At the intersection of awesome and banal, there’s this: Code.org, a terrific site that helps kids learn coding from an early age, has a fun 8-step “puzzle” that lets kids program their own custom version of “Flappy Birds”.
It’s a simple drag-and-drop sort of programming with blocks that represent actions and event handlers. For example, you start with a “flap” block that you can connect to a “when click” handler. Then you run the program in a small window and observe that whenever you click, the bird flaps.
As you complete each of the either sections, there are more and more complex actions that you can implement. You can even select different sounds to play when the bird flaps its wings.
It’s simple, easy, and fun--and free, for that matter. (Um, for the kids, that is. Not for adults. We definitely didn’t get sucked into creating our own Flappy Birds game this morning, no sir.)