How To Start Programming For Kids in 2022?

In an increasingly digital-dependent society, technology development should become one of the fundamental pillars of our literacy, just like grammar or mathematics. That’s why the number of parents looking for ways to learn programming for kids is on the rise.

The reason is obvious. To bet on programming is to bet on an industry with a virtually assured future and, like most fields, it’s never too early to start soaking it in.

Moreover, writing code is not the only skill acquired by those who enter the world of development at an early age. It’s also a great way to foster logical and computational thinking for problem solving and creativity, skills that can be quite useful later in life for tackling various obstacles in academic and work life.

For all these reasons, many families are looking for the best way to learn programming for kids. Whether this is your case or not, but you are still starting from scratch and would like to get started in the world of programming, here are some tips on how to do it.

The key to Learn Programming for Kids from Scratch

Undoubtedly, the most popular language to learn programming for children is Scratch. It is an educational platform, designed specifically for beginners, where you can create interactive stories, games and animations while you get started with the basics of programming.

Although it was originally created for children between the ages of 8 and 16, “it is used by people of all ages,” states the Scratch team on its official website. This popularity lies in its ease of learning and accessibility, but also in the wealth of visual environments, libraries and all kinds of resources it offers.

The first junior version of this programming language was developed in 2003 by the MIT Media Lab. The goal was to find the best way for children to learn programming. However, the international expansion of Scratch is due to the Code Clubs, a British initiative, born in 2012, with the aim of teaching kids, aged 9 to 11, to write code.

Today Scratch is used on all continents, by young and not so young, and is available in more than 60 languages. There is also Scratch Junior, a version designed for children between 5 and 8 years old.

It is also worth noting that it is the first programming language for educational purposes and aimed at the very young to enter, in April 2020, the top 20 of the TIOBE popularity index. It currently occupies the 23rd position.

Other alternatives to learn programming for children

Blockly

Despite the popularity of Scratch, there are other equally interesting options focused on learning programming for children. One of the most outstanding tools is Blockly.

Developed by Google, Blockly is also characterized by its visual character when it comes to representing the different programming concepts. But it also allows you to insert code written in another language, such as Java or Python, and customize your own interface.

Alice

Alice is another block programming environment that aims to facilitate the first development experience for all ages. With this programming language, children can soak in the principles of development while creating interactive narratives and 3D games.

Hopscotch

Another tool for creating games while learning to program is Hopscotch. Designed especially for young children, it is a fun way to develop critical thinking and creativity from an early age.

Code Studio

Code Studio is also an excellent option among programming languages for children. With this language you learn the basics of computer science with drag & drop blocks, as well as create your own drawings and games.

It is a non-profit platform whose main objective is to introduce programming in educational centers. It has various resources, such as courses and materials to train teachers in the subject, and also for children to get started in the discipline through projects.

Code Builder

Code Builder is another platform for programming in the Minecraft world using a specific language, based on colored blocks and developed in collaboration with Tynker. In a very simple way, it allows you to modify the world of Minecraft by placing hundreds of blocks with few instructions, order them according to certain patterns or achieve something that would take hours manually, in a few seconds.

Tynker

Tynker offers the possibility that through blocks that represent different programming concepts, children can create animated characters, video games or even music videos. In addition, it has templates that facilitate the task, since with them you can select and customize a scenario, a sound or a character being the student himself the one who interacts with them by using logical commands.

MakeCode

Microsoft also has something to offer in this regard and it is a free open source platform as a starting point for learning real programming. It is called MakeCode and is based on learning experiences that are quite attractive for children and based on boards such as MicroBit or Adafruit, the Minecraft game or LEGO Mindstorms.

This platform includes a simulator that does not depend on hardware elements to see the results of programming. Depending on the age range, you can opt for block-based programming using the drag-and-drop technique, or, if there is already a base, opt for the JavaScript or Python editor.

LiveCode

The LiveCode system allows you to create apps that can run in many environments, using a compile-free framework. The same LiveCode computational code can be used on many devices and platforms.

This feature allows children to create with freedom and with the knowledge that the apps they imagine and are turning into realities will work seamlessly across numerous devices, operating systems and platforms.

In addition, LiveCode uses a high-level English transcription system, called “Transcript”, which is used by dynamically typing on the keyboard. This system makes it much easier for children to create the functionality they want to add to their apps, software or games.

There are many more tools that help to learn programming for kids, but the essential thing to keep in mind is that, beyond language, development is a way of reasoning and solving problems. Therefore, like other skills, such as artistic ones, the earlier they are acquired, the better. But that doesn’t mean that later is too late. It’s always a good time to get started in the world of development.