JavaScript for Kids: What is it and where to start

JavaScript is a powerful programming language for creating interactive websites and web applications. 

Brendan Eich originally developed JavaScript in 1995, but it wasn’t until ten years later that it became widely used.

However, JavaScript can be tough to learn for kids. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to teach JavaScript to kids.

With this guide, you’ll learn basic tips on introducing JavaScript to kids and more advanced concepts they can use to create their web projects.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a strong foundation of what Javascript entails, why kids should invest their time into learning this programming language, and how it can benefit them in our world today.

So let’s get started!

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language used on the client side of web applications. It allows developers to write code that performs actions and interacts with the user without reloading the page. 

JavaScript can be used for basic tasks like changing the color of an element, but it can also be combined with other languages, such as HTML and CSS, to create more complex effects and animations. 

JavaScript can add text dynamically, create interactive content by manipulating elements on the screen and update information in real time. 

The syntax includes curly brackets and semicolons, which must be present after every line to execute the program correctly. 

Simply put, JavaScript is most typically employed to enhance the interactivity of web pages and applications.

Why Should Kids Learn JavaScript

There are numerous reasons children should learn to write in JavaScript, but most have nothing to do with your child’s eventual job choice.

While studying JavaScript can surely spark an interest that could lead to a career, there are numerous reasons your child should learn JavaScript, but highlighted below are a few things they benefit from. 

  • Problem Solving

Learning to think logically and solve problems will help them not only on tests but also in life as they grow up. They’ll be able to come up with creative solutions to challenges they may face, which is invaluable later in life. It’s important to note that problem-solving isn’t just about math and logic- it helps with empathy toward others.

  • Logical Reasoning

Programming teaches logic, one of the most important skills a child should have today. With so many social media and video games at their fingertips, it is up to them to analyze and make decisions based on what they see before them. Learning JavaScript will prepare your child and improve their thinking faculty. 

  • Целеустремлённость

Learning to code with JavaScript will encourage your child to try new things, be persistent and keep going even when it’s tough. Yes, this is because, at one point in time, they will be pushed against the wall with challenges when learning to code, which teaches them perseverance without knowing it. 

  • Web Development

If your kid already has some background in coding, JavaScript provides them with a valuable tool, particularly for web development. Everyone ignores a static website eventually because it becomes boring. JavaScript enables children to develop interactive websites that are more appealing to visitors and more enjoyable to create. 

Teaching children how to program websites opens them to a world of possibilities, such as helping people find employment or building their brand. 

What Age Can Kids Learn JavaScript?

Children as young as eight years can begin learning JavaScript. Coding is like learning a second language; studies have shown that younger children are more proficient at learning new languages.

Because this is a text-based programming language, typing abilities are essential. If your kid has good typing abilities, JavaScript is an excellent language to learn.

If kids have difficulty typing, визуальное программирование may be a better option to begin their coding career.

  • Elementary School Students

When teaching coding to elementary school students, it’s critical to focus on the fundamentals of JavaScript, such as variables, loops, and functions. The syntax is highly relevant for this age range because they have to understand the rules for accurately typing JavaScript. Children aged 8-10 may use JavaScript basics to construct animated games or interactive web pages.

  • Middle School Students

As they mature into middle school, they can move to more advanced topics, such as how to create GUIs (graphical user interfaces) using JavaFX. Basic HTML skills will also come in handy, so teaching them both HTML and JavaScript in tandem will be great. One great way to do this would be by having them build a basic website from scratch.

  • High School Students

In addition to learning the principles of JavaScript, high school students may begin to use libraries like jQuery to make games and webpages more interactive without having to code everything from scratch. Children in high school can also learn about APIs, allowing applications to communicate with one another.

Common JavaScript Terms

Есть several terminologies and unique words in JavaScript. Learning these terms will assist your youngster in expanding and understanding the JavaScript framework.

When first learning JavaScript, children should be exposed to the following terms:

  • Script

A script is a word used to refer to an instruction or set of instructions. Scripts are commonly used in JavaScript programming, although scripts can be written in many other computer languages. 

javascript script example

A script can contain any combination of text and executable code.

  • Функции

These are blocks of code that execute a specific task. The name of the function specifies what tasks it performs. 

javascript function example

Parentheses () after the function’s name indicate that one or more parameters (including data types, numbers, and strings) need to be provided for the function to execute successfully.

  • Class

In JavaScript, a class is a group of functions that belong to the same category. Objects in JavaScript can also be created with classes. 

javascript class example

To create a new class, use the keyword class followed by a name for the new object.

Условные

Conditional statements allow you to execute different blocks of code depending on certain conditions. 

javascript conditional example

The format for a conditional statement is if (condition) brackets. The condition is always evaluated as either true or false. 

Scope

A scope is a location where variables can be accessed. For example, within the scope of a function, local variables can only be seen from inside that particular function. 

javascript scope example

However, outside of the function, those variables can still be referenced, but they must have parentheses around them.

Array

This is a data structure that holds lists of items. Each list item is called an element, and each element has its index number. 

javascript array example

The indices start at 0 and go up until the last index is found. 

Console

Within JavaScript, a built-in console allows us to write messages and see the output. 

javascript console example

If we want to add additional information to our message, we can enclose this information within square brackets.

Easy Ways Kids Can Learn JavaScript

Kids are natural learners. They love technology and exploring the world around them. Teaching kids how to code is an excellent way to help nurture their natural curiosity.

The internet is brimming with ideas and tools to assist new developers in learning JavaScript. Below are some easy resources and tools kids can learn JavaScript from without a hassle. 

  1. Games And Apps

Learning about JavaScript doesn’t have to be difficult! There are lots of games, apps, and websites that make coding simple for beginners. Besides, JavaScript is a programming language used in game development, so learning through games or software like CodeCombat or CodeMonkey is a perfect fit. 

  1. Online or Direct Classes

More than ever, parents can use many different methods to teach kids how to code. If you are looking for more hands-on ways to teach kids how to code, consider taking them to an online or in-person JavaScript class. 

  1. Projects

Many children learn best by practical, so choosing a small JavaScript project they can undertake and master is a good alternative. When selecting a project, remember to consider your child’s past coding experience if they have any prior experience. Beginners should begin with a lesson that takes them through each step. Kids with some background can try a project with more general instructions.

  1. Книги

When it pertains to books that can teach JavaScript, there are several possibilities. Books not only teach coding ideas without additional screen time but are also easy to refer to repeatedly. This is also a good alternative for children who understand things better when delivered on a printed page rather than a screen.

JavaScript Libraries

JavaScript libraries are code snippets that have been prewritten for many uses. These libraries aid in the performance of the function, allowing for speedier development. Furthermore, it decreases the likelihood of a human mistake. The following JavaScript libraries are the popular types children should be family with as they learn the programming language. 

Angular: It is a structural framework for dynamic web apps. It provides data-binding and change-detection features that allow you to use HTML as your template language. You can also extend HTML syntax to succinctly express your application’s components.

JQuery: JQuery is a fast and detailed JavaScript library. It carries out HTML document manipulation, and animation effects, etc., very simple with an intuitive API that works across many browsers.

Parsley: Parsley is another structured framework for developing rich interactive applications on the web. Similar to Angular, Parsley allows developers to use it as the programming language.

QUnit: QUnit is a powerful, easy-to-use, and well-maintained JavaScript unit testing framework. Such projects use QUnit as jQuery and jQuery UI. 

Other includes: 

  • React
  • Ember.js
  • Node.js

Заключение  

The web is a dynamic and ever-changing place. Users interact with each other and sites differently than they did a few years ago, and technology continues to advance.

There’s always something new to learn. Kids need opportunities that keep their skills relevant for the future. That’s where JavaScript comes in!

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