The Challenge

Codecademy is one of the better known online coding schools. I asked myself if it would be possible to take the curriculum from Codecademy and layer it with game mechanics in such a way that a child would be able to following along in the coursework.
New Elements

The first step was to create a story out of the coursework. In order to have a story, you first need characters. The star of Codecademy Kids is Ratchet the monkey. His job is to build robots.
Rather than having students pursue badges, let students earn collectable robots. What is the significance of building a robot?
Codecademy lessons are divided up into Tracks, Weekly Courses, Sections, and Subsections.  Each weekly course would be a new robot to build (earn).  Each completed section would be equivalent to Ratchet building one part of the robot.
Repurposing Existing Elements

I think having a drag and drop 'template system' would make coding simple for children. This is an idea borrowed from one of the more successful children's coding programs, MIT's Scratch.
As the student learns new skills and concepts, they are added to Ratchet's toolbox for him to reuse later, in order to build new robot parts.
All instructional text is contained in word balloons.  Grey balloon text is purely informative, blue balloon text indicates that a task is being given, and pink balloon text appears when the hint / help button is tapped.
All editable code is contained in pieces of colored construction paper.  Anything that would be in the editor appears in this format.
Anything that would appear in the console is shown as grey text written directly on the notebook paper.  
The holes in the looseleaf paper are a visual element to help the student keep from losing his or her place when scrolling.

Final Details

Additional side games could be used for more advanced students or to help with common sticking points.
Ultimately, any product that can take a complex subject like coding and present it to children in a way that promotes goal-oriented behavior without being too overwhelming will be a successful product.

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