Programming languages for kids

Priyanka Reddy

July 1, 2021

Top 8 Programming Languages for Kids in 2021

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Codingal

6 min read

Programming has become an essential skill for everyone to possess in today’s world, especially for the younger generation. Starting early with  programming will make sure that the children are already ahead of their peers in the future who missed the advantage of learning to code at an early age.

Learning to code can sometimes be seen as challenging, especially for kids who are just getting started. Thankfully, there are specific programming languages for every skill and experience level. As there are many programming languages for kids to learn, it becomes challenging to decide which one is the best.

We’ve come up with a curated list of some of the most fun, useful, and even challenging programming languages for kids. These can be quickly learned by choosing an appropriate coding platform.

Scratch


Scratch is an interactive, drag-and-drop programming language that allows users to make animations and games. It’s perfect for beginners, as it helps them understand the logic of programming without any prior knowledge. The learning gained in Scratch can then be applied to real programming languages.

It’s a block-based programming language that works on a visual interface. The best part about scratch is that it comes with video tutorials which help kids to learn to program.

Pros: Block-based programming, easy-to-use and kid friendly interface, beginner tutorials support
Cons: Mostly suitable for beginners, doesn’t help kids learn real programming

Python


Python is one of the easiest programming languages that kids can learn. It requires only a few code lines to get started and is very easy to understand, even for beginners. Python is used in most advanced fields like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science, and web developments.

It’s the most versatile programming language used to create numeric and scientific computing projects. Many of the common functionalities that programmers need are already built-in, which makes this a great language for kids to learn.

Pros: Uncomplicated syntax, versatile programming language, pre-built functionalities, huge & supportive online community
Cons: Doesn’t support mobile app development, speed limitations

Java


Java is one of the most popular programming languages for kids. It is widely used for developing applications on android platforms. Java is easy to learn, whether kids are brand new at coding, or interested in learning an additional new language.

For kids who love Minecraft, Java is likely the best language to start with as Java is the language of Minecraft. With it’s English-like syntax Java is easy to understand and quick to learn. 

Applications built with Java are more robust as they are measurable and scalable. However, Java takes longer to master compared to other programming languages.

Pros: Highly adaptive language, suitable for developing apps and games, massive backend environment, graphical interface support
Cons: Challenging for beginners, takes longer time to learn

Ruby


Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It’s super easy to learn and makes coding as uncomplicated as possible. Ruby is most used for building web applications.

The best part about this programming language is that most of the codes are self-explanatory. What’s more, its syntax is so high-level and easy to understand that it’s considered as close as you can get to coding in English. 

Pros: Object-oriented language, easy to learn, case-sensitive, robust language
Cons: Less flexibility, slow processing

C++


C++ is a general purpose programming language and widely used for competitive programming. It’s one of the evergreen programming languages and loved by millions of software developers.

It looks more like math, and sometimes many students drop the idea of learning it due to this reason. Once the fundamentals of C++ are cleared, it becomes less complicated to learn and opens many new doors in programming. 

Learning C++ provides a profound understanding of programming through which students can create multiple apps, system software, and games.

Pros: Used to develop cross-platform games, general purpose programming language, great choice to learn gaming
Cons: Challenging for beginners, supports platform-specific applications only

Swift


Swift is a convenient language to write software, whether it’s for phones, desktops, servers, or anything else that runs code. It’s a safe, fast, and interactive programming language. For students, learning Swift has been a great introduction to modern programming concepts and best practices. 

Swift programming skills can be applied to a broader range of platforms, from mobile devices to the desktop to the cloud. The best part about Swift is that it works on a simple drag and drop functionality, which is super convenient to use for development purposes.

Pros: Open sourced and easy to learn, fast and interactive language, best for developing apps on iOS platforms, works on drag and drop concept
Cons: The language is still quite young and talent pool is limited, low compatibility with the third-party tools

Lua


Lua manages to stand out from the crowd, but it is still relatively unknown. This language has been used for well over two decades. However, it’s rarely used as a standalone programming language. Instead, developers usually use it as an embedded scripting language for individual programs. 

Lua has mainly been used in video games and game engines, but it’s also used as a programming language in many network and system programs.

Recently Lua has gained a lot of popularity and is used by well-known companies like Shopify, Tokopedia, Roblox, and many more.

Pros: Fast in execution, highly extendable, easy to learn, free to use
Cons: Small standard library and user community, lack of built-in functionalities

Alice


Alice is an innovative block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Unlike many of the puzzle-based coding applications Alice motivates learning through creative exploration.

Alice is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming. It works on a drag and drop approach, which makes it a great choice for kids to learn to code and have fun at the same time.

Pros: Works on drag and drop concept, object-oriented programming, simple to learn
Cons: Very laggy compared to other programming languages, challenging for beginners
Conclusion

These are some of the best programming languages that kids can learn. Learning to code at a young age would prepare kids for a lifetime of success. Starting early with  programming gives a competitive advantage for kids to stay ahead of their peers.

It also becomes important to choose the best platforms offering quality and value added coding education. It makes the next-generation virtual coding classrooms and online learning fun and effective.

Codingal provides the most accessible and enjoyable path to learning how to codekids have so much fun that they hardly realize they’re learning at all.  
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