Coding, the Musical

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Coding, the Musical App Poster Image
Kids learn bite-sized coding concepts, listen to cute songs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Simple coding concepts and programming vocabulary; storytelling.

Ease of play

Easy to use. Mostly just point-and-click. A parent page explains more details about how the stories appear, how the subscription works, and the learning method.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Coding, the Musical helps kids learn simple programming concepts and vocabulary through a musical storytelling game. With 52 stories, 150 songs, 100 games, and 14 coding concepts, this subscription-based app helps young coders-to-be learn the basics (such as "we can get computers to make things by giving them commands," and "we put our commands into an array"). The free, one-week trial gives access to 12 stories immediately, and then a new story appears weekly. Kids will spend an estimated 15 minutes on each story. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To play CODING, THE MUSICAL, tap the unlocked sample level. Watch the musical intro about "making a story," and follow the audio instructions to tap the icons to build a house. The app shows how the commands cause the first, next, and last items in the array to be added to the story in that order and teaches some basic vocabulary: "The array executes our commands." Select from types of homes, windows, flowers, animals, and more. Tap the arrow on the right side to move onto the next screen, or tap the arrow on the left to return to the previous screen. Watch as the choices the player has made in the array correspond with what appears on the screen. When the player finishes the arrays for that scene, the character will sing a song. The next scene with array-building tasks then appears.

Is it any good?

If you're looking for a learn-to-code app that's similar to a "first reader," this could be a good choice, but only if your kid won't mind a break in the action for some music. Young kids who love the big, dramatic singing styles in musicals will likely love Coding, the Musical. The bright, cartoon visuals on this app are OK, but they aren't great. Even the youngest kids using this app may notice its mismatched sounds and visuals; the characters' mouths and actions aren't always on point with the audio. Also, kids in the upper end of the target age range may find it too simple or repetitive: Having paths for different skill levels might widen the audience. What is great about Coding, the Musical, however, is that it's easy enough to use that even kindergarten-age kids can begin to gain a conceptual understanding of coding and the vocabulary that goes along with the skill, all while building storytelling skills in a fun, interactive way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the vocabulary used in Coding, the Musical. Encourage your kid to repeat and use coding-relevant words like "arrays," "functions," "variables," and "loops."

  • Ask kids why they made the selections they did in the process of building the story. There's a lot of creative storytelling practice that can be tapped on this app along with the coding lessons.

  • If your kid doesn't like musical-style songs, this app could quickly get on their last nerve. Check out Common Sense Media's Cool Coding Apps and Websites for Kids list to find alternatives.

App details

For kids who love coding and STEM

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