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What Are the Different Types of Computer Programming for Kids?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Most computer programming for kids comes down to either simplified computer languages that are fairly easy for kids to understand and begin to work with or developed programs and software that can be used to teach children problem solving and analytical skills that can transfer over into computer programming. There are a number of simple programming languages that can be used to help teach kids about computer programming, and some of these can be used by adults interested in learning programming as well. Games and interactive applications that can be used to facilitate computer programming for kids can be found on a number of different websites and even as retail products.

Computer programming for kids usually involves some type of software development or understanding of programming methods aimed at children and young adults. Anyone looking to teach children about computer programming should have a good amount of patience, and understand that kids often develop at different rates. Problem solving skills and analytical thinking might not develop for a child until the age of 11 or older, which means computer programming can be quite difficult for kids sometimes and may require different approaches for different children.

Some of the most straightforward types of computer programming for kids are programming languages meant for children or beginners. These languages often use the same basic syntax and structure as more elaborate languages, but simplify the process of creating code in a number of different ways. Such languages can be found online and in books and often include tutorials to help learners begin to develop software.

When these methods are used to encourage computer programming for kids, they can often produce results fairly quickly and easily. This is often important for children, as seeing a program they created can have a tremendous impact on young people. Many of these languages can be used to create games and similar applications that kids can enjoy after they create them.

There are also a number of products and existing software that can be used to help teach computer programming to kids. These products may not directly instruct programming methods or teach a programming language to a child, but often develop related skills or abilities instead. There are games, for example, that can help children learn basic problem solving skills often needed when programming and writing code.

Similarly, there are also commercial products that can be used to help teach computer programming for kids. The Lego® Mindstorm® series of products, for example, allows kids and adults to use Lego® components to construct small robots and automated devices. These creations can then be programmed using a fairly simple language to move and perform various tasks.

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Discussion Comments

By clintflint — On Jan 03, 2014

@croydon - Education has been the same since the beginning of time. There are huge amounts of resources out there on any topic, but it is up to the students and the teacher to harness them. I don't think it matters that much which application they use to teach computer programming for beginners.

The way the topic is framed and the challenges that are put to the students is the important part.

By croydon — On Jan 03, 2014

@Ana1234 - Often those computer programming applications for children simplify it to the point where I'm not sure it does them any good. I've seen some where it basically does all the work for them and all they have to do is select different options for putting a game together without any information about code at all.

I actually think they were better off when they had to figure out things like calculator programming by themselves, because then at least they were doing something truly creative.

By Ana1234 — On Jan 02, 2014

Honestly, you'll be surprised at what kids can do once they learn basic computer programming languages. One of my friends has very fond stories about programming games into his calculator at school, because there was no other resource for programming and he wanted to play games. It wasn't even encouraged by the school, but he did it anyway, learning off his own initiative.

Programming is really a language that works with certain rules and I think adults have more problems with it because they have trouble understanding that a computer will do what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do. Kids who learn these skills early will just know intuitively how to talk to computers and they will be able to transfer that into any programming language.

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