Technology has and continues to be a part of the family, society, and the world at large. And, knowing the fundamentals of the driving force behind the technology will open up a whole new world of learning for any child.
Computer science and programming skills have become “must-have” skills for kids today. It is fast becoming a necessary skill for kids and adults alike. Parents, teachers, and kids especially should learn to code, not only because they want to, but because they need to.
The early stage of learning how to code is pretty difficult. But, so is every other new subject! The technical jargon used in programming might be a little overwhelming for children, and this can cause them to lose focus. Thankfully, programming languages for kids have been simplified to make the process easier for both children and teachers. That said, you have no excuse not to allow your kids to learn coding and other programming courses.
Recommendations on Programming Languages for Kids
Just as stated earlier, computer science and programming are quite technical. Although most programming languages have been simplified, some are still easier to learn than others.
So, as parents and teachers, you need to understand the best programming languages to teach your kids. There are certain factors to consider when choosing a programming language for children. These factors include age, interests, learning capacity, learning stage, and scope of learning.
What is the Easiest Programming Language to Teach Children?
Python. The simple answer is Python.
Python is considered the easiest programming language for teachers to teach kids because it doesn’t require a lot of technical skills. The language is plain, text-based, and user-friendly.
Python is a great starting point for kids to learn to code. Its simple interface makes the process simpler and helps boost the confidence of kids. Another element that marks python as the easiest programming language to learn is its availability of libraries. Children can achieve substantial progress simply by making use of the resources in the libraries.
With Python, kids can easily scale through the process with only a few obstacles. Children can learn how to develop basic apps using simple text-based coding.
What is the Best Programming Language to Teach Children?
Scratch Coding is the best programming language for kids to learn. It is block-based coding, and visual block platforms have always been preferred to text-based coding platforms. Kids can learn how to code by developing blocks.
Scratch is a block game designed for kids to learn to code and have fun. Through scratch coding, children can learn how to design mobile applications, animations, games, arts, and music. Scratch programming also promotes the act of "learn by doing”. It eliminates text-based languages and focuses on the more practical aspect of coding. That way, kids can learn on-site, make mistakes, and challenge themselves to beat their records.
Although Scratch is not as easy as Python, it is no doubt the best programming language to teach kids.
Overview of Best Programming Languages for Kids
Choosing a suitable programming language for your kids can be sometimes tasking! To ease up the process, here are some of the best programming languages for kids, along with their benefits and conditions.
Scratch programming tops the list ‘cos it is the best programming language for kids. It is a visual block platform that teaches children how to code through gaming blocks. Scratch comes in different stages.
Just as the name implies, Scratch programming helps kids develop their knowledge in coding from scratch. The process is fun, challenging, and worth it. Kids can learn how to develop animations, build websites, games, applications, write stories, all from scratch!
Scratch programming also teaches kids creativity and resilience. Each process is a puzzle to solve, and it only gets harder. This teaches kids to get creative and maneuver their way through the puzzles, as well as to determine to overcome every hurdle they face.
Scratch programming erases textual technicalities so that children can focus on mastering the art of coding. Children can also interact with other children online, and download as many games as possible, all for free.
Advanced Scratch Programming languages are mostly text-based, not block-based.
Kids cannot practice their skills on the keyboard.
Python is another highly recommended programming language for kids. It is efficient and easy to use. Python programming focuses on the basic fundamental components. You only need a few lines to code, as most of the comments have been incorporated into the codes. Python also provides support for beginners through the Python libraries.
Python teaches what Scratch does; the only difference is that Python uses text-based platforms. Kids can learn basic concepts like variables, lists, maps, statements, functions, etc. they can also discover how to create video games, websites, and applications.
In addition, Python uses plain text and it is used in advanced technical settings like Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence.
Python programming language is suitable for Grade 4 kids and above. Starting with Python makes it easy for kids to move to more advanced coding languages.
Python is not supported by Android or iOS.
Performance can be slow when used on advanced coding.
LUA’s efficiency and simplicity make it one of the best and easiest programming languages for kids. Just like Python, Lua (Roblox) is a text-based programming language.
Despite its simplicity, Lua is great for developing video games, mobile applications, and business applications. In fact, many popular games, like Angry Birds, Star Wars Battlefront, Stepmania, and many more, use the Lua programming language.
Lua programming language is programmed to teach kids independence. They learn how to think creatively and develop games by themselves. Lua uses simple concepts that make it easy for kids to understand. In addition, Lua is written in C language, which makes it fairly easy to grasp.
Lua uses the gaming platform, Roblox, to teach coding to kids. Roblox is an online global gaming platform that accommodates millions of users who create games, program games, and play games programmed by other users. Roblox is exclusively based on the Lua programming language, and kids can interact, challenge, and learn more from one another through the Roblox platform.
Some of the codes on Lua are not available, and you might have to code manually.
Blockly codes are designed in different shapes and colors, and this makes it easier for kids to identify appropriate blocks at each time. Kids can also drag and drop blocks from the toolbox onto the blank spaces. Then, they can rearrange the blocks to create loops, sequences, etc.
Blockly is a highly visual programming language, and most Android apps are built on Blockly.
It is not very suitable for advanced coding.
It is limited to visual blocks, and users cannot create custom blocks.
This is another visual block-based programming language suitable for kids. It is a free 3D tool that allows users to program animation scenes, 3D games, and tell stories. Alice also equips children with the idea of object-oriented programming.
Being a visual block programming language, kids do not have to worry about decluttering texts but focus on developing scripts and finding solutions.
Alice primarily uses a 3D model and a drag and drop interface to ensure kids learn to code most simply. In addition, Alice’s codes can be converted into a Java IDE. This means that kids can switch to advanced text-based programming while developing an app.
Alice is a bit basic when compared to other programming languages.
Java is a complex programming language, but it is the language of Minecraft, an online gaming platform popular among kids. Minecraft gaming platform allows creativity and diversity. Kids can channel their love for Minecraft games into learning intellectual thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, all of which are features of Java programming.
The idea behind Java Minecraft is that kids can learn how to create software and develop apps and game engines using the Minecraft gaming platform. Java is suitable for kids aged ten and above, and it offers them the opportunity to learn an advanced coding language (java) using interesting methods (Minecraft gaming platform).
Java only deals with advanced programming.
It consumes a large amount of memory.
This is a great programming language for kids to learn. It is an organized drag and drop visual platform that follows set rules and challenges at each stage. Unlike other languages like Scratch and Python, Swift is restricted and does not allow for much creativity.
Swift languages believe that coding should be best understood when users follow a structured process. Some kids love outlined guidance, as they believe it will be much easier for them to study. The process is strict and rigid, but worth it!
Swift is also exclusively on iOS and is not available on Androids and other devices. Swift is also suitable for kids above ten years old.
Swift is not suitable for all kids.
It is restricted to Apple platforms only.
Other Programming Languages for Kids to Explore
There are a lot of computer programming languages out there. It multiplies when you start to add modules and kits to existing languages, which means there is a ton to learn.
If your kids want to learn additional programming languages, here are some other popular languages to explore.
Summary of Best Coding Languages for Kids to Learn
Each of the programming languages highlighted above has proven to be the best programming languages to teach kids. However, you should note that preferences differ, and these languages might work differently with each kid.
So, endeavor to study your kids to know the most suitable language for them. Alternatively, you can give them options or introduce them to the different languages, then allow them to pick the one(s) they prefer the most.
Teach your kids' computer science and programming today!
More Coding Inspiration for Kids
- Code Ninjas - Is the coding program for kids worth it?
- Python for Kids - Parents Guide
- How to Explain Coding to Kids
- Overview About Arduinos for Kids
- Best Kids Computer Keyboards for Typing
- Teach Kids How to Code with Swift iOS App Programming Language
- Roblox Coding - Teach Kids how to Program
- Programmable Robots for Kids (to learn coding)
- Learn Coding without a Computer
- Offline Computer Coding and Programming Unplugged
- Best Coding Books for Kids by Age
- LEGO Programming for Kids with Mindstorm