Did you know there are nearly 9,000 different coding languages? Many of them are hardly used but have been created in the world of programming through the years. The question that is important to educators and parents alike is, what are the best coding languages for kids?
Children are like sponges! They absorb at a faster rate than adults. What an opportune time to introduce programming concepts into their young developing minds! In today’s world, we are fully aware of how important a computer science education is for their future careers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states (as of January 2022), that the employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2030. This far exceeds the speed of growth for all other occupations. They will be at the top of the food chain when it comes to financial comfort. The median annual wage for careers in the field of Computer Science was $126,830. The highest 10 percent earned more than $194,430!
PlayStations, Pokeman cards, or whatever you gifted your trendy Sneakerhead, nothing will solidify a child’s future like programming courses for children. “Kids will be kids”, as they say. They still like to have fun even while learning. That is what’s so great about the CodeMonkey coding curriculum. CodeMonkey is an educational game-based environment where kids learn to code with easy-to-learn coding languages! Children retain information much better when they are enjoying themselves. If you’ve ever built an exploding volcano in science class, you know what I’m talking about. Today children need to learn so much more in computer science than ever before. What makes learning a coding language enjoyable? Besides being gamified, it must gradually teach programming concepts that build skills with confidence.
Here are our top 10 picks for Best Kids Coding Languages:
CoffeeScript is the perfect language for children and beginners to learn, since it has many real-life uses, yet it remains intuitive to learn.
Python is a widely used language that has an easy syntax. Python is a general-purpose, versatile and popular programming language for kids.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is used on most websites. It’s a great place for future programmers to get their start.
This is a great kids programming language to learn for website or app development. When used with HTML/CSS, the programming options are numerous.
This coding language has an easily readable syntax for young programmers. It was created in a very straightforward way that later enables a budding programmer to develop more complicated code.
Although heavily math-based (which may be a deterrent to some), once learned, children will be following in the footsteps of many programmers who got their start in this coding language.
Coding in swift can be a great interactive way to program code for children. Like its name, it runs fast!
This kid’s programming language has been compared to Python and started gaining popularity as a great learning tool for kid coders.
An easy-to-learn coding language for children, Scratch builds logic problem-solving skills.
Lua is a great kid’s coding language to delve into the world of game development. It can be picked up quite easily.
When to start teaching kids to code?
Children can start learning to code as early as 5 or 6 years old! Preschool and Kindergarten students are not only energetic physically, but their minds are firing on all circuits, ready to learn new skills and concepts! CodeMonkey Jr. is our beginner game that teaches block-based coding. It’s a great introduction to text-based coding with the programming languages discussed. The visual rather than alphabetical programming allows these youngsters to grasp the fundamental concepts of coding, without the need to have mastered reading. Fun colors and activities make CodeMonkey jr. a great beginner’s course into the world of coding for kids.
Set up an environment conducive to learning!
Whether at home or school, kids need to learn in a positive space. Emotionally they need to feel supported and encouraged. We need to give them the right tools from technology to comfortable workspaces. Make it comfortable but not too comfortable! Sitting in cushy chairs or a bed can take a child’s focus away from the task at hand. Make sure they have up-to-date equipment and software that can handle the demands of an impatient child, as they sometimes tend to be. Eliminate distractions like loud music or the sounds of others talking. Headphones are great for kids. They feel cool wearing them and keep them focused on the computer. We use great music and sound effects on our CodeMonkey platform to keep children engaged while they code away!
Beyond this, parents and teachers should encourage kids to learn independently while still being there to support their questions and progression. There should not be high pressure demands at this stage of their learning journey. Learning should be fun yet encouraged. One of the best tools in a child’s education is a predictable learning schedule. Set a time a few times a week for your kids to play CodeMonkey. CodeMonkey has a progressive curriculum that fosters this important learning technique.
Let’s talk about children’s brain development and the importance of a computer science education early.
Children’s brains develop the most from birth to 5 years old. Their brains develop at an astounding 90% in that time! All the developmental skills learned are beneficial to the entire brain. Think of moving parts working together in a well-oiled machine. Their minds are developing stronger senses, balance, visual recognition, sensations, behavior, memory, planning, abstract thinking, etc. Learning to code specifically develops memory, problem-solving skills, creative thinking and cognitive skills.
Ages 5-7 is the ideal time to introduce coding for a great head start for their future. Children’s language skills are quickly developing at these ages. They start to really grasp the concepts of planning, building, the relation between space and time, etc. These are all the fundamentals of building great code! This is a critical time to introduce them to new skills to enhance their rapidly growing brains! Finger-painting and blowing bubbles were fabulous, but let’s turn it up a notch now shall we?
10 Cognitive thinking advances in a 5-6 year old’s development:
1. Their language improves and is more understandable to everyone around them.
You may hear your child or student using new words that surprise you. How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t believe what my child said to me the other day?”.
2. Children at this age are starting to display a longer attention span.
We all know how impossible going to the movies with a toddler is. We can now enjoy sitting through the newest 3-D animation movie at the theatres with our growing kids. Who knows, you may have the next animator sitting next to you munching on popcorn. Coding is a great introduction to a future career in any computer science industry.
3. A significant leap in applying creative thinking to problem-solving is more defined.
Children at this stage have moved beyond basic play and are getting into more complex activities like puzzles. They love building make-believe worlds with their toys and computer games. They are using their creativity and problem-solving skills to play.
4. They start to speak in more detail.
Any parent or teacher will attest to the constant flow of questions and endless stories. Trying to be a patient and active listener is so important at this time. Hearing them excitedly speak about their achievements, when they complete a goal, is like music to our ears. Learning to code is a great method for trial and error and learning to overcome obstacles.
5. A sense of humor is starting to emerge. You may even have the privilege of hearing kindergarten jokes daily. Try to contain yourself.
There is actually quite a bit of genius in humor. People that make us laugh with their quick wit are highly intelligent. A child that has the foresight to comprise a joke, for the sheer purpose of making others happy, is a talent. If your child is starting to show these signs, then you should be proud.
6. Kids at this age start to elaborate in their story-telling abilities with a clearer beginning, middle, and end.
Children start explaining more descriptively. Their memory and imaginative skills are developing, which leads to some very colorful stories!
7. They start to develop a better understanding of the world around them, including heavier topics like life and death.
One may hear their child ask some really tough questions, like “mom will I ever see Fluffy again?”. These are all important clues that they are thinking not only in the present moment, but in past and future as well.
8. 5-6 year olds begin to distinguish fantasy from reality.
With advances in animation, sometimes it’s difficult for younger children to understand what is real and what is not. As we explain the differences between fact and fiction, they quickly grasp the concept. This is an important factor in their growing development. This is thanks to the rapid rate at which they absorb what they are taught.
9. 5-6 years olds start using sentence structure and correct grammar more often.
Children’s language development greatly improves at this stage. Coding languages are exactly that, languages! The more connections they make in their brain to different languages, the stronger their minds become.
10. The ability to describe similarities between two objects is more developed.
Spatial and visual recognition is a key factor in block-based coding, the first step to text-based coding languages. Kids can put this into practice with CodeMonkey Jr.
What programming languages does CodeMonkey teach kids who want to learn how to code?
Once young children have moved beyond CodeMonkey Jr. they graduate to our next-level courses. CodeMoneky uses CoffeeScript and Python as their coding languages. These are text-based languages that are easy for children to learn. We felt that these two languages are instrumental in building a solid foundation for children to learn to program, which is why we chose these particular ones on our platform.
Coding Chatbots and Banana Tales use Python. This popular programming language is used frequently by developers throughout the industry. Children build the confidence and skills to one day develop websites, games, and apps.
Teaching children to code is important for many reasons. They are developing important computer skills, specifically important in today’s world, where digital literacy is so important. Nurturing their growth in communication, confidence, and future careers are all reasons children benefit from learning to code. Start with the right kids’ coding language on a fun & gamified educational platform like CodeMonkey!