Looking for a brighter future for your kids? Perhaps coding could be the answer? Take a look at this Code Kingdoms review to see how we got on and whether it was worth the money.
A few weeks back I was reading the news and saw an article on Elon Musk. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Musk is the owner of Tesla and a very rich man. According to the news story I read, he had started computer programming at the age of 12. And with me being the father of a 11, 10 and 7-year old I had £ signs in my eyes. All of them love computer games, so getting them to code or programme could be my answer to early retirement.
And as fate would have it, a few days later I saw an advert on Facebook for a company called Code Kingdoms. They promised to help teach my child to code with either Minecraft or Roblox. So, with the promise of early retirement looming, I decided to sign-up. Or at least sign my son, George up.
What is Code Kingdoms?
Code Kingdoms is a company that aims to teach coding to kids. Using easy to follow videos and simple language it will teach children how to code using Java and Lua. And it uses two of the biggest games – Roblox and Minecraft.
Is Code Kingdoms safe?
Servers that your child has access to when coding are ‘whitelisted’. That means that only people approved by Code Kingdoms can go on there. So, no complete weirdos hanging around. Hopefully…. And Code Kingdoms need very little information about your child, so their identity should be kept secure.
Which membership to choose?
Depending on the size of your family or how much you have to spend, you will need to decide if you want an individual account or a family account. A family account is obviously ideal if you have two or more children that want to try coding. Having separate accounts means that they don’t go over the same topics or delete each other’s work.
But if money is tight or you’re not sure that all your kids would be interested, there’s no reason why you can’t just try an individual account and let each child attempt the first few modules before seriously tackling the course.
Your next choice will be to decide how long you want subscribe for. You can choose 1 month, 1 year or a lifetime. The longer you subscribe for, the better value you receive.
Personally, I would choose a monthly subscription as we all know what kid’s attention spans are like. However, if you choose the longer option, Code Kingdoms does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
There is a free trial option with Code Kingdoms, which gives you a 30 minute course to try.
Roblox or Minecraft?
As I mentioned above , the two games available to code with are Roblox and Minecraft. Both are very popular, so you would like to think it’s just a matter of choosing your child’s favourite… but it isn’t that simple.
Now, if your family is like mine, you’re probably used to your kids playing both of these games on their tablets for hours. And it’s great because it’s all free.
But there’s an issue when it comes to coding. Although Roblox is free on your PC/Mac, Minecraft isn’t. That means that if you don’t own a copy already, you will need to spend an extra £20+ plus.
Being the cheapskate I am, I encouraged George to use Roblox.
Any Code Kingdoms discounts available?
It’s pretty difficult to find any discounts. Although, I’m guessing that’s because you can’t discount £9.99 per month that much!
However, if you’re willing to wait until Black Friday, you can find a couple of discounts. In 2020, this was 33% off an annual subscription and 50% off a lifetime membership.
Roblox with Code Kingdoms in action
I would happily pay far more for this kind of course if it meant my children all grew up to be computer whizz-kids. So the proof in the pudding was how my kids coped with it. I had visions of hours of peace as they improved their minds and worked towards their new career.
I signed up, logged in and passed the computer to my 10-year old George. Off I went, put the football on to enjoy an afternoon of peace. 5 minutes later I heard “Dad, how do I do this?” With a deep sigh, I went to the rescue.
Although the courses are made as simple as possible, you will need to lend a hand. It’s nothing too complicated, but still not the ‘feet-up’ experience I really hoped for.
A lady called Lara, guides your child through the coding process, giving them a step-by-step guide.
But our experience so far?
I’ll level with you. This is actually my 2nd review of Code Kingdoms. I joined 2 years ago and had an issue with Minecraft. Originally, you could code use Minecraft Pocket Edition (for the tablet). However, there were issues and it was no longer supported. They did refund my membership fee though without any problems.
But as we were in lockdown, I thought we would try again. And I’m still unconvinced. Maybe it’s George, maybe it’s Code Kingdoms. But he completed several courses and the last few efforts he made just didn’t work properly.
And because it’s a video, there is nothing to tell you where it went wrong. Lara might have a very kind voice, but she won’t tell you where it all went wrong. I then found that George became a little disheartened and he ended up just playing Roblox instead of coding.
In the end, we only stuck it for a month. The enthusiasm George had for it disappeared after only a couple of attempts. I also tried to introduce coding to my 7-year old daughter, but she lost interest sooner than George.
My Code Kingdoms review conclusion
So, is it worth joining Code Kingdoms? I love the idea of what they’re trying to achieve, I really do. It means that children can spend time doing things that they enjoy and learn at the same time.
The issue is, most of us learn from our mistakes, but this is very difficult to do when there is no feedback from the courses.
With all that said, the staff have always been polite and sorted out. And, you don’t really have much to lose with the money-back guarantee.
But a tip to Code Kingdoms – please set up a live chat option!
And why not take a look at KidStart, a site that earns cashback for your child’s savings account every time you shop.