Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks App Poster Image

Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks



Fun coding puzzler helps kids ease in to complex concepts.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn the concepts and logical thinking involved with computer programming. They'll develop spatial reasoning, work on geometric principles, and learn about programming concepts such as conditional statements, loops, and sequencing. They'll learn to use the most efficient commands to create clean programs. In the digital age, programming skills are considered an important aspect of literacy that everyone needs to effectively use and understand technology. Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks is a great building block to get kids interested in programming and help them understand the concepts involved.

Ease of play

Kids need to be independent readers, but the drag-and-drop puzzles slowly build in difficulty so kids will grow into the challenge. Kids get multiple chances to complete a puzzle if they make a mistake.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The free version includes one puzzle with the others available as in-app purchases. The full version includes all the puzzles.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks brings elements of the well-respected website Tynker to the iPad. The simple drag-and-drop interface of the iPad makes exploring programming logic even easier for elementary school-age kids. A free version lets kids try one puzzle and then purchase others individually or all as an in-app purchase. Alternatively, the full version can be bought as well. Kids can replay levels if they fail, with hints to improve their "code." Kids need to be independent readers since instructions are written.

What's it about?

TYNKER - LEARN PROGRAMMING WITH VISUAL CODE BLOCKS starts kids off using simple programming logic as they drag and drop visual code blocks, which are basically building blocks that fit together with written explanations of what code does. Kids don't see the code at all, but they apply the concepts programmers use when coding. Each level gets a bit more challenging and introduces concepts such as conditionals (if/then statements) and looping. Successfully completing one level unlocks the next. Themed puzzles are “Codey’s Quest,” "Lost in Space," "Dragon Journey," and "Lazer Racer."

Is it any good?


Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks uses an approach similar to other programming-logic apps for kids, making programming accessible using visual blocks of code or commands. The story-based puzzles make it fun for kids, and the drag-and-drop moves and explanations make it easy for kids to pick up. The different puzzle themes are varied and will appeal to a broad range of novice coders. It doesn't include the depth offered at Tynker.com, though, where kids complete 16 lessons and have the opportunity to create their own programs, but it's more affordable than the Web subscription. Kids will have fun learning how programs work and thinking like programmers, and they'll develop skills that are increasingly important in the digital age.

Families can talk about...

  • Explain to kids that the visual blocks represent code that instructs the program what to do. In your browser window, right-click and choose "inspect element" or "view page source" to show kids what actual code looks like.

  • Once kids understand the logic involved with programming, let them play around writing their own programs at Code.org, using tools such as Raspberry Pi, or with apps such as Codea.

App details

Devices:iPad, Android
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically
Communication: multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Pricing structure:Paid, Free (Tynker comes in two different versions--regular and premium. The regular version is free, featuring a few free levels and then in app purchases of new levels. The premium, paid, version features all of the levels unlocked.)
Release date:May 6, 2014
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Space and aliens
Size:81.50 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

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Educator Written byMrs. Reed November 23, 2014

Tynker - Learn to Code Using Visual Blocks - Watch out for the weapons

This app is extremely well written and kiddos will enjoy it. Creating your own projects is amazing to see how creative kids can get telling their story while learning to code. Using the free app's create your own project option, the new character creator offers weapons a child can select under accessories. Please be aware of the space gun (very similar to an automatic gun), revolver and sword. If the weapons were removed, or at least the space gun turned into a lightsaber, I would use this app in elementary school classrooms to teach computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Kid, 10 years old May 10, 2015

Great start to Programming

Tynker is a great place to start programming because it takes you step by step. Once you finish the tutorial you can do it yourself!
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Kid, 9 years old April 19, 2016


There is so much to do in this game. I made a funny tofu!
What other families should know
Easy to play/use


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