Tech

Best programming and kids coding languages to choose for your kid

Kids are very fast at grasping and imbibing the concepts. This curiosity to learn more is encouraging a thirst to learn new and better ideas. However, this new breed of kids does not want to settle for anything but the best in choosing from the kids coding languages available.

Best programming and kids coding languages to choose for your kid

 

Thankfully some new and innovative concepts have entered the market for child education. One among them is coding, and you see many parents rushing to get their child on the bandwagon. If you are still in confusion due to the availability of so many platforms, we are here to help.

Here are the best programming and coding languages you could choose for your kid.

 

What is a coding language?

A programming or coding language is a set of instructions written in a specific coded language. These instructions are given to the computer in this case. Since the machines operate in a specific way, programmers have to use formal languages to communicate with the computers. Learning to code even though a fun exercise requires dedication and desire to achieve the impossible. The first set, however, is choosing a suitable language. 

 

How to choose the perfect kids coding languages

The choice of perfect coding language for kids should be made carefully. Following are some points that you ought to pay attention to:

Output

If you want your child to move to France for further education, you will teach him the French language to make it easy for him to communicate. Similarly, if your child is starting to learn Coding, then Scratch is the perfect platform. If his focus is on learning video designing, then C++ is the language you ought to make him understand.

Transferability

Often people recommend learning one language that is probably the base for other languages as well. This is because the root language of all of them is the same. So, if you manage to learn a programming language like Java, then you can grasp the other ones as well.

Skill level

You start picking up a language like Spanish quickly because you already know English and the alphabet and grammatical structure of both is quite similar. However, if you think of learning Japanese, you will face difficulties as it has multiple unique characters. 

Similarly, if you are just starting, choose a language like Python as it is pretty simple to grasp. Also, you do not have to worry about the syntax factor.

Just choose 

Sometimes the easy way out is to just decide on one coding language. That is perfectly fine as kids can learn essential programming principles from any coding language. There is no right or wrong in this selection. If you notice your child taking an interest in coding, just get them started. 

 

Best programming language for kids to choose 

Scratch 

If you want your child to start coding soon, Scratch is the best platform to do so. Kids drag and drop blocks to create games, animate characters, and build new apps. The platform is relatively easy to navigate, and kids do not take much time to grasp the whole concept fully.

Kids programming language like Scratch is pretty helpful to make your games or animations. Kids adore the idea of a scribe teaching them how to make the desired item in simple steps. Scratch also has a vast online community of around 15 million registered users from all over the world. Anyone can join their team as long as they agree and follow the terms set by the MIT team.

Another benefit of this platform is that the users save their projects on the server. So if a new user is looking for some help, he can check out these projects. The cards provided on the platform make the process of learning fun for kids.

The platform is perfect for:

  • Kids with no or minimal programming experience 
  • Teaching kids how coding is fun 
  • Kids who prefer learning through visual modes
  • Inculcate problem-solving habit in children

Java Script

Object-oriented, procedural programming and coding for kids language, JavaScript, is used for client-facing applications. This implies that the actions undertaken are executed on the user’s computer. This language is quite popular and found in most web browsers.

You can use Java to make complex and interactive web applications. However, do not confuse between Java and JavaScript as they are two different languages. Java script is a perfect choice for students who want to pursue web development and design. Also suitable for children who wish to learn programming basics.

Java Script is considered a level-up skill for kids who have already experimented with scratch and Python. The ideal age to learn JavaScript is ten years plus; however, kids above eight years can start early. It has many elements, and therefore, you must teach your children about variables, arrays, loops, parameters, etc., before they start working on Java script.

 

Java (Minecraft)

Java is one of the most widely used programming and kids coding languages, and nearly 90% of Fortune 500 companies use it. The Java programming language is perfect for students who want to get an excellent understanding of coding, something which they can work on in the future.

kids coding languages

Java is a statically typed language which means that you need to specify a particular variable type. Therefore the apps made using Java are stable and easy to maintain. But Java becomes a complex language for anyone to master.

Java as such is perfect for kids as they can use it to make mobile apps, game engines, backend environments, etc. The Java language is suitable for:

  • Intermediate level coders
  • Kids who want to learn coding through games like Minecraft
  • Teens who want to take the Computer Science AP exam
  • Teenagers wishing to develop programming concepts

Lua or Roblox 

Originating from Brazil, Lua is one among the kids coding languages created to be embedded in applications. Lua is a multi-paradigm language that you can apply to many issues at one time. It has a pretty short learning curve and is easy to embed. So, when you have to learn how to code a game, you should choose Lua.

Lua was awarded the Game sutra Frontline award for being the best programming tool. The number of developers who use Lua is increasing; therefore, anyone learning this language can pursue multiple career options. For example, Adobe photoshop, Angry Birds, and World of Warcraft all use Lua. 

Lua eliminates all the syntax issues that could make coding challenging for children. There is no requirement of adding semicolons at the end of every code, which is a significant relief. Thanks to its speed and lightness, Lua is suitable for programming embedded devices and relatively easy to download too. It has a vast and active online community with many active members willing to help newcomers.

Perfect choice for:

  • Kids who want to learn a programming language quickly
  • Students who wish to pursue game programming
  • Those who want to learn a language for increasing career prospects

Python

Python is probably a perfect programming language for kids to learn. It requires less lines to start, and therefore even novices can grab the basics of Python quickly. Reputed companies like Disney and Google use Python and are also very popular in scientific circles. 

You can use this kid coding language to create video games, scientific projects, and web frameworks. Apart from that, Python is straightforward for kids to grasp and suitable for technical fields like cybersecurity and AI.  As the children learn to use Python, they grasp using data structures like maps, lists, and tuples. They then move to master variables, loops, and other functions in Python.

Plus, they will also understand how to overcome the difficulty that comes with controlling the structures on the platform. By learning how to draw shapes and patterns, kids can learn how to conquer the barriers experienced with animation and game design.

Python is apt for:

  • Kids and teens who want their ideas to get executed
  • Those who want to create easy to understand codes
  • Students who want to adopt a scientific career

C++

The C++ language is used to make applications that could be run locally on computers and other machines. Though grasping the language is challenging and time-consuming, once accomplished, the student will get a deep understanding of programming. You could use the C++ language for creating software, games, and many other programs. It is the suitable choice among the kids coding languages for:

  • Teenagers who want to understand Programming fully
  • Those students who wish to enter the gaming industry
  • Good to show on the Resume

C#

Pronounced as C sharp, you can use this coding language to develop third-party applications for windows. C# is the fourth most popular programming language and is perfect for those entering into coding. It is pretty similar to Java in terms of Syntax used. If you have mastered one of them, it will be easy to grasp the other. You can use C# to make web applications, games, and other programs too. The C# language is suitable for:

  • Students wanting to create applications on Windows
  • Teenagers who already know Java and want to learn a similar language

 

Blockly

You may consider Blockly as Google’s response to Scratch. It uses the same blocks for coding as scratch does. However, Blockly is a programming language made of a variety of pre-existing programming languages. You can call it a client-side JavaScript library that helps in creating programming block editors.

Block has a JavaScript library where you can easily find many other coding languages like Python, PHP, Lua, etc. Its UI looks like a child’s box of different shaped and colored blocks. Apart from that, there is a toolbox to hold blocks, a place to write the code, and a bin.

Using Blockly is quite simple. Users take the blocks out of the box and then arrange those in a sequence. The program then runs a check on the same, and if the solution is not correct, it goes back and sees why. 

Using Blockly, it becomes effortless to create a mobile app as children can code along the side of the screen and even switch between languages.  The switching between languages helps the kids to see different types of code. However, Blockly does not have many tutorials, so it is tough for kids to pick up the language. Some of the best designers use it at Sphero, and this means the platform Blockly is suitable for:

  • Kids wanting to learn more than one kid’s coding languages 
  • Students wishing to create mobile apps
  • Children who want to learn coding from the basics

Go (Golang)

Go programming language is relatively new among the kids coding languages but is slowly expanding its wings. A lot of Fortune 500 companies are already working on Go. The list includes biggies like Netflix, Uber, and American Express. It is for this reason that Go is considered a perfect coding platform for the kids to learn.

Go is quite similar to C if you talk about the structure. The only differences between them are memory safety, CSP style concurrency, structural typing, and garbage collection. However, Go can be taught to the kids in the same style as C coding language. Go is hugely popular, and more companies are accepting it in its stable. In future years the regular updates will make a lot of people notice this coding language.

Perfect for: 

  • Kids wanting to learn something new
  • Those students who already know C

Swift

Apple introduced Swift playground in 2016, intending to teach the kids how to code. Swift, therefore, has many basic coding lessons and gamified challenges to help the students. It also has a tight interface and a graphically enticing playground to choose from. 

Being an iPad app, Swift is the best programming language for kids to learn in schools which uses an iPad for kids’ studies. However, the swift lessons are slightly restrictive. The students thus do not get any freedom of expression. Forcibly the students have to go through various levels following a rigid pathway set by the developers. Although the kids need not have prior programming experience, they must have program solving ability and understand how to read the tutorials.

As time passes, Apple is introducing new changes, and hopefully, in a few years, the language will acquire the features that entice the students. Some new developers are entering the fray and building AR-enabled apps with Swift playgrounds, thus adding to its popularity. 

 

Snap

Snap is another variant of Scratch and was developed by UC Berkley. However, it includes some extra advanced programming concepts. Thus it becomes suitable for kids who have mastered scratch but want to work on another platform that is slightly higher level than Scratch.

Above all, you can convert Snap apps to Python, JavaScript, and other text-based coding platforms. This makes it convenient for a user to move from Snap to any other coding language. However, Snap is relatively new, and there is a scarcity of resources available on the internet. There is the help provided on the platform itself; however, that is also not reasonably sufficient.

 

HTML/CSS

In case your child shows a keen interest in web designing, HTML/CSS is the suitable coding language he should focus on. Learning this coding language gives them an idea of web development and web applications. In simple terms, HTML is the code in which they write most of the web pages. On the other hand, the CSS code specifies how the web page will look, including its colors, fonts, and other design elements. 

By mastering both these kids coding languages, the children get the basic idea of how a web page is made. Kids can explore their creativity and create web pages easily.

 

Ruby

Ruby has the most straightforward syntax pattern when compared to other coding languages. Instead of explaining everything to the child, they provide self-explanatory guides to them. This is very helpful for kids who are still starting in the field of programming. At the end of it, children have to understand the concepts if they want to write scripts correctly. Ruby is actually a powerful language, and it was used to create Twitter initially, a fact you can tell your child and garner his interest.

 

Alice

Alice was created to teach the concepts of object-oriented programming. It is a 3D tool, and for children, it is perfect to learn how to create games, animations, etc. Alice allows them the ability to program scenes, 3D models, and camera motions using their building blocks approach. 

This coding language has an easy play button and drag and drop interface, making it easy for kids to understand its operation style. On the whole, Alice is a perfect platform for kids to grasp block-based coding. However, this language shows a high level of lagging compared to the other kid’s coding languages.

Carnegie Melon University developed Alice, and though the website does not look slick, the truth is that it is still in the developing stage.

 

Dart

Dart is an object-oriented class-defined programming language. Similar to Go, it is a garbage collected language and uses C-style syntax. With supporting interfaces, abstract classes, mixins, and sound type systems, Dart can be used to build server, desktop, web, and mobile applications. 

Flutter, the open-source mobile application development made by Google to create Apps, is also written in Dart. The language has features that are similar to users in both static and dynamic languages, thus making it easy for them to grasp it. Also, using Dart, the kids can make smooth animations and transitions and enjoy the whole experience.

 

Rust

Rust is famous for providing high performance and safety. It is similar to C++ in the manner in which syntax is used. However, the only difference is that Rust offers memory safety. As it gained popularity, Microsoft experimented with it to provide secure and safety-critical software components.

Since 2016 Rust has been declared the “Most loved programming language” every year in the Stack Overflow developer survey. These days the users of Rust include big companies like Dropbox. Apart from providing in-built tools, Rust also comes with many development tools. It is pretty easy to carry out fuzzing and property-based testing and benchmarking in Rust. 

The platform has strong community support. You can reach them through chat, user forum, Rust subreddit, chatroom, and stack overflow questions and answers. Rust’s robust memory system ensures that you do not make any errors in writing the code. However, Mozilla recently fired a lot of Rust Employees, and this raises a question mark on its future.

 

Twine 

Twine is again for children who want to make their own games but do not understand the technical aspects of programming. With Twine around, the kids do not learn how to code. Instead of teaching them how to code, the platform teaches how to present non-linear games and stories.

Twine stories have pages of text and images, just like other websites. Its design interface shows all the related pages, each of which you can modify through texts, pictures, and links. This is particularly useful for games where you have to “choose your own adventure.”

Though the app will not teach coding, kids get to learn planning and design skills that all game designers and storytellers require. This app is adequately supported with tutorials, a support wiki, and an active community base. The kids can create Twine stories through the hosted app or download the app for offline editing. The Twine app is suitable for kids above 12 years and more.

 

Conclusion

Every kid is different, and therefore how they will adapt to a coding language varies too. The languages we analyzed are all perfect, and it is always better to start with a visual coding language at first. Only if he shows proficiency in the same should you move to text-based coding language.

As the world progresses, kids are loving coding, and it is vital to focus on the basic concepts first. As a parent, research all the aspects before choosing a coding language for your kid. Remember that your child will take time to understand all the elements of coding. By rushing him into the same, he might lose complete interest in the same.

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