Teaching Kids Programming

In order to teach kids how to program, you need first to get them interested in something that is computer related. One of the best ways to get them interested in computers is games. They may want to write their own games, and that could be their entry into programming.

Here are some links to sites that deal with this subject.

CoderDojo

CoderDojo is a web site for non profit organizations that teach kids programming, starting at age 7. Their wiki has more information.

App Invetor

App Inventor is a beginner introduction to programming and app creation. From MIT.

Scratch

Also, from MIT, there is the Scratch language. You can program right from the web site.

Python and PyGames

Python is a very clean and very easy to understand language, yet a very powerful one as well.

PyGames is a set of libraries that allow someone to write their own games using the language.

Here are several tutorials on the Python language, which you will need to write games using PyGames:

Robocode

IBM Alphaworks Robocode teaches kids Java programming while writing a game.
Robocode Central is a web site dedicated to the Robocode community. It has lots of resources about Robocode.

Slashdot discussion on Robocode, titled: Learning Java through violence

Kuro5hin discussion on Robocode

Cognitoy's Mindrover

Cognitoy has a game called Mindrover, which is often used in education. Check Mindrover educational resources for more detail.

Squeak

Squeak is a language that has developed into a community of students and teachers interested in learning and teaching programming using this deriviative of Smalltalk-80 object oriented language.

HTML and Javascript

Some kids can get started using plain HTML, writing web pages for everyone on the net to see. The instant gratification provided from instantly publishing their work, can be a good motivation for them to get started.

As they grow more curious and competent, kids could start to explore other pages on the internet ("How is this menu done?", ...etc.). They could go on from there to Javascript.

PHP

PHP is a relatively easy language to use. Here are some tutorials on it.

Other Resources for kids and programming

Discussions and other stuff

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Comments

Hello World & Python

I have used Hello World to teach my son (7 yo.) python, and I've found it to be an excellent resource. Python is a very easy language to use anyway, and Hello World makes it fun and puts it into fairly easy to understand terms. The math required was a little bit too much for a 7 yo. but most of it can be skipped without having too much impact on their uptake of the concepts.

hmm maybe you can help me

well, am trying to run colobot under linux ubuntu 10.10
whenever i start it, it ends up whith an stupid whitesreen, and my resolution is about 240x400
have you got a solution?

you have interesting site.

you have interesting site. good post and i think it's very useful.

engineering

You really do need to make things interesting for kids to enjoy science and math and want to learn. As a kid my dad was an engineer and we used to work on remote control toys all the time. This experience working on improving vehicle performance was great for me and helped inspire my engineering and design abilities(and now Im an engineer). Now I try to give back to kids by helping them understanding rc boating with my blog.

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