Monthly Archives: October 2004

Programming for kids

What makes a good first programming language for kids?

My son, who is 8 years old, was intrigued by some of the games I made years ago (mostly in Director), and perhaps is ready to learn his first programming language.

It doesn’t have to be all coding at this point, perhaps with a mix of visual programming. Since he likes playing with lego, we looked at Lego Mindstorms; however, I’m not sure if he’s ready (the box says for ages 12+). I know Robin teaches his kids C#, but the complexity of the language, libraries and compiler…etc. would probably frustrate an 8 year old (and no doubt my son). Logo seems to be a logical choice, but I’m open to suggestions…

What do kids like to do? What frustrates them (and diminishes the interest in learning)? Why even learn a programming language? What are the essential ideas kids should learn? Logic? OOP? Making turtles draw?

After looking at different options, I think ActionScript is not a bad choice! 😎