A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, hypothesis-testing, prediction
Tech Skills: coding
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: February 1, 2018
- Category: Education
- Size: 117.50 MB
- Publisher: TechSpaghetti
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later
For kids who love coding and STEM
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.