Today everyone—from educators to industry leaders to policy makers—is talking about coding. But it isn’t just a fad. In an increasingly digital world, coding, or programming, is considered a life skill that some have called the “perfect gateway to 21st century skills.” In addition to its ability to encourage and support creative expression and problem solving, coding builds key thinking skills, such as collaboration, abstraction and persistence.

Based on this knowledge, Code.org created the Hour of Code to bring coding to students across the world. Held the second week of December in celebration of Computer Science Education Week, the event provides a one-hour introduction to computer science—teaching students the basics of coding.

Although the event is held once a year, there are many ways to integrate coding into the core curriculum for programs. Consider the following apps, games and online tools to teach coding year-round:

Tynker: Programming courses for kids with tutoring and visual tools.
Minecraft: Online game that teaches the fundamentals of coding through block building.
Robotiky: A robot that teaches kids to code through online tutorials and games.
Code Monkey Island: Board game for teaching the fundamentals of programming logic.
ScratchJr: App for teaching young children how to program their own interactive stories and games.
Kids Ruby: Programming interface that allows kids to write and test code.

To participate in the Hour of Code, check out this how-to guide for after school educators.