Suggestions On Best Ways for Kids to Learn Programming

I have a customer who just called me and asked, “I have two girls ages 8 ad 10 who want to learn programming. What books, courses, etc. would be best to get them underway that would not be overwhelming (considering their age) and yet simple/quick/fun to learn and generate tangible results which would motivate them to go further without parental pushing?”

While I have seen a few things from time to time addressing this question, I told my customer that I’d post the question on our forum to get a more complete answer than what I could give at the moment.

So, any ideas? Anybody already done this successfully with their kids?

Thanks in advance for your consideration and inputs.

HI Don! When my kids were 6 we started with a game called Robot Turtles. Others on here are better qualified to offer language suggestions but this game teaches the concepts of commands and outcomes, changing commands to work around “bugs” and (my favorite) breaking big problems into little ones. My kids are weeks away from being 8 and they still love the game! It’s a passive way to familiarize kids with coding concepts and a perfect launching point for whatever language they chose to learn :slight_smile:


There is a “Swift for Kids“ (kind of) displayed at Apple sometimes ago. I totally forgot its real name.

That recalled me an old software that existed for youngsters in the Apple II time era (Mouse20, MouseLeft, etc.) when I watched the Apple demonstration (Swift)…

Go to your local Apple Store and ask for details.

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Hour of Code is a great way to introduce programming concepts to school-aged kids - they don’t even have to know how to read to have fun with some of the activities. Their website has a ton of fun games geared towards this age group. The “Dance Party” activity is very popular in my house, but just be prepared for a LOT of Katy Perry :slight_smile:

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Scratch ( is magnificent and used by kids as young as 5 or 6.


To be true, Scratch targets just the desired range, 8 to 16. ScratchJr is for under 8. :wink:

Here is the start point:

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It is called Playgrounds and is on both iOS and macOS.

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I like the game Human Resource Machine. It’s more a game than programming but you have to think like a programmer.

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That’s it Robert. I totally forgot the name, but this is it.

there are some game engines and some of them have also visual design.
fractal geometry could be interesting.

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Scratch is great. My boys are playing it right now on the Raspberry Pi 400 :slight_smile:

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Playing with Chaos – Programming Fractals and Strange Attractors in JavaScript:
Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach:

Those are nice but not suitable for small children.

Edit: this one is newer: Make Your Own Algorithmic Art

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Thanks so much to each and every one of you that responded here! I have passed your inputs on to my customer who was most appreciative. He indicated that he’d check out each and every one of the suggestions. Since his daughters have shown the interest in learning programming on their own (without any parental influence), he’s anxious to get them started. Your inputs will allow him to do just that.

Thanks again!

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After Scratch, they can try RobotBlocky , where the “Blocky language” is translated to Ch (a C++ script) live, code that can be inspected and used in real robots ( )

Try Make code dot com
A microsoft website that you can program without any hardware. It has a photo of a device that you program (LEDS, Buttons, etc) and an innovative way of programming.