Technology Tuesday #9 ~ Programming for Kids

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Papa Steve is a software developer, ie programmer, and Koko has shown tons of interest in programming. Papa has been slowly teaching Koko to programme a simple program on Kturtle on Linux and he is loving it. I have found a few programming for kids programs online that I’m sharing with you today.

Homeschool Programming Review on Royal Little Lambs

Jennifer and her daughter reviewed KidCoder Web Series from Homeschool Programming. Read all about their experiences with this program.

Launched in 2013,® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.


With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.


Inspiring Tomorrow’s Makers Today

In a world where technology touches every aspect of our lives, it is crucial that our children become active creators of technology, not just passive users. What separates those who simply have an idea from those who make their ideas a reality is the ability to program. Tynker’s mission is to provide every child with solid foundations in STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programming and critical thinking skills to prepare them to become better architects of their future world.

Tynker’s creative computing platform helps children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun, intuitive and imaginative way. Our innovative visual programming language, interactive self-paced courses, and game-based programming activities provide an easy introduction to programming, and empower children to innovate and create. Tynker is available on the Web and on iPad and Android-based tablets, so that kids can make fun and useful applications for their favorite devices.

Over 8 million kids and 10,000 schools use Tynker to learn programming, via:

  • Online interactive courses that allow kids to learn programming at their own pace at home.
  • Curriculum and classroom management tools for schools and districts to teach programming in classrooms.
  • Mobile applications for the iPad and Android-based tablets for kids to learn through puzzles and build their own mobile games.
  • Instructor-led summer camps and after-school clubs for kids to collaborate and take their programming skills to a new level.

Parents love Tynker because it’s an engaging way for kids to learn how computer programming works and how to build their own games and apps to play. Schools love Tynker because it offers them an easy-to-use system for delivering customized, grade-specific Computer Science courses – complete with a ready-to-use curriculum, classroom management, and automatic assessment tools.

The Tynker Visual Programming Language is based on Open Web standards (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS) and works seamlessly across Web browsers and natively on mobile platforms (Android, iOS). Kids start programming with visual blocks and then transition to JavaScript when they are ready. We are constantly innovating and building fun solutions for kids – Tynker’s language extensions, built-in physics engine, animation libraries, and character editors provide an excellent outlet for kids to unleash their creativity.


Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

Hackety Hack

Hackety Hack will teach you the absolute basics of programming from the ground up. No previous programming experience is needed!

With Hackety Hack, you’ll learn the Ruby programming language. Ruby is used for all kinds of programs, including desktop applications and websites.


Codecademy is an education company. But not one in the way you might think. We’re committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, making Codecademy the best place for our team to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future.

Education is old. The current public school system in the US dates back to the 19th century and wasn’t designed to scale the way it has. Lots of companies are working to “disrupt” education by changing the way things work in the classroom and by bringing the classroom online.

Programming for Kids – How to Make Coding Fun

Programming is becoming an essential skill in nearly every modern industry. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020 there will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than computer science students. Wow!

But more than any of that, when taught correctly, programming can be a whole heap of fun! Learning to code is an amazing, practical and hugely rewarding hobby and skill for kids of all ages.

In this jam-packed 1 hour course, we focus on the tools, techniques and ideas you can use to inspire fun and creativity in programming. With an emphasis on applications, the course steers away from code syntax or the conventions of any specific language and keeps the focus on making coding fun. In fact you won’t need any background or knowledge in programming at all.

Covering games, exercises, apps and more, the course is divided into four distinct sections to help guide you from introducing your kids to code, all the way to advancing them into more complex programming:

  • Preparation
  • Before the Code
  • Where to Start
  • Next Steps

So if your kids, class or school are excited about using technology to change the world, this course will give you everything you need to provide a practical and fun foundation for your kids to fall in love with coding.

Teaching your kids how to write computer programs

Let’s say that you have children, and you would like to help them learn computer programming at a youngish age. As the father of four kids, I have tried to approach it from several different angles. What I would like to do here is collect some ideas for parents who are looking for different options.

Let’s start with a something important: Every kid is different. Some kids are reading and writing fluently years ahead of other kids. For them, learning to program is probably easier. Some kids have the basic analytical skills a lot earlier than others (Here’s a story about a 9-year-old writing full-blown iPhone apps). And so on. You try to expose your kids to programming and it may or may not “take” the first time, simply because of these differences. So you wait a few months and try again, or you might try a different approach. Understand that, the first time you try to introduce your kids to programming, your kids might not “get it” at all. And that’s OK.

The second thing to realize is that real analytical skills often don’t start appearing until age 11 or 12 or 13 in many kids, so expecting huge breakthroughs prior to that may be unrealistic.

That being said, there are lots of fun things you can try as early as five or six…

Kid-Friendly Programming Languages – Science Buddies

With the right tools, anyone (even beginners who have never programmed anything before) can easily create their own animations, stories, video games, and other interactive programs. The key is finding the right programming language for your task and your level of experience. The table can help you find just the right combination. So take a look at the table, decide what programming language is best for you, and give it a try. You may be surprised at how quickly your creations take on a life of their own!


Game Studio in a Box
Stencyl isn’t your average game creation software; it’s a gorgeous, intuitive toolset that accelerates your workflow and then gets out of the way. We take care of the essentials, so you can focus on what’s important – making your game yours.

Publish Everywhere
With extensive platform support, you can rest assured that all players will have access to your game. Today, Stencyl supports:

  • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
  • Android
  • Flash
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux

Make #1 Games
Stencyl games have reached top slots in the App Store, including Impossible Pixel (#2 in US), BLiP (#1 in 18 countries) and Zuki’s Quest (#10 in US). Our best web games have been sponsored by top-tier sites such as ArmorGames, Kongregate and Newgrounds.

Kahn Academy

Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation
In these tutorials, you’ll learn how to use the JavaScript language and the ProcessingJS library to create fun drawings and animations. If you’ve never programmed before, start here to learn how!

  • Create Program
  • Documentation
  • Help Requests
  • Project Evaluations
  • Community Questions

Crunchzilla Code Monster

Code Monster from Crunchzilla is an interactive tutorial for kids that focuses on action. Code changes immediately yield visible results.

Projects start with simple boxes and colors, rapidly progressing into exciting experiments with simple animation and fractals. Important programming concepts like variables, loops, conditionals, expressions, and functions are introduced by example.

Code Monster is a gentle and fun introduction to programming concepts. It is a first step in learning to program. It is not intended to teach all of computer science and programming.

Code Monster is based in Seattle, WA. It is part of the Crunchzilla suite of game and educational projects developed by Geeky Ventures.

Free Courses for Kids

Teaching kids to program
Learn the basics of programming in our first course for kids. This course was designed by Pluralsight authors to teach their own children. Now you can use Visual Studio to teach your own kids to program in C#. In this lesson kids will learn about objects, methods, variables, and for loops in a fun and creative way.

Learning to program with Scratch
Scratch was designed to teach children the basics of programming in a visual way. In a short time, kids can visually grasp the basics of how programming languages work and they can create fun computer games. Scratch teaches the general skills and principles to be successful in just about any programming language, yet it’s fun and intuitive.

Learning to build apps with App Inventor
Now kids can create and publish an Android application without writing a line of code. In this course, you’ll learn how to use MIT’s App Inventor to create four functional apps and learn some basic programming concepts along the way. It’s a gentle introduction to programming in a language like Java, and you’ll have fun creating real applications as you learn.

Learn to Program: Kodu Kingdom Defense
Kodu lets kids create games using a simple visual programming language. In this course, kids will use Kodu Game Lab to learn how to program a tower defense-style action game that is able to run on both PC and Xbox.

Basic HTML for Kids
In this course, kids will learn the basics of HTML, the publishing language of the web. Step-by-step demos will show them how to build a site, including how to utilize the most common tags used in HTML5.

The Programming Language for Kids!

Now there’s something for you to do with your Windows computer or Windows tablet besides just blasting space aliens, checking your email, and surfing the Internet. Now you can have fun creating your own computer software (such as: computer games, tablet apps, computer art, secret coded messages … and much more!)

It’s easy! It’s SiMPLE …

And it’s Free from SiMPLE CodeWorks, Inc.

Programming for kids?

This site was created as a resource for parents and/or educators who are interested in teaching programming to children of different age groups.

12 games that teach kids to code — and are even fun, too

Coding is a big deal right now. Worldwide, 36 million kids have taken part in “Hour of code” activities, helping them become active, rather than passive users of technology and starting learning that might one day help secure a job in our increasingly tech-driven world.

Even if your kids don’t go on to code for living, a basic understanding of programming concepts improves problem-solving and thinking skills which are both transferable and empowering. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates says that: “Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.“

Teaching Kids Programming

Agile Technical Practices
TKP is TDD for 10 year-olds, really. TKP methods include use of pair programming, test-driven development, rapid feedback and sustainable pace.

The Intentional Method
We use Mastery-based learning because programming concepts build on each other. Why we use the Socratic method to keep kids involved.

Fun for Girls and Boys
Our courseware is written and tested by and for both women and men.




#1 ~ DIY Windmills: Tutorial
#2 ~ K5Learning Review
#3 ~ Time4Learning Review
#4 ~ How is Technology used in our homeschool?
#5 ~ Toddlers and Technology
#6 ~ James Hall Museum of Transport
#7 ~ Youtube?
#8 ~ Zoodles

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