How To Code with Child-Friendly Programming Languages

Programming Languages

Coding is a cool-to-goodness endeavor. Kids, nowadays, are tech-savvy, and it will not surprise you that they would dream to be a great coder or computer programmer someday. Aside from the “cool” factor, coding will also help your kids to learn and develop new skills at an early age. Having the right tools, kids can now create interactive computer programs, animations, stories, or video games. You just have to find a kid-friendly programming language, and your kid will soon be able to learn and do the tasks mentioned above. However, there are plenty of programming languages out there, and it might give you and your kid some hard time finding the right one. So I listed here the best programming languages to teach your kids how to code.

Alice
If you are looking for a free and open source 3D programming tool, perhaps you are looking for Alice. Alice is an excellent tool to teach kids ages ten years old and above of object-oriented and event-driven programming. Alice’s user interface is easy to maneuver. It avoids the usual cluttered interface of most programming tools by providing a drag and drop options and a convenient “play” button. It enables kids to create animations or games by programming 3D models, camera motions, and scenes through the common “building blocks” approach. Aside from the user-friendly interface, you can also convert the methods and programs in Alice into a Java NetBeans IDE. So from the visual building blocks approach, students can make a transition into a standard programming language. Alice can run on Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems.


Twine
For children who put much interest in games and telling interactive stories without the hurdle of intricate technical details, go for a shot with Twine. Twine is yet another open source tool that is great not only for kids but as well as for adults and educators. The tool is easy to use because instead of teaching kids how to create a code, it encourages them to develop and present non-linear games and stories. The stories in Twine include text, pages, and images, not unlike from what you see on websites. The design interface will take you to connected pages, which you can modify by putting text, links, and images. The tool is excellent if you want to create adventure-type games where there is a new story when you reach a new stage. For sure, your kids will learn and develop their planning and designing skills that are so important in creating games and stories. Twine is available for use online, or you can download the app for offline use. It is suitable for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Scratch
Do you want your kids to create animations, art, music, and interactive stories? If yes, try using Scratch for this purpose. Scratch came into existence thanks to the genius developers in MIT Media Lab! This programming language is user-friendly, and it is a great tool to teach your kids coding. Seasoned computer programmers also use the language because of its functionalities and options. In fact, since the 2007 release, there are more than 800,000 users who used Scratch and shared over 1.7 million animations and games. The permission to share your projects is one aspect of Scratch which made it so popular. The time you share a project to the Scratch website, your project will get a Creative Commons license. Fellow users will now be able to download and remix your project. Scratch can run on Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

Lego Mindstorm Robotics
Lego is not only popular for brick-building because they are also well-known in robotics-building. Learning to program robots is an excellent way to create things that will be of great use to the real world. Lego Mindstorm kit includes motors, sensors, and a command box for programming. There are different program languages in the kit that you can modify to work with third-party languages. Lego Mindstorm has a user-friendly visual programming app and, because of that, the tool enjoys a huge community of users. The tool can run on Mac, Windows, iOS, or Android operating systems.

Kodu
Kodu is another wonder game-programming app from Microsoft. Many users love this app because it enables them to explore and design 3D games such as in Xbox 360. It has a visually graphic interface that is engaging and programming that is user-friendly. You can run Kodu on Windows 7 and below or Xbox 360 operating systems. For Windows, you can get it for free, and you need to dish out 5 dollars for Xbox 360 version.

Takeaway
There are many different programming languages and tools that you can find online. Due to this high number, it may give a hard time to look for what is best for your kids. You can go for the best programming languages mentioned above to make your life easy.

Yassi Parrish is a blogger and technology enthusiast. She loves to write about the latest technological advancements and programming languages that are perfect for children. In her free time, Yassi likes to browse through Code Camp to look for coding lessons to teach to her kids.

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