Coding Skills: Getting Started with Swift Playgrounds

February 15, 2020

We attended a free Today At Apple event

Just before the start of the summer holidays last year, Tigger attended a Coding Lab for Kids: Sphero Robot Obstacle Challenge session at our local Apple Chapelfield store. It was an opportunity to get hands-on and explore the different ways in which the Sphero BOLT could be used. From programming navigation around an obstacle course to how to change the colours and designs on the LED Matrix.

It was a free event hosted by Today At Apple, who offer a range of different free sessions. I have kept meaning to check the listings to see what other sessions were available for Tigger and book him in. However, life has gotten in the way and I had forgotten. Until we were in Covent Garden and popped into the Apple Store, which was holding a draw your own emoji event at the time. Something that Tigger would have loved to have gotten involved in.

Upon arriving home I looked to see if they had a session for the draw your own emoji at our local Apple Chapelfield store. Sadly, there wasn’t, however, I did come across a Getting Started with Swift Playgrounds session which had availability for the following weekend.

Getting started with Swift playgrounds

Swift is a powerful programming language created by Apple that’s used to build many popular apps. And Swift Playgrounds is an app for iPad that makes learning how to code interactive and fun. In this 60-minute session, we’ll show you how to get started with coding using the Swift Playgrounds app.

Aimed at children aged 12 years and up. Although I would think that children aged 8 years+ would be able to comprehend the instructions.

Attending the coding skills session

When I booked the session I was aware that they had a suggested age requirement of 12 years+. However, as Tigger is very interested in coding and has previously completed a couple of coding workshops I thought it would be OK to take him along. I did chat with him on the way to the session to say that it was aimed at a higher age bracket and that he shouldn’t worry if he found parts of it difficult.

Arriving a few minutes early, Tigger was able to play a couple of games on the iPads available in store. With him discovering a few new apps that he wanted to download when we got home.

Our host and teacher for the 60-minute session, Chad, welcomed Tigger up to the training area. As it turned out Tigger was the only person booked onto the session so enjoyed a fantastic one-on-one session getting started with Swift Playgrounds.

Our thoughts on the getting started with Swift Playgrounds

Despite my initial worries that Tigger might struggle with some of the instructions and understanding of the Swift Playgrounds app. He excelled himself and even managed to impress Chad. Explaining that Tigger had managed to ger further through the app than other sessions that he has taught. Even having to look up additional details in the teaching notes as Tigger made his way through from commands to functions.

How do I book sessions from Today at Apple?

There are a wide variety of sessions available from Today at Apple. From coding and technology-based sessions for both adults and children. To photography, video and music sessions too. Today at Apple sessions can be booked online by selecting your local store and browsing the sessions available.


  • Sim @ Sim's Life February 10, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    What a fantastic idea for kids to pick up the basics with coding and to find out it isn’t as bad as they expect! I learned old school coding for more years than I care to remember, such an important skill to have and it’s definitely the way the world is moving! Sim x

  • Karen Langridge February 15, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I haven’t heard of this before, we have two gaming mad kids here. They both are so interested in the coding aspect of gaming and this seems a great starting point for them.

  • Rachel February 16, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Oh wow, this sounds super interesting. Coding seems so complicated but would be a great skill to acquire! xo

  • Sarupa Shah February 16, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Great idea for kids who want to get into ‘coding’ and experience it to get involved!

  • Samantha February 16, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    This sounds like a great opportunity for kids to learn coding skills! I would have loved doing something like this when I was younger.

  • Jenni February 16, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    It’s great that Apple put on these events and well done to tigger for doing so well!

  • Jennifer February 16, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    That seems like a great opportunity for kids! Most IT jobs are well paid so good if they pick-up an interest early

  • Kira February 16, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    We have never explored coding but it does look really cool and I think the girls would actually really love it

  • Rhian Westbury February 17, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I think it’s so good that there are ways for kids to learn coding as it’s such a great skill to have. I want to join one at a local college so I can learn x

  • Melanie February 17, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    What a fabulous idea. A way for kids to be introduced to code without being intimidating and making it fun x

  • Jennifer Gladwin February 18, 2020 at 9:11 am

    My eldest would love this! Coding seems so confusing to me so it’s great they can start working on their coding skills early.

  • Laura February 18, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    This looks so great, I love how coding skills are being taught in such a wide variety of spaces. We may want our kids to get screen free time, but at the same time we have to accept that computer knowledge is something that they all need to have.

  • Kara Guppy February 20, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    These sessions look fab, I want to book Isaac one but we are away this half term so will do over easter

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