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Teaching Kids to Code

My oldest kid (currently age 11) has expressed an interest in learning to code for a while. I've tried working through HTML basics and simple "hello world" type stuff in PHP and Javascript, but it's not really hooking him.

The most fun code-adjecent thing we've done together was modify Donald Trump's tweets with Inspector and send around the manipulated screenshots 🤣🤣🤣

In any case, I've had a lot of trouble finding resources for kids in his age group.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

Discussion (6)

crenshaw_dev profile image
Michael Crenshaw

I learned with Terrapin Logo. I enjoyed how visual it was and the accessibility of the documentation.

I've also downloaded simple Python games and helped kids modify the games' behavior. In my experience, they mostly enjoy making the games behave in weird/broken ways. But if they connect their changes to the altered behavior, it's a step in the right (or at least the "learning") direction.

deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy

Definitely try Scratch, you can actually get pretty far with that. I also think Racket is a fantastic beginner/kids langauge, for a curriculum How To Design Programs is a good way to start. Racket lets you start working with graphics and stuff very quickly and is relatively frictionless.

scosta profile image
Saul Costa

We've gotten really good feedback on a couple of our courses that are geared towards younger / introductory learners. They give the student a lightweight coding environment so they can learn-by-doing and include a helpful coding bot (Codey!) to guide the student.

Here they are, if you want to take a look:

We offer a 1 week free trial, but happy to extend that for you if you'd like!

P.S. If you do sign up, please sign up yourself. Due to privacy regulations (like COPPA), our site cannot be used by anyone under 13 :)

heinekeg profile image

My little sister said to me that when she grows up she wants to be like me (she's 10), so for her 10th birthday I got her an introduction to python book. I don't do python myself, but I wanted her to start with something easy to understand to help her form an algorithmic mindset. Really proud of her, since after her birthday, she turned out to paint really nice too.

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

If interested in games, try Code Combat.

chrisrhymes profile image
C.S. Rhymes

I bought my daughter a microbit to do some coding exercises with her. They have lots of fun examples on their website too.