Programming for Five Year Olds


I’ve been reading a lot about programming and it’s demise in post primary schools. If programming is to develop in primary maybe foundation stage teachers need to be shown this app.

My five year old loves new apps and over the weekend we downloaded Daisy the Dinosaur for the iPad.


Daisy the Dinosaur is a free iPad app. The app asks children to use commands to make Daisy the Dinosaur to move on the stage.

Children can choose between free mode and challenge mode. To teach children how to use it, the challenge mode would be a good starting point.

My five year old loves the things she is making the dinosaur do – spin, jump, move – her favourite command is grow. She enjoys experimenting with the stage dragging the commands on to it and pressing play to see what the dinosaur will do.

Without much effort, young children will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this apps challenges. As a teacher who uses Scratch and Cargo -bot with older pupils at Key Stage Two, I can see a great foundation in programming for younger pupils through using this app.


There are lots of things that the developers could do to make it more challenging for older children but for foundation stage children it’s just right!