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Tynker Junior

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Tynker Junior App Poster Image
Great coding intro for little kids that focuses on fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic coding logic while also being creative.

Ease of Play

Easy for little kids to use and navigate.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Can access more content via subscription.Though kids can access all content without subscription at first, they'll eventually see prompts to urge subscription. There's also a link to the Tynker app with a single-digit math-based parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tynker Junior is a lead-in to the popular Tynker: Coding Games for Kids app that teaches kids coding skills. This version requires no reading and starts simply enough that even really young kids can get on board. Kids will do best if they can recognize numbers and count. While the app is free, it has limited content. Full access requires an in-app subscription purchase of $0.99/month or $9.99/year (a free one-week trial is available). Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

TYNKER JUNIOR has three learning areas: Ocean Odyssey, Robots, and Wild Rumble. In each, kids explore coding logic concepts through fun activities and games. Ocean Odyssey asks kids to help fish navigate mazes before designing their own aquariums. Robots invites kids to create simple code to assemble specific robot parts and then control the robot's behavior. And Wild Rumble brings kids out into virtual nature as they help various creatures explore their environment. Each of these begins with simple examples and slowly ramp up skills over time. 

Is it any good?

Where coding logic games for kids often become tedious and repetitive, this breath of fresh air assumes that kids understand the concept of moving forward a number of steps and skips the drudgery.  Tynker Junior has cute animals, quirky customizable robots, and a fun environment. Kids will delight in designing items such as aquariums and dancing robots as they progress. But the best part of all may be that there is no need to place 10 commands to move forward 10 spaces, which is often one of the most irritating things about coding apps. Instead, Tynker Junior has some levels where the characters move until they hit a wall, and others where kids specify a number to show how many times to repeat the movement. It not only removes the tedium, but it simplifies a concept that a lot of kids struggle with when first learning to code. While learning their coding skills, kids will also practice matching shapes and objects and counting. They'll even learn a bit more about wildlife, including endangered species. This is a great intro for kids who are a bit too young for Tynker, and older kids may enjoy some of it, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about following step-by-step directions in Tynker Junior and other contexts. How do people follow directions differently than a computer? 

  • What is coding? What types of jobs require people who can code?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love coding and STEM

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