There’s a huge number of different programming languages around that can be used to learn coding. However, many of these are fairly complicated, requiring tricky syntax or appearing to be overly mathematical. Something that intimidating could easily put a child off trying to learn coding, so we’ve collated some of the best programming languages to get kids started with, that can set them on the way to acquiring an invaluable lifelong skill.
Some programming languages are so beautifully simple – requiring minimal or no syntax and typing – that kids won’t even realise they’re learning a new skill. These are programming languages that work intuitively and are relatively easy for kids to pick up – whether they want to build games, make music or create an interactive story!
Scratch is one of the favourite introductory programing languages, as it is easy to grasp for beginners while also including enough options and complexity for more experienced programmers. It can be used to make art, music, games and interactive stories, and is currently popular in schools, being available free online and usable on any operating system. There’s even an active online community of users who share their work, and help other users develop.
Ruby is a dynamic, open-source coding language that has proven self-explanatory for a lot of children, with its focus on simplicity and productivity. It has some of the easiest syntax of any programming language, and is brilliant for learning the fundamentals that will teach children how to write good script. It produces sturdy code, and was originally used for Twitter, making it one of the best examples for how coding can be used to create something fantastically popular and important.
Unlike more advanced programming languages, Python is written in plain English, rarely requiring one to add comments. It can help kids to think like a programmer without needing to first learn the intricacies of coding syntax. Python also has an extensive library of common coding functionalities, making it easy for users to turn a programming idea into something that can be interpreted by a computer. Hello, World!
This is an ideal programming language for any children who love gaming, and can be convinced to turn that passion for playstation into something more productive. The basic version is free, and is a great way to introduce kids to the fundamentals of video-game design, through an epic adventure-based plot. Users can also publish and share their created games, but in the interest of online safety, the site closely monitors all published content, and there is no live chat feature. And parents can even set a time limit on how much a child can play the game in a day! Ideal.
This language will teach you how to talk to robots, and is perfect for designing anything from desktop programmes to video games. From telling a machine what to do, to introducing conditional statements and creating functions, C++ can be taught to even young children and allow them to get to grips with the possibilities of coding.
All of the programming languages in this article can be self-taught, and learned without too much adult intervention. However, if you would like the assistance of an expert coding tutor, please contact the Temple of Minerva on 0208 819 3276.
By David Bard
David is a Minerva Pro Tutor who specialises in humanities subjects at A Level and is a trained expert in the 7 + and 11 + exams. Outside of tutoring, David writes blogs about everything that’s trending in education.