5 Best Programming Languages for Kids

Programming is a great skill for any child to learn and develop. Programming basics are something that anyone who will one day work with computers should have a handle on. However, there are so many different programming languages, it can be hard to decide which one will be the best to pick for your students. Here is an overview of the five best programming languages for kids who are interested in learning to code:

programming languages for kids

Recommended Programming Languages for Kids

1. Python

Python is a programming language that reads like normal speech. One rarely has to add comments to the code because Python code that is written well enough reads as if the comments are already included in the code. If your kids or students are going to learn something like coding, then you would want them to get a basic grasp on how to think like a programmer. With Python, students will have very few obstacles with regards to learning how to program. They will be able to learn how to construct programming ideas within their heads and then focus on transferring these ideas into instructions that the machine can interpret. Python also has a “batteries included” philosophy, which refers to the tremendous amount that can be done just by simply researching and using the core Python libraries. Many of the common functionalities that programmers need are already built into the programming language, which makes this a great language for kids to learn.

2. Ruby

Ruby has the most readable syntax for beginner programmers. Instead of spending a lot of time explaining the code that students are typing into machines, a lot of it will be self-explanatory for them. This is a really important factor for children who are still learning the concepts of programming. At the end of the day, children will need to learn the concepts in order to write good scripts. Ruby is a very robust language and it was originally used to create Twitter, so you can immediately show students that the application is a tool that gets used in popular platforms.

Students learn to code with CoderZ

3. Java

Java is arguably a bit harder to learn than either Ruby or Python, but choosing Java as a first-time programming language will make learning any subsequent language a bit easier for students. Many students have already thought about creating their own apps or websites but simply don’t know where to start. Java has been around for two decades and there are so many online resources, toolkits and tutorials that virtually anything can be created from the ground up using Java. There are a few initial hurdles to overcome, such as installing JDK and understanding how the syntaxes work, but the object oriented setup of the programming language makes it easy for students to progress. Java looks similar to C and C++, but offers more functionalities, thereby enables students to create more robust programs.

4. C++

Many computer science experts and developers have different opinions about whether a student should start with C++ or not. This programming language can look a bit like math and might put students off the idea of learning to code. Once the basic fundamentals of programming are understood, however, C++ can open many doors into the world of programming. Many of today’s most successful programmers started learning to code with C or C++.

5. Scratch

If you have a classroom of kids who are interested in creating animations, interactive stories, art or music, then Scratch is a coding language that can be learned online for free. While this language is simple enough for children, there are enough functionalities and options that even experienced programmers use the language.
Scratch also has a very interactive online community where people share their artwork and games with each other, which can further engage your students.

In Summary

Programming is a useful skill for virtually anyone. It teaches you to think about how a process works. It teaches you to think about the steps that are needed to make a process happen and how to solve problems.

As a teacher or mentor who is researching different options, it’s important to know that each language will have its benefits and drawbacks. The important thing is that your students learn the concepts behind the programming, such as the logic behind writing code, how to use constructs and tricks of the trade. CoderZ is an online learning environment designed to teaching kids from age 10–18 to learn how to code virtual and real robots. Find out more about CoderZ by Intelitek.

Talk to other teachers, STEM professionals, and STEM lovers. Share your thoughts and be part of the conversation. Join this online community for STEM, coding, and robotics professional.

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  1. November 2, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Many thanks!

  2. Dan-Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Python and Ruby for sure. C++ or Java – no way! There is nothing wrong with them as languages, but dealing with all the boilerplate is a sure way to turn kids off.

    I’d be more inclined to recommend HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

  3. Brian Sheely-Reply
    August 26, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Anyone who would suggest C++ is an appropriate programming language for kids has never programmed in C++. With the exception of Assembly, you can’t find a more difficult language to learn.

  4. Tarnue Pythagoras Borbor-Reply
    September 19, 2017 at 2:57 am

    var text = “learn HTML first”;
    > >
    > learn HTML first >
    > >

    • Arie Elbelman-Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Good one! 🙂

  5. September 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I would really recommend HTML5+CSS+JavaScript.

    Easy to get into, lots of tutorials. Start from HTML and CSS, then add JavaScript over time.

    They’re really attractive and profitable skills to have, easy to find a job, even a remote one too!

    • Arie Elbelman-Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Thanks for the recommendations, Elen!

  6. October 7, 2017 at 7:55 am

    This is a very helpful guide for someone who wanted to aim for the best thing in programming. Keep sharing

  7. Vlad-Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Seriously? Java?? What age are talking about?

    • Arie Elbelman-Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Hi Vlad! Middle school and high school students are having great experiences with Java. Especially when using it to program their own virtual robots in CoderZ.

  8. Peter George-Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 2:48 am

    I am a retired electrical engineer and I would like to get my 12 year old grandson interested in coding. I have been a hardware developer and have written in C, C++, C#, VB and ASM. Where should I start to get his interest without overwhelming him?

    • Arie Elbelman-Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Hi Peter, we truly recommend an online, gamified, learning environment like CoderZ. In CoderZ, your grandson will be able to learn how to code while programming his own virtual robot! Check it out at http://www.GoCoderZ.com

  9. November 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Generally programming languages are now quite mature and for the young the curve may be too steep. Really I learned how to make text type adventures with Batch Files then moved on to basic then c then Click ‘n Play then java then c# but the later 2 you really need the skill set you just get over time learning to research math and stuff. So if you head strait for those now I suspect it will just feel too daunting which is not the impact you would want. I have made a Basic interpreter Super Game System Basic targeted for this in the Windows app store and probably a good start though depending on how young get their creative minds going with mind craft or something that just gives them that creative drive. Programming is a lot of logic and problem solving much of which we could mess around with all day on older PC’s you almost had to but it’s not really their anymore for kids so just look for stuff that has them problem solving or creating without too much math or academic requirement.

  10. February 3, 2018 at 7:23 am

    This article made a really good point relating to web development. It explained, in simple terms, that Java is a necessary program to know when creating websites.

  11. March 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I frequently asked my opinion on the best programming language for kids. In my early days, I would reflexively refer parents to visual block programs or user-friendly languages. I think this is the best way for their growth.

  12. Chapu-Reply
    May 2, 2018 at 12:56 am

    C++? Java? That would defenitely scare kids out of programming!

  13. May 29, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.

  14. October 11, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Thanks for sharing such informative and helpful blog post and you are doing a good job so keep posting such amazing articles

  15. January 2, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Hello Oren,
    I am really happy to say it’s an interesting post to read. you are doing a great job . Keep it up. Regards from Agile Academy: http://www.agileacademy.co.in/

  16. February 3, 2020 at 5:46 am

    This article made a really good point relating to web development. It explained, in simple terms, that Java is a necessary program to know when creating websites. for more information visit : Thanks a lot for sharing.

  17. February 22, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Your title impressed me to click on the URL. The article is amazing with an attractive title. Keep writing!

  18. March 19, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Web designing is quite easy and popular also… i guess html css is best for kids to learn…

  19. April 1, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Useful information ..I am very happy to read this article..thanks for giving us this useful information. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.

  20. Rigby-Reply
    April 12, 2020 at 8:11 am

    These are not programming languages for kids to learn these are pretty advanced programming for kids. if you want to learn easier ones, learn HTML or CSS but not C++ ruby etc.

  21. June 15, 2020 at 12:46 am

    I found this article to be useful. When I started coding, I used python. However, Javascript can be added to the list as it can just be run from the browser .

  22. June 16, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Great Post, I really appreciate to blogger for this useful information. Keep sharing.

  23. Reine-Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    what programming language will be okay for a 7 year old. we have done scratch, he is very good with scratch, im looking at introducing a written language now.


  24. July 7, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Nice post author.Thank you.

  25. July 11, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Awesome post.Hello,
    Thanks for sharing such a great information . it is really helpful ..u r doing good job , keep sharing.
    Thank You,

  26. July 31, 2020 at 7:39 am

    The blog shared is very much informative. But programming languages like python & c++ can be little difficult for kids to understand. Instead of such advanced programming languages, we can teach kids about HTML or CSS. Thanks!

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