Choose the Best Programming Language for Your Child

Thousands of languages and dialects are spoken around the world each day. And while there aren’t quite as many programming—or coding—languages, deciding on one to target (and figuring out which is best for your child) is no easy task.

Scratch, JavaScript, Java, Python, Lua, C++, and C# are of the most popular kids coding languages. Let’s take a closer look.

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Kids Coding Languages

To make sure we’re on the same page, a programming language is a specific, coded language used to convey instructions to a machine—in most cases, a computer. Because machines work in a specific way, programmers must use formal languages to communicate with computers and develop software programs, express algorithms, or provide specific instructions.

The better a programmer understands one of these languages (including its syntax and grammar), the more likely they’re able to get the computer to accomplish exactly what they want in the quickest amount of time.

Keep in mind, while there are some things you can do to accelerate the process and learn programming fast, relatively, it’s not unlike other interests and crafts, and requires dedication and iterations to reach your goals. The first step, though, is choosing a language.

1. Scratch & other visual programming languages:

Best to get kids excited about coding

With visual programming languages like Scratch, kids can drag and drop code blocks to animate characters, create games, and build apps. While visual languages don’t teach the syntax necessary in most other coding languages, they provide a solid foundation of programming principles.

Best of all, their simplicity gets kids excited about coding! Visual programming languages can be used to make interactive stories, games, and animations.

Great for:

  • Kids who don’t have programming experience
  • Showing kids how fun coding can be
  • Teaching basic concepts, like problem-solving and if-then thinking

What your child could create at iD Tech:

A fun animated game or story!

Featured courses:

  • CodeMaker: Code and Design Games with Scratch (ages 7–9) at iD Tech Camps
  • Code-a-Bot: AI and Robotics with Your Own Cozmo (ages 7–9) at iD Tech Camps
  • Game Design 101 (ages 10–12) at iD Tech Camps
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