow is explored with increasingly complex conditions. When you get to Trutle you'll use nested loops to paint a picture and can publish your art to Reddit for the world to see.

Mathematical equations are introduced in Movie and used to animate a movie which gain can be published on Reddit. In the two final games you make the transition from the familiar Blockly-style blocks to conventional text-based programing. In Pond, where you have to program the smartest duck the blocks contain JavaScript code and in Pond JS, where the ducks are faster and more skilled you write the code yourself.




Blockly Games is web based which has advatanges and disadvantages. If you try to access it at a busy time you may see this "Over Quota" error message:




It is perhaps an indication of just how addictive Blockly Games can be.




More Information

Blockly Games

Related Articles

Google Blockly - A Graphical Language with a Difference

Code In The Classroom


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Last Updated ( Friday, 22 August 2014 )