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A Good Programming Language For Kids 8 years Old?
Would love to get my son to do something constructive on the PC...

 9:19 pm on Dec 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey all,

So is there a kid-friendly / kid-oriented programming language / environment for kids who are 2nd grade (about 8 years old).

About two weeks ago was international programming day for kids, and he used this one little programming app to make a duck walk around the screen (maybe it was a dog).

So, anything that is just pretty basic that can be used to make little graphics move or something like that.


Originally I was just thinking of having him try to learn Python but I really am looking for something REALLY easy just to get him kind of interested in the idea of programming.

Hey, times are tough... gotta try to put those kids to work early to build up Daddy's retirement fund.


brotherhood of LAN

 9:41 pm on Dec 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Javascript and learn about the latest HTML standards, IMO. Widely used and here to stay.

Something like C or Java may be a bit too strict and difficult to start with.

Python/PHP is an option. Using them interactively would be a good start to the learning curve.

Not sure I'd like my children to go down the programming rabbit hole mind you... they'd be up at 3AM coding and wanting cups of coffee ;o)

If I had the choice to pick something regardless of the learning curve, it'd be gpgpu programming with C, with an eye towards webcl.


 10:38 pm on Dec 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input.

I am thinking that JS and HTMl might be a bit over his head...

I guess I am thinking of some ready made "environment" where there is a very limited and intuitive syntax.

what he used on that programming day only had some commands like:



I mean, it was REAL easy, so maybe something along those lines or a LITTLE bit more difficult.

I am sure there are some eight year old kids that can handle javascript. My boy an't one of them...


 6:44 am on Dec 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

That sounds like Logo. My daughter used it for a while (a Linux implementation called KTurtle, but there are lots of others).

There is also EToys [squeakland.org] and Scratch [scratch.mit.edu]

Python is clean and teaches good programming, but is harder. There is a fairly good book called Snake Wrangling for Kids. Free download or buy the paper version. It may still be too tough at that age though (did not work for my daughter either).

Then again, there is Sugar [sugarlabs.org]

There is also a site about using Racket (Scheme variant) to teach kids computing.


 8:14 am on Dec 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

What about Pascal? That's what I used to get started and it was fairly easy to learn and use to write tiny simple programs.


 9:19 am on Dec 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not Pascal in my opinion. It was good for its time (I started with BASIC which is a great deal worse) but I think there are much better choices now.

Talking of which, more choices:

Little Wizard [littlewizard.sourceforge.net]

and there is a turtle graphics extension for Python.


 8:03 pm on Dec 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google made Go (aka GoLang)...

I bet they're going to put it into all sorts of robots and phones and devices...


See both left and right hand columns here:

And here:


And outside of Go, check these:


 8:41 pm on Dec 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

sounds like a job for a programmable toy robot. something where he can select turns and movements, and see the robot do what he wanted it to do.


 9:28 pm on Dec 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you so much, graeme_p, RhinoFish, and creeking. I think those are all things I will look into.

Python might be the first "real"language, but that would be a little ways down the road. But I will definintely look into the snake wrangling book.

thanks again, Everyone.


 8:01 am on Dec 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Please let us know what you think of the things you look at. I am trying to do much the same (one 11 year old who knows a bit of logo and python, and a 5 year old who I will want to get started as soon as she can read a bit better).


 1:00 am on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the kid hates typing, there is always APL :)


 2:20 am on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

APL always looked like greek to me.

Element Xero

 4:11 am on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

very informative discussion. I will look into these for my kid.


 5:28 am on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld, Element Xero!


 5:44 am on Dec 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

anything that is just pretty basic that can be used to make little graphics move or something like that.


saw the link in an article about new companies. worth a look

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