6 Best Programming Languages for Kids 

5 best programming languages for kids

6 Best Programming Languages for Kids 

Learning to code and figuring out all of the different programming languages can initially seem daunting, especially for kids who are just getting started!

Thankfully, despite the obstacles that come with picking up a new skill, there are plenty of options to choose from, and a range of possibilities, creations, and careers for every skill and experience level.

This guide will break coding languages down into advantages, levels of challenge, and what kids can do with them. Ready? Let’s take a closer look at the 7 best programming languages for kids. 

What are programming languages?

Just as humans communicate through a myriad of languages, computers do too. Does this mean they speak? No. But check this out; computers don’t act on their own, humans tell them what to do, what to display, how to display it, etc. And they do these by giving computers a set of instructions. These instructions are guided by different languages. 

How do I mean? If one’s intention was to tell a computer to shut down, the intention can be communicated in different ways/languages but the intention stays the same. Just as humans can communicate an affirmative with the English word ‘Yes’, they can also communicate the exact thing in French by saying ‘Oui’.

Programming languages are also called coding languages. 

6 Best Programming Languages for Kids 

Scratch

The first out of the six best programming languages for kids we would look at is Scratch. Visual programming languages like Scratch provide a solid foundation of programming principles, with kids being able to drag and drop code blocks to animate characters, create games, and build apps.

The simplicity of Scratch gets kids pretty exciting and they are able to design interactive stories, games, and animations.

Best fit:

  • Kids who don’t have programming experience
  • Showing kids how fun coding can be
  • Visual learners
  • Younger kids and Teens
  • Teaching basic concepts, like problem-solving and logical if-then thinking

What your child could create:

A fun animated game or story!

Python

If your kids or students are going to learn something like coding, then you would want them to get a basic grasp on how to think like a programmer. With Python, kids encounter very few obstacles with regard to learning how to program. They will be able to learn how to construct programming ideas within their heads i.e abstract and then focus on transferring these ideas into instructions that the computer is able to interpret.

Best fit:

  • Kids and teens who want to get their ideas up and running in little time
  • Creating easy-to-read code that looks a lot like regular English
  • Students interested in pursuing scientific fields, especially artificial intelligence

What your child could create:

A text-based game, a two-dimensional game, a console application, or a cybersecurity program.

Lua

The next language of the 6 best programming languages for kids is Lua. Created in Brazil, Lua (which means “moon” in Portuguese)  is a simple coding language designed to be embedded in applications. It’s a multi-paradigm language, meaning it has a set of general features that can be applied to many issues.

Lua was the most popular language to use in game engines, according to GameDev.net, and it won the Gamasutra Frontline award for best programming tool.

The number of developers using Lua is steadily increasing, which means your student can pick up a tool that can serve them across a number of careers; Adobe Photoshop, World of Warcraft, and Angry Birds all utilize Lua code. (Learn more about Roblox coding for kids, specifically.)

Great for:

  • Kids and teens who want to pick up a language quickly
  • Learners interested in game programming

What your child could create:

A 3D world in the wildly popular online game called Roblox. They can publish their worlds to the Roblox site and even monetize their creations!

C#

C# (Pronounced as ‘see sharp’) is a  popular programming language that’s used to develop most third-party applications for Windows. According to Stack Overflow, It’s the sixth most in-demand programming language for jobs, and can be a great starting language for children who are new to coding.

Source

C# is very similar to Java in terms of syntax, so learning either of these languages will make it easier to pick up the other. 

Best fit:

  • Students who are interested in creating applications for Windows
  • Teens who have Java experience and are looking to learn a similar language

What your child could create:

Web applications, games, and other programs.

Java (Minecraft coding language)

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. Analysts say that about 90% of Fortune 500 companies leverage the use of Java

Java can take longer to master than other languages because it requires you to specify a variable.

Java is good for kids because it can be used to make game engines, Android mobile apps, large backend environments, and much more.

Best fit:

  • Intermediate coders who want to strengthen their skill set
  • Kids to learn Java principles through a fun game like Minecraft
  • Teens who want to develop a strong understanding of programming concepts
  • Patient students who don’t mind taking time to learn the language’s syntax

What your child could create:

A text-based game, app, graphical program, Android mobile apps, or large backend environments.

C++

One of the best programming languages for kids but might put off some kids because it looks a lot like maths. But this in itself poses an advantage as it, in turn, could help children grasp maths concepts better and faster. Once the basic fundamentals of programming are understood, C++ can open many doors into the world of programming. Many of today’s most successful programmers started learning to code with C or C++.

Great fit: 

  • Teens who want a complex understanding of programming principles
  • Children who want to program in the gaming industry
  • Children looking to build careers in programming

What your child could create:

A text-based game, a two-dimensional game, or a console application.

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