Which coding languages are best for kids?
In this article, we will be learning about the best coding language options for your kids, while also taking a look at a few inspirational stories from kid coders themselves.
While there are many, many other coding terms to define, it’s useful to take a look at a term like Scratch programming, that represents a big piece of what your child might encounter as they’re first getting started.
Scratch is a MIT-developed graphical programming language, based on drag-and-drop programming basics so kids can easily create interactive stories, comics, and more.
Scratch programming is popular for kids because instead of using lines of code, youth users learn though colorful command coding blocks and cartoon sprites. This means that without typing a single line of code, kids can get their feet wet with programming statements and computational ideas, and begin to test their limits of creative thinking in order to problem-solve.
AdamaScript is a Visual Programming Language developed from Scratch, which teaches Programming and Robotics Principles. Find more about here:
Which coding languages are best?
Sure, such languages don’t teach the syntax necessary in most other coding languages, but that’s OK! This is all about progress; moving forward, remember? Trying to put too much on to your child’s plate typically does more harm than good.
With Scratch and other visual programming, it’s all about the simplicity that gets kids excited about coding. The immediate gratification of dragging and dropping commands and then seeing interactive stories, games, and animations unfold is insanely powerful.
While a little more involved and complex than a visual programming option, Lua is still a great language for kids and teens who want to pick up a language quickly.
And, I’ll pause here to state that half the battle of getting a child engaged in something new (especially when that something comes with new challenges) is connecting it to already-established interests.
So, do your kids like video games? Lua is a great for students interested in applying their newfound coding skills to game programming. In fact, the number of developers using Lua continues to rise, which translates into job availability down the road. A student equipped with such skills can jump into a variety of career options.
Just to get a taste of what kids can expect, in our Lua coding for kids course, students begin with Roblox’s built-in editor to create 3D worlds and expand their functionality with Lua. From there, they can create scripts for their own game, or even sell scripts to other designers for use in their games!
Just to confirm, kids can really learn this stuff?
Listen, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, I don’t blame you! It’s a lot of info on top of more info, and then some.
So, now is a good time to focus less on telling, and more on showing.
It might be near impossible to think of kids or even teens finding their way with coding…especially to a point where they’ll be equipped with skills to perform in a lucrative career.
But like anything, it’s a process. Here at iD Tech, we call it the iD Tech Pathway™, which by definition, is our long-term skill development system that advances campers’ “love and mastery” of technology over time.
But in practice, it’s the idea that, just like learning a foreign language or musical instrument, you’re going to have to dedicate more than one hour of practice. Instead, to achieve “master” status, it’s best to start young and continue to build passions and skills little by little.
That said, we have seen students accomplish some incredible things. To help you visualize what jumping into coding can do for your child, here are a few of our favorite kid coder success stories.
How do you introduce kids to coding?
With each of the above examples, success follows a clear process. Sure, some of us are going to be more naturally gifted in certain areas than others, but either way, we all must start at step one.
So, what is that step one when teaching kids to code, or, to introduce kids to coding?
Well, to be honest, what follows isn’t for those who are sitting down at the computer ready to program. There are online coding courses for that, in person experiences, and more.
Rather, the words below are for those who are interested in learning more; who hear about the importance of coding and want to wrap their minds around what that might mean for their kids.
First, get your kids to start learning. Something. Anything! No tidbit is too small, and the basics like the definitions mentioned above provide a great starting point,
Next, try and find someone for your child to talk to about what they’ve learned. That could be you for now, or even a friend. As you can see, this step doesn’t require your child talk to someone knowledgable about coding (but it certainly can be).
From there, get your kids to do something. Again, small is OK and actually encouraged here. It’s best to keep realistic expectations. So, it might only be an intro game or animation with Scratch, and again, totally fine!
It’s only after the points above should most kids set their sites on something bigger. Bigger in terms of what they’re learning, who they’re talking to, and of course, what they’re doing.
The foundational tip through all of this is to try as much as you can to connect the dots between already-established areas of familiarity and coding, so that kids can readily see how different pieces of the world around us fit together and are brought to life through coding.
Is there anything else kids should be doing along the way?
With all of this, is learning programming really as easy as “learning something,” “talking to someone,” and “doing something” as stated above?
Of course not.
But, for those who have been stymied by just getting up and moving, a set of guidelines so seemingly simple is a great place to get started.
Code is in fact the language of the future, and learning to code, while great to know in itself, also strengthens creativity, problem solving, and a host of other skills.
Thus, the value of learning to code isn’t limited to the actual physical act of coding, as it opens doors to a variety of related opportunities as well.
In less words, learning to code is hugely important, and hopefully this guide helps you and your child take a step forward.
Where to go next?
Bell Educational Robotics Kit and AdamaScript is a good start for kids to learn the principles of Coding and Robotics.
You can get a Bell just by going to this link:
Bell Educational Robot: https://adamarobotics.com/shop/
In-Person Coding Courses & Programs
Coding Articles & Blogs
Other Coding Toys