If your kids are interested in learning more about programming but you aren’t sure where to start with some of the fundamentals, codeSpark Academy has released a free-to-play Snoopy game that might be what you’re looking for. They won’t be able to create their own games from scratch, but Snoopy Snow Brawl does show kids how to break down a problem step by step, in the form of a friendly snowball fight.
In this Web-based game, players click on Woodstock and friends and then prompt them to take individual steps to win the competition. It starts out with simple throws at stationary targets, but it eventually becomes more complex to incorporate movement, jumping, item gathering, and more. Once you get the basics down, you can take on your friends, too.
If you’re interested in learning more about coding logic, but are a little too old for all this Snoopy business, take a look at Jeff Marchiafava’s roundup of four fun coding games.
As a parent, sometimes you have to hide the broccoli. This certainly isn’t the end-all, be-all of programming instruction, but it’s a great place to start.