The 5 Best Kids’ Coding Languages of 2020
It’s not news anymore that an increasing number of kids are learning to code. As STEM education becomes more and more popular, parents and teachers are now focused on helping their kids foster an interest in coding. Along with the excitement that computer coding for kids creates, questions start to arise: How do I begin teaching my kids to code? What are the best coding languages for kids out there? Here are the five best coding languages for kids we know of right now.
1. Scratch Programming Language for Kids
Created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is an easy programming language for kids to learn. It’s not an overstatement to say that this is the best programming language for kids ages 8 to 16. The newest version of Scratch was updated with even more fascinating new features, for instance, recording and editing sounds and including extensions, etc.
The Scratch programming language uses a building-block interface, which makes it very easy to operate. By dragging and dropping blocks, kids can complete a line of code. The similarity of both activities, coding and using building blocks, makes the programming part more engaging and fun for children, especially for those who don’t have any coding experience.
While learning Scratch, if students have any questions or need new ideas, there is an abundance of resources for them to turn to. The Scratch team created an extremely robust online community where you can find a great number of learning resources and getting-started tutorials.
What’s even better is that kids can learn to code with Scratch using coding robots. Codey Rocky uses mBot, which supports both Scratch and Python and can teach children to code through a series of games of different levels, making coding a lot of fun.
2. Python Computer Language for Kids
Python sets very few obstacles that stop kids from learning. Because of this, it’s simple for students to learn how to construct basic programming ideas. Some people might underestimate its power and sufficiency because it’s one of the best coding languages for kids who are just starting to code. Global tech companies like Google and Disney use Python to build a lot of their products and platforms. This also contributes to making it one of the most popular programming languages in the world nowadays. What’s so great about Python for kids?
Computer programming for children is like learning a new language. If you want to master it, you have to learn its logic and structure. And this is what Python can help students understand. After building a solid foundation, Python leads the kids to think about how they can turn their ideas into instructions that the machine can interpret. Therefore, if you want your kids to think like a programmer, Python is your choice.
Plus, Python has a “Batteries Included” philosophy, which means that it has a great library of information, and the library is always available. Basically, the library offers many common functionalities that have already been developed by other programmers and are ready to use. A child can start quickly and use his or her time to focus on the part that is most important to them.
4. Java for kids
You can’t ignore Minecraft (yes, the video game) when you talk about Java. When the game first came out, a lot of people were fascinated with it. Among the players and followers, there are quite a lot of adults as well. However, just when everyone thought it was just another popular video game, Minecraft has proven itself to be a very powerful tool for teaching kids Java.
With a proper amount of time and guidance, kids can look beyond the surface and dig into the game for opportunities to learn to use logic and solve problems. After a while, when kids get increasingly familiar with the game, you can introduce them to more complex concepts like modifications, aka mods. With this functionality, players can do many more things in the game, such as changing landscapes and characteristics.
However, to be able to do that, players must code in Java, upon which the game was developed. Because the game opens up its architecture for its players, you can make a variety of things happen as long as you have mastered the Java programming. This experience of creating your own world makes it fun and rewarding for kids.
5. Swift playground for kids
Before we touch on Swift Playground, it’s important to introduce Swift. Developed by Apple Inc., Swift is an open-source coding language that is chosen and trusted by millions of developers all around the world to bring their ideas to reality. With the strong support of Apple, Swift is seen as the future of Apple’s development.
Using this general-purpose, multi-paradigm, and compiled programming language, the Swift team has been striving to bring the coding language to more interested users regardless of their age and levels of coding knowledge. Therefore, Apple launched the Swift Playgrounds, a “revolutionary app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun” but doesn’t necessarily require any sort of coding experience.
The Swift Playground seems to be a perfect fit for kids to start their coding journey with, and there are plenty of teaching tools on the market to help kids understand the language better. The Neuron Explorer Kit by Makeblock is one powerful supportive tool designed for learning Swift Playgrounds that will not let you down!
The kit comes with 12 programmable electronic modules and four unique building guides that give kids the power and space to let their creativity run wild. They can build almost anything by using those blocks, from an explorer car, piano, and ukulele to an LED sword.
The kit encourages kids to explore and play, using their creativity. With the 12 programmable Neuron blocks and Swift coding, the kit can turn ideas in their heads into real creations. The Neuron Explorer Kit is also fully compatible with the Swift Playground. So, if you’re thinking about learning how to build apps, it’s time to start getting to know this language and use it with robots for kids.
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