Hopscotch, Programming Designed for Everyone: coding for kids

Common Sense Media says

Easy-to-use visual tool makes programming fun for kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids simply drag and drop to create programs, but there's not much how-to given. Kids are left to explore and figure it out after a brief example.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Players are not required to submit any personal information, but there's no privacy policy to explain what, if any, data is collected. Kids can share their programs with the community. Programs are uploaded instantly with no moderation. Kids are instructed not to use their real names when uploading.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hopscotch HD is a drag and drop programming app for kids to write their own programs. Kids need to be independent readers in order to follow the instructions and commands and "write" their code, but there is no objectionable content in the app. Kids are empowered to create programs that control characters and can add text to their programs. While Hopscotch HD will appeal to all kids, the character-based design may be especially appealing to girls (or boys) who may not be as drawn to the industrial-looking designs of programming apps like Cargo-Bot. Kids can view programs created by other kids in or upload their own programs to the community. Kids are instructed not to use their real names. Postings appear immediately with no moderation.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The characters and colors are fun and vibrant, and the app empowers kids to create open-ended options.  

Learning Approach

Hopscotch HD is a good example of scaffolded learning. Kids get the support they need to create programs and build confidence before they encounter the intricacies of coding.

Support

More tutorials or sample programs would help kids grasp the concepts more quickly, but the interface is intuitive and each control is defined in the help section.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn and practice the fundamentals of computer programming on a mobile device. Using visual blocks that represent programming concepts, kids create their program -- whatever they want -- games, animations, fun messages. Kids are exposed to the ideas they'll use in programming with more sophisticated languages without worrying about the minute details just yet. They'll think like programmers -- from coming up with their own idea to implementing it and troubleshooting it. Hopscotch HD is a great tool for budding programmers.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids create games and animations with HOPSCOTCH HD by dragging and dropping commands and instructions into a script. Kids choose characters -- colorful monsters or animals -- and customize commands to make the characters move where they want or do what they want. Kids are empowered to determine specifics -- like how far their character moves, the color and size of trail it leaves, creating a line or shape, changing its size and costume, etc. Kids can share their programs with others via a link or on the Hopscotch community board in-app.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hopscotch HD is a great introduction to hands-on visual programming. Kids don't have to worry about missing intricate details like a closing parenthesis just yet, but they can see how each command is carried out and the importance of each step and its placement. Unlike the few other early programming apps currently available, Hopscotch is open-ended, so kids can create what they want rather than writing the code to make a character do what they are told to have it do. This option may be paralyzing to some kids at first, but they'll just need some encouragement to take some risks and have some fun. The app only offers one tutorial example, though, and then kids have to create the actions on their own. More examples or even some step-by-step guided programs that kids could copy would enrich the learning value of the app. The community features some great examples of what kids can create, along with some not-so-stellar examples, as everything uploaded appears instantly with no moderation. Many posts feature kids begging for "stars," the say to show appreciation for a program. At the time of review, there were was objectionable content in the programs, but that is certainly a possibility in an unmoderated community.

Families can talk about...

  • Once kids have mastered Hopscotch HD, steer them to MIT's online application development tool, Scratch.

  • Talk to kids about the growing STEM fields and the evolution of computers, programming, and mobile devices. As digital natives, they are often unaware of just how new mobile technology is.

  • Start kids off with step-by-step logic apps like Kodable Pro or Tynker and then move them to Hopscotch to create their own programs.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:April 16, 2013
Category:Education
Size:12.60 MB
Publisher:Hopscotch Technologies
Version:2.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of Hopscotch, Programming Designed for Everyone: coding for kids was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator and Parent of a 3, 9, and 9 year old Written bykimc2 January 19, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

My kids love it but I'm concerned

Overall this is a great app. My kids love making projects on it. The concern I have is with the ability to post pages for other users to "sign". My daughter has mentioned that she has communicated back & forth w some users in this way. Doesn't seem very safe. We are trying to be vigilant but if it becomes problematic, this app will have to go.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide