For Teachers

For Parents

Game-Making Tools for Schools

Playing games is a surefire way to engage students, but making games can be just as absorbing. Game design and development builds art, math, and coding skills, and offers students an outlet to show what they know. These game-making apps, games, and websites are great examples of this, balancing the fun of play with the challenge of coding and design. With these tools, students will embark on creative, energizing experiences that'll get them thinking in new, exciting ways. On this list, we've curated options for entry-level designers that ease kids into building stuff that's a blast to play. We've also made sure to include tools that help students create games that feel authentic and that help students obtain skills they can use when they level up to more pro-grade software. 

    Roblox is a gaming and social-network app aimed at young people aged 12+.  The experience it provides leans heavily on communication skills and it can be a gateway for would-be game developers to start creating.  It is available across many formats including iOS, Android, Amazon and Windows. An open, social network-based app for children that, while free to download, encourages players to spend as they play was likely to attract controversy and it has.  This review of Roblox focuses on whether Roblox is safe for kids.

    Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad


    If you are looking to dive into learning a coding language but do not know where to start, then Codecademy is a wonderful platform to get your feet wet at a very reasonable monthly price.

    Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad


    Minecraft Pocket Edition is a mobile version of the popular Minecraft PC version. Minecraft Pocket Edition is widely played and much loved multi platform virtual construction game is surprisingly unutilized as an educational tool. Minecraft Pocket Edition download is available for iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices.

    Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad


    Codea is is a software development tool that includes resources to teach kids to program in the Lua programming language. Kids familiar with programming can pick it up and pretty quickly start writing their own programs, like games or other graphics.

    Devices: iPhone, iPad


    Scratch Junior Coding App is an app designed by the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, and compliments the Scratch programming Language that many school and students are familiar with. ScratchJr download is available for iPad and Android devices. Scratch Junior is an iPad app designed as an even earlier introduction to computer programming and multimedia creation. The interface and the graphics are excellent and the app is very easy to navigate. Split into two section of sample projects and personal creation. We recommend that the student samples the basic projects first to see how the coding is applied and use the Book icon to explore the instructions and interface. Once the student understands the interface and what each Block programme does they can create their own projects and save them. The programs created are more like short narrative cartoons and although character interaction is limited the possibilities are endless and will keep students entertained and inspired for hours.

    Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad


    Tynker is a web-based learning system that teaches kids how to code. Aimed at 7 year olds and above, Tynker's self-paced courses let kids experiment with visual blocks before working its way up to teaching the fundamentals of JavaScript and Python. Tynker is also available as an app for iPad and Android devices.

    Devices: Android, iPhone, iPad


    Sketch Nation Create is a visual tool that lets users easily create games without any coding. Kids can create their own games or play games created by others. Kids can choose to create side-running, up-jumping, side-flying, traffic, lander, up-scrolling, platformer, match-2, or match-3 games. After choosing the type of game, kids choose to work in simple or advanced mode, depending on the number of levels they want to include.

    Devices: iPhone, iPad


    The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop is a video-game-design app. Kids can create, play, and modify their own arcade-style games. If they want someone else to play the game they designed, kids must share the device. As in many other Tinybop apps, kids are given the freedom to figure things out for themselves, though there are more parent-friendly instructions in several languages. Kids and adults alike can create their own games in The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop. More than simple arcade fun, this game creator is a powerful learning tool because kids define problems, develop possible solutions, test the game, and then come back to make improvements.

    Devices: iPhone, iPad