Coding at Home - Mobile App Dev - Dreams for Schools

Mobile App Development

Every week, we’ll be introducing a new tutorial of the guided app development to help youth kick start their technical skills, creativity, and problem solving through the creation of a mobile app. We hope you’ll join us every week for the updates & follow along.

We’re going to make it through this together and keep the coding and creativity going while we’re at it!

Recommended for: 6th – 12th Grade

Questions? Email us at [email protected]

As you progress through your app, share with us on social media by tagging us!


Getting Started

In this first tutorial, you will be getting setup on the Dreams for Schools App Maker Platform – ( . You will need a Google email account (your school email address also works) to use the platform.

Following instructions in Lesson 0, you’ll learn how to set up your account, navigate the App Maker platform, and be on your way to create your first mobile app game called “Larry the Lion“. Larry will be walking you through the basic understanding of the designer and blocks editor – both of which you need to create your app.

Learn how to test, install, and share your app in the Test & Install the App link.

Be sure to download the Media Assets as well, so that you can have all the images and sounds needed for these tutorials. 

Important note, you can only test your app if you have an Android device. It currently does not work on iOS devices.


Let's Meet Larry

In Lesson 1 we’ll explore Concept Cards A to C where you will create your first Mobile App, Larry the Lion. The objective of the game is simple: 

  • When the title is touched, you’ll program it to play jungle music. 
  • When the player swipes Larry, you’ll program it so that Larry the Lion will roar and establish his authority in the jungle! 
  • You’ll continue on to have Larry collect melons in a timed manner!

In Lesson 2, you’ll continue to build on what you’ve created in Concept Card C with Melon Hunt. This is the 2nd part of the Melon Hunt level which will allow you to learn about different ways you can move Larry. You can move Larry using buttons, touch, dragging, or with a touchpad. Take a look at which method you want to try moving Larry with. 

Solution will be released on 4/17.


Swimming with Larry

Congrats on making it through your first app!

In Lesson 3, Concept Card E, you’ll build a new App called “River Run” and setup your game screen from what you’ve learned in Concept Card B (feel free to look back). The objective of the game is to move Larry around a river to avoid the crocodiles and retrieve a barrel to win the game. You’ll learn how to use the tilt function here!

Solution will be released on 4/24.


Jungle Jump Larry

In Lesson 4, Concept Card H, you’ll create a new game, “Jungle Jump“, with Larry the Lion. The objective of the game is to help Larry gather as many bananas as possible in 60 seconds. The player will fling Larry towards the bananas to collect them while avoiding the sleeping monkey. When Larry touches a banana, he will collect it. When he touches the sleeping monkey, he will lose some bananas.

You’ll use Concept Card B which teaches you how to setup a game screen as a starting point and create the game.

Good luck! Are you able to collect the bananas without hitting a sleeping monkey?

Solution will be released on 5/1.


Let's Whack a Mole!

Now we’re going to take a little break from Larry. Do you remember playing the Whac-a-Mole game at the arcade?  You use to hit them on the head with a mallet to get points. Well, in this lesson, you’ll make a digital version of the Whac-a-mole game! Instead of a mallet, you’ll be using your finger to whack the mole! 

Be sure to download the Media Assets as well, so that you can have all the images and sounds needed for this tutorial.


Adding Features to your Game

From here on out, you’ll learn different features on how to make your mobile apps more complex & customizable.

In Switching Screens, Concept Card F, you’ll explore how to add multiple screens and swap between them. You may want to create multiple screens to have a home screen, a game screen, a high score screen, and more. The possibilities are endless.

In Multiple Choice, Concept Card G, you’ll learn how to make a game with multiple choice questions. You’ll learn how to create a set of questions, answers, and check to see if a player got it right or wrong. You can give them a +1 score if they get it right. Otherwise, you’ll learn to decrease their score & let them know it was wrong!

When can you use these in a game you create? 

Solution will be released on 5/15.


Adding Features to you Game

In Muting Music, Concept Card I, you’ll learn how to make sure that the background music you have for one screen doesn’t interfere with another screen and so forth. It’s important to make sure you mute your music across screens.

Game Levels, Concept Card J, is an advanced concept where you’ll learn how to create games with multiple levels and allow players to choose which level they’d like to play. The player will get to rearrange the order of the levels to choose how they want to play the game.

Solution will be released on 5/22.


Adding Features to you Game

High Scores, Concept Cards K1 – K3, will introduce you to different ways you can track high scores and store them. You can give the player the option of:

  1. Typing their name to save their score
  2. Choosing an image/icon to save their score
  3. Allowing them to take a photo from the camera and saving their score with their photo.

Which one will you try?

Solution will be released on 5/29.