Tynker

Website review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Tynker Website Poster Image
Parents recommend
Coding concepts empower kids through courses, games.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn coding logic, including loops, conditionals, variables, etc.They can also learn Python, Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

Violence & Scariness

Games can be programmed with zombie characters and graveyard settings, and characters can use weapons (lasers, swords, etc.) if programmed to do so. Some of the activities are combat-heavy.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Some licensed character content including Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Monster High.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tynker is a web-based course collection that teaches kids the logic of programming using visual blocks of code as well as actual coding in Javascript, Python, HTML and CSS. Kids can try a handful of courses for free, or parents can subscribe one child or create a family accounts. Kids can share the programs they create online and view programs written by other kids. The paid courses also include a library of resources for kids to use to create unlimited programs. Many of the courses are based on role-playing games and are battle-heavy. There's no blood or gore, but characters may carry weapons like a sword or bow and arrow. 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhejjo December 5, 2018

AMAZING

i LOVE this site, and so do my kids. it wasnt easy to get there though, she had to CONSTANTLY buuuuuuuuuuuuuuug me to do it but in the end, i love it and #never... Continue reading
Parent Written byAndrea B. January 18, 2019

Not intuitive at all

The trial run in my sixth grade class. Intelligent kids. They had a very hard time figuring out how to navigate through the screens
Kid, 11 years old October 3, 2016

WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME

DO NOT BUY THIS FOR YOUR CHILD!!!!!!! It's just a cheap knockoff of Scratch, which is FREE. My mom wasted her money for this because it said it can "M... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byStardust3178 December 17, 2018

They took my CS discoveries classes Pythonroom work!!!

THIS IS NOT OK! WE DID A LOT OF WORK IN PYTHONROOM AND NOW IT IS ALL GONE!!!!!! DO NOT EVEN THINK OF GETTING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WITCH I COULD RATE IT 0 STARS

What's it about?

TYNKER is a learn-to-code platform that starts kids with visual coding and graduates them to writing in actual code. The block-based programming is based on  Scratch, a tool developed by the MIT Media Lab to teach kids the concepts of programming. More advanced kids can explore written code with courses in Javascript, Pyton, HTML and CSS. In the courses kids watch videos, work through programming tutorials, take quizzes to check for understanding, and work on their own programs. Most of the courses are game-based, engaging kids in a storyline as they learn coding concepts. There are topics that will appeal to a wide range of users, including RPG games, science, cooking, space, and animals. There are also some brand partnerships, such as Barbie, Monster High, and Hot Wheels. Minecraft fans can learn more about Minecraft modding and even dabble on a private server. The dashboards change based on the age, interests, and skill levels of the participants. Parents of subscribers can also access a dashboard to see what their kids have been learning and any certificates they've unlocked.

Is it any good?

This is a treasure trove for kids who are interested in learning to code, whether beginner or more advanced. Tynker does a lovely job of inviting kids in, especially younger users, with colorful and fun dashboards and plenty of cute characters to code with. If anything, the experience may be too overwhelming. With so many choices and courses that don't explicitly state what they teach, it may be difficult for kids to choose what to do next. Newer users would benefit from a clear lesson progression. Older kids may appreciate the more streamlined experience. And those who are ready to use real code will have no trouble locating the courses they need.

Tynker includes a nice range of topics so kids who aren't gamers will still find fun things to do, such as art and music-related lessons. The biggest win may actually be the open-ended coding tools that allow kids to use either real code or block code to create whatever type of game or activity their imagination can conjure up. So many coding activities for kids lock them in to predetermined actions that Tynker's sandbox coding options are a breath of fresh air. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning to code with Tynker and the types of careers that are available to coders. What would you create?

  • Talk about fighting in video games. Why do so many games involve battling? Does that make it more or less fun?

Website details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love coding

Themes & Topics

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