Education and Development Resources

To provide some assistance during Hampton’s city and school closures, some library vendors have opened access to educational resources to help parents and children through May.

  • Virtual Appreciation Projects — United Way of the Virginia Peninsula has created activities so kids can send thanks to hospital staff and first responders and to connect with homebound seniors. To participate, go to the activities website for free Kids Appreciation Activities, which include downloadable coloring pages and a thank-you template, a thank-you video option, and a drawing contest. 

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Learn to Code

Scratch — Program your own interactive stories, games, and animations. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

SNAP! (Formerly BYOB) — This is very similar to Scratch in many ways.  Developed at Berkeley in the USA it has a few tricks up its sleeve.  Snap allows you to be a bit more complicated and creative.  It allows for more use of variables, as well as creating your own blocks.  This is handy as often Scratch requires the same pairs of blocks all the time.

KODU — Kodu is Microsoft’s game design platform.  Originally created as a game creation app for the Xbox, it is also available on PC for free.  It produces simple games with stunning 3d graphics.  The big win here is that you can plug in an Xbox controller to play your games.  The interface is very intuitive and fun.

Hour of code — Supported by the American Government, Facebook and numerous app developers.  It is all free to use and there is a wealth of tutorials in all kinds of languages.

Erase all Kittens — An incredibly fun way to learn HTML. Although HTML is not strictly a programming language, it requires children to code.  This is an irreverent mix of coding and cat gifs.

Code Kingdoms — This is a paid site, but an excellent resource for children to learn to code in JavaScript. Children explore the kingdom and have to use pieces of code to solve problems and overcome obstacles.

Barclays’ code playground — High street bank Barclays have a whole site devoted to helping parents and children work together to learn how to code. You can change the variables on the site (using JavaScript) to see how it changes the behaviors of the characters.

Blockly | Blockly Games  represents coding concepts as interlocking blocks. It outputs syntactically correct code in the programming language of your choice. Custom blocks may be created to connect to your own application.

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Direct Links to Learning Express Test Preparation Centers

The Hampton Public Library subscribes to this high-quality test preparation and career development service. Using this resource requires the user to create a free account using an email address and password.