There are a lot of programming languages that you can choose for your kids. Among all the available coding languages, choose the appropriate and most suitable for your kid.
What is a coding language, and why do kids need to learn it?
Coding language is a set of rules and instructions used to produce various computer outputs. It is the primary language understandable by a computer. Coding languages are also considered as a language, but they don’t have precise vocabulary and alphabets. Whereas it only composes of abbreviations, special commands, the arrangement of texts and codes.
Kids are encouraged to learn programming languages as early as possible. Why? It develops their mental health while improving different coding skills, 21st Century skills, and even life skills. Your kid would learn a new set of language involving computer systems and algorithms. As a result, they would learn more about logical thinking, problem-solving, and even computational thinking skills.
So, mums and dads, how will you select the best coding language to teach to your kids?
Choosing the Right Programming Language for Your Child
Depending on age groups, the level of proficiency, interests, and one child's skills, you can choose from several recommended programming languages. Moreover, based on your young child's innate skills and talents for programming, one can just dive into a much-complicated language like Swift or C++.
Coding has different activities in various programming languages. In this case, children and teens can try out programming languages to have fun building interactive stories or games. Another thing to consider is the visual or written programming languages, whatever may suit your child's interests or aptitude.
Visual and Written Texts Programming and Coding Languages
When your child is new to programming, the first thing you need to do is to allow your child to take simple programming languages. When you think they are ready to face new challenges in kids coding classes, they can try out and start programming using written texts on the keyboard. It means that they are going to do the coding "by hand".
When your child starts with more challenging programming languages, they should type out statements and codes. It means that your child should be able to be keen in terms of the coding details. Because one wrong or misplaced symbol like a semicolon or colon will inhibit running the entire program.
During this stage, kids often feel frustrated or disappointed when they have to focus on specific details or type the codes repeatedly. That is why we can help you determine which programming languages are best suited for your child's needs. We can provide easy coding software that can mask the actual coding language.
Just like using a visual programming language where your kids can learn to code whilst having fun. For instance, kids can enjoy dragging and dropping blocks on top of each other without writing the actual code. In this way, they can learn coding and the programming language while having fun at the same time.
Usually, kids around 5 to 8 years old are best suited for visual programming languages such as Scratch. Beyond 8, children can explore simply written text or text-based coding languages to a more advanced one, depending on the child's capability. From pre-teens to teenagers, they can register into learning total programming languages, depending on the child's capability and preparedness.
What Type of Programming Language Would Best Fit Your Child?
In choosing the best programming language to start with your kid, you should first consider whether the language you want to use is interpreted or compiled. To help you decide which language your child can take in coding classes, allow me to walk you through the details below.
Interpreted Programming Languages
Now for the second type: When a program uses a compiled language, this only means that the programming language should be compiled first before you can run it. To do this, you need to write the codes in C++, then use a different program to parse the code and pack it up into an executable and running program.
After you compiled the program, you are not allowed to make edits. You are only allowed to run the program. Imagine if you wrote an incorrect symbol or syntax while coding before running the compilation command. You need to go back to the drawing board and type down the correct codes. If adults find this frustrating, then kids can feel the same and overwhelm whilst doing this.
However, we can use a program that can be both interpreted and compiled so that your kids can try out compiling and running a program using BASIC. We will discuss this and the rest of the programming languages that your child can use just in a bit.
20 Programming Languages and Tools That Your Kids Can Try
You now have a preview of some of the languages that your kids can try out. Now let's look at the 20 types of programming languages that your kids can start with.
#1 BASIC (Small Basic and Just BASIC)
This language started when personal computers are gaining attention in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From the term itself, this is a basic or straightforward programming language that usually new computer owners would try out when they would create short programs.
With all its glory during the 90s, BASIC fell out of place, but it is still a great language to start with, especially for younger children who want to try the actual programming code for the first time. Because this language is relatively easy and the syntax uses the "IF...THEN...ELSE", which is just easy to follow. You can try Microsoft's Just BASIC or Small Basic if you want to try the simplified version of BASIC.
Scratch is a programming language created by MIT that uses dragging and dropping blocks. It would definitely allow your kids to have fun and learn coding at the same time.
Alice is also a block-based programming language. Carnegie Mellon University developed it to allow younger kids to enjoy coding classes.
Google develops Blockly. This program uses interlocking blocks to allow kids to learn coding visually.
Perl had a huge role in building basically the World Wide Web. Why? It is a highly used programming language in web development. You encounter this language whenever you send a form through a website. Moreover, Perl is an interpreted language, so it's easy to use. However, some of the syntax used in Perl can be pretty challenging. So it is usually recommended for older kids or those who have exceptional talent in coding.
CoderZ is actually not a programming language. It is a Java overlay that allows children to create their own virtual 3D robots. As they continue using CoderZ, kids can learn more about how Java code works.
PHP is a programming language that is ideally learned after HTML. It is because it involves HTML to pull up and display web pages. This language is best used in making interactive web pages. It is actually underneath popular websites that you may be familiar with, such as WordPress and Drupal. PHP is an interpreted language, so older and more mature kids can quickly learn this programming language.
#8 HTML and #9 CSS
Ruby is a programming language that is like BASIC. It has an easy-to-use syntax. It is also great for young kids who want to learn to program. You, as parents, can also try them out.
Other Programming Languages and Tools
#13 C++ (compiled language; advanced language)
#14 Kodu (language for game creators)
#15 Arduino (a prototyping platform)
#16 Twine (an interactive fiction tool)
#17 Python (an object-oriented programming language)
#18 Unreal Blueprints (scripting system for visual gameplay)
#19 Lego Mindstorms (perfect for building robots)
#20 Swift Playgrounds (app builder for iPad)
So there you have it! Our best 20 kids programming languages that your kids can try out and even you as parents. Depending on what keeps your child interested or its innate coding skills, you can start with the coding languages listed above. These programming languages and tools can help your kids equip themselves for their future success in their chosen field and even in STEM education.
You can personally research on the above list of which your child would learn the best. Parents like you could also take time trying some of these coding languages to introduce this information to them. In this case, you may start teaching them at home.
A few books, literature, robotics toys, games, and unplugged coding activities that you can use to introduce coding languages and principles. But then, you can also consider a formal track of how your child could learn these programming languages. You may look upon schools offering unique coding curriculums. Through this, they can show you the lane your child may pursue to excel in code learning while they are young.
Formal Learning for Coding Languages
In Sydney, Australia, you can find incredible kids coding school like Skill Samurai. Skill Samurai is an after school care program with STEM certification and accreditation. It also highlights a concrete and precise code learning curriculum that ensures the child’s mastery of every coding language.
At Skill Samurai, your child age 6+ can start with Scratch codings levels 1 to 3. Then, ages 8-10 may choose from platforms such as Python, Roblox, and Java. Afterwards, kids 10+ may start with advanced Python coding, CSS, HTML, Unity, VEX, IBM Watson, and other programs with coding activities.
Through familiarising coding languages and platforms, your child would be capable of building several programs independently. They could also design and create a personal game! You see, it would make them skilled and proficient in STEM and computer sciences.
Well, Skill Samurai can still help you build a learning track customised to your kid. It all depends on their age, level of proficiency, and most importantly, their interests.
So, are you ready for your child to start formal but fun and exciting kids coding classes? Get started today.