As the world continues to rely more and more on computers, kids learning programming at an early age is no longer just an educational bonus, it is becoming a necessity that kids are comfortable with coding to be a part of the digital age and secure jobs later down the road. However, finding a good software to start learning on can be tricky, there are hundreds of languages and some are better for beginners than others. Here are our recommendations for which languages we believe kids are most comfortable with and learn the most from.
Scratch is the most popular first coding language for many kids. It is easy to use and understand thanks to its brick-based coding language which allows kids to see coding concepts such as loops and variables in a simple way. The visual way kids can see their code translate into interactive sprites and animations allows kids to grasp basic coding concepts without being overwhelmed with managing smaller details. Furthermore, the main way Scratch is used is to design games. This makes coding more fun, engaging, and often more exiting to learn.
Another one of our recommended coding languages for kids to learn is Python. Unlike Scratch Python is by no means just a “kid’s coding language”, it is used frequently at the corporate level. It is also a text-based coding language which makes it a great transition from brick-based languages or even a first language. Moreover, it also a great transition to more complex coding languages such as C or Java, and the concepts learned in Python can be applied to all other languages. Since Python is a simpler text-based language it is easier to apply to projects as well.
Although learning Lua on its own is a plausible way to learn coding, we recommend learning Lua through Roblox. Roblox is a platform in which users use Lua coding to make 3D games that can be played by people all around the world. Learning coding through Roblox still teaches the important fundamentals of coding while Roblox handles the making and designing the “worlds” (space the user must work with) so that beginners can make high quality games.
Java is actually a more complex program language and it is not the ideal beginner coding language for most younger kids; however, learning Java through Minecraft is a great way to learn how to code while having lots of fun along the way! Minecraft is one of the most popular videogames of all time, but it is a lot more than just that: by using Java kids can customize how they play the game all while learning and implementing coding concepts. Since the possibilities of making mods in Minecraft through Java are so wide, kids have a lot of freedom and can make projects at their respective skill levels. Additionally, learning Java early on can be extremely helpful later as it has lots of uses in the corporate world.
Our views on C# are the same as Java: it is a more advanced coding language but using it in a separate software can be extremely beneficial to learn as a kid. Unity is an advanced game engine that can be used to make everything from simple 2D games to 3D professional games that can be played on Xbox or PlayStation. Just like other game software we mentioned, Unity helps with some of the more complex features while the user, using coding in C#, makes the different components in their game interact and move.
Unlike the other script-based coding languages we mentioned, HTML and CSS are not considered true coding languages because they do not focus on logic and have very different uses and concepts. HTML and CSS are used to make websites, every website you have used uses them. Although they are not true coding languages a good understanding of HTML and CSS will allow your child to make their own websites, understand the way the internet functions, and be comfortable with technology in general.
How we can help
Here at Techno Smart Kids we offer classes in many of the languages we listed above. We structure our curriculum on learning concepts then applying them in engaging ways for many skill levels. Click here to see the classes we are offering right now.