• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Any good coding/programming software for young kids?

Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
1,183 (0.30/day)
Location
MN
System Name Personal / HTPC
Processor i5-4670k @ 4.4 / i5-4460
Motherboard ASUS z97-AR /ASRock Z87 Extreme4
Cooling Corsair H100i / stock HSF
Memory 16GB DDR3 1600 / 8GB DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega / Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega
Storage 250 GB Crucial SSD MX200, 1TB & 500GB Western Digital / 2x 4TB WD Red
Display(s) 3x 24" Asus Ve248H LED (5760x1080) / 50" LCD TV
Case CoolerMaster XB Evo / CM HAF XB Evo
Power Supply 850W SeaSonic X Series / 750W SeaSonic X Series
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Microsoft Natural Elite Keyboard
Software Windows 7 Home 64 / Windows 10 Home 64
Apparently my 7 year old took to some coding/programming software they play with at school like a fish to water. I think it's called Pattern Shapes Scratch Jr.

Only coding I ever did was intro to C, C+ and VB classes. I hated it. It wasn't hard to pick up, just dull/tedious and not what I wanted to do with my time...and those classes I took were almost 15 years ago. I haven't looked into anything since.

Anyone have young kids that are into this kind of thing and know of any good programs I could look into?
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
2,669 (1.47/day)
System Name Wut?
Processor 3900X
Motherboard ASRock Taichi X570
Cooling Water
Memory 32GB GSkill CL16 3600mhz
Video Card(s) Vega 56
Storage 2 x AData XPG 8200 Pro 1TB
Display(s) 3440 x 1440
Case Thermaltake Tower 900
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Ultra Platinum
Apparently my 7 year old took to some coding/programming software they play with at school like a fish to water. I think it's called Pattern Shapes Scratch Jr.

Only coding I ever did was intro to C, C+ and VB classes. I hated it. It wasn't hard to pick up, just dull/tedious and not what I wanted to do with my time...and those classes I took were almost 15 years ago. I haven't looked into anything since.

Anyone have young kids that are into this kind of thing and know of any good programs I could look into?
The raspberry pi has a bunch of software for getting kids into programming. I'm sure they would work on regular Linux distros as well.
 

W1zzard

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
20,115 (3.49/day)
Processor Core i7-4790K
Memory 16 GB
Video Card(s) GTX 1080
Display(s) 30" 2560x1600 + 19" 1280x1024
Software Windows 7
How about programming Lego? You definitely want something that has an effect in real-life, which also helps discover potential engineering potential :)

Microcontrollers are great, too, but I think at 7 he's a bit too young
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
12,522 (2.74/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3333 @ 14-14-14-34-2T
Video Card(s) AMD RX 5700 XT (XFX THICC Ultra III)
Storage Mushkin Pilot-E 2TB NVMe SSD w/ EKWB M.2 Heatsink
Display(s) 32" LG 32GK850F-B 144Hz Freesync 2 Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) VGA HDMI->Panasonic SC-HTB20/Schiit Modi MB/Asgard 2 DAC/Amp to AKG Pro K7712 Headphones
Power Supply SeaSonic Prime 750W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 Enterprise (yes, it's legit.)
How about programming Lego? You definitely want something that has an effect in real-life, which also helps discover potential engineering potential :)

Microcontrollers are great, too, but I think at 7 he's a bit too young
Yep... lego mindstorms. This is what you want, I think.

I owned a first gen one at about the same age (12). Look at me now, I'm completely useless but I know how to code... lol.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
4,079 (1.78/day)
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
System Name WS#1337
Processor Ryzen 5 1600X
Motherboard Gigabyte x470 AORUS Ultra Gamin
Cooling Xigmatek Scylla 240 AIO
Memory 2x8GB Team T-Force Vulkan DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2060 Super Armor OC
Storage Adata SX8200 Pro 1TB
Display(s) Samsung U24E590D (4K/UHD)
Case Chieftec AL-01B-OP
Audio Device(s) ALC1220
Power Supply SeaSonic SSR-550FX (80+ GOLD)
Mouse Logitech G603
Keyboard Zalman K500 modded (Gateron brown)
Software Windows 10, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Anyone have young kids that are into this kind of thing and know of any good programs I could look into?
For a 7y.o? I'd start with MIT's Scratch.

ScratchJr was "inspired" by it, just so that kids with no future in CS will have something to do for a checkmark.

Later you could move on to Processing IDE, or maybe do some Arduino stuff.
Honestly, programming makes a lot more sense when it's tied to an actual hardware, or at least can do something cool and engaging.

Heck, I got thrown into experimental class in 3rd grade(9y.o.), where we had to learn introductory informatics and code in BASIC on old soviet "Corvette 86" micros with monochrome displays, then wasted another 7 years learning Pascal/Delphi, only to find out that neither is useful in real life and cool kids in big towns already migrated to C.

How about programming Lego? You definitely want something that has an effect in real-life, which also helps discover potential engineering potential :)

Microcontrollers are great, too, but I think at 7 he's a bit too young
Mindstorms is programmed in micro-python, if I remember correctly. Python is confusing-enough for adults, so that's probably a no-no.
 
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
1,183 (0.30/day)
Location
MN
System Name Personal / HTPC
Processor i5-4670k @ 4.4 / i5-4460
Motherboard ASUS z97-AR /ASRock Z87 Extreme4
Cooling Corsair H100i / stock HSF
Memory 16GB DDR3 1600 / 8GB DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega / Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega
Storage 250 GB Crucial SSD MX200, 1TB & 500GB Western Digital / 2x 4TB WD Red
Display(s) 3x 24" Asus Ve248H LED (5760x1080) / 50" LCD TV
Case CoolerMaster XB Evo / CM HAF XB Evo
Power Supply 850W SeaSonic X Series / 750W SeaSonic X Series
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Microsoft Natural Elite Keyboard
Software Windows 7 Home 64 / Windows 10 Home 64
Yep... lego mindstorms. This is what you want, I think.

I owned a first gen one at about the same age (12). Look at me now, I'm completely useless but I know how to code... lol.
The daughter loves building with legos, she's almost 12, but she hasn't shown any interest in computers aside from playing games on them.
The 7 year old has legos, but doesn't really put much effort into them. He usually gets about 1/3 of the thing built and just gives it to his sister. He'd rather build different layouts with his MindWare Q-BA-MAZE marble tracks. Maybe he'd find more interest if he can code/program the legos to do things....
 

W1zzard

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
20,115 (3.49/day)
Processor Core i7-4790K
Memory 16 GB
Video Card(s) GTX 1080
Display(s) 30" 2560x1600 + 19" 1280x1024
Software Windows 7
Mindstorms is programmed in micro-python, if I remember correctly. Python is confusing-enough for adults, so that's probably a no-no.
I think there's also a GUI approach and Java. Too old myself to have experienced Mindstorms .. I built electrified/controllable stuff with Lego Technic :D

Oh .. Minecraft? Any opinions on that?
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
4,079 (1.78/day)
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
System Name WS#1337
Processor Ryzen 5 1600X
Motherboard Gigabyte x470 AORUS Ultra Gamin
Cooling Xigmatek Scylla 240 AIO
Memory 2x8GB Team T-Force Vulkan DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) MSI RTX 2060 Super Armor OC
Storage Adata SX8200 Pro 1TB
Display(s) Samsung U24E590D (4K/UHD)
Case Chieftec AL-01B-OP
Audio Device(s) ALC1220
Power Supply SeaSonic SSR-550FX (80+ GOLD)
Mouse Logitech G603
Keyboard Zalman K500 modded (Gateron brown)
Software Windows 10, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
I think there's also a GUI approach and Java.
Oh yeah. Just checked, and it actually looks similar to Scratch. That should be perfect, and a good prep for Arduino/Teensy stuff.
Oh .. Minecraft? Any opinions on that?
Lol. I've seen some vids on Youtube with fully-modeled 8-bit computers in Minecraft )))
 
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
1,183 (0.30/day)
Location
MN
System Name Personal / HTPC
Processor i5-4670k @ 4.4 / i5-4460
Motherboard ASUS z97-AR /ASRock Z87 Extreme4
Cooling Corsair H100i / stock HSF
Memory 16GB DDR3 1600 / 8GB DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega / Zotac GTX 980Ti AMP! Omega
Storage 250 GB Crucial SSD MX200, 1TB & 500GB Western Digital / 2x 4TB WD Red
Display(s) 3x 24" Asus Ve248H LED (5760x1080) / 50" LCD TV
Case CoolerMaster XB Evo / CM HAF XB Evo
Power Supply 850W SeaSonic X Series / 750W SeaSonic X Series
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Microsoft Natural Elite Keyboard
Software Windows 7 Home 64 / Windows 10 Home 64
I think there's also a GUI approach and Java. Too old myself to have experienced Mindstorms .. I built electrified/controllable stuff with Lego Technic :D

Oh .. Minecraft? Any opinions on that?
I forgot about Java. I learned java on my own back in '98. Junior year of high school, had a class called "Math and the Imagination". We had to learn java and create games with it...teacher knew nothing, so myself and a couple others figured it out on our own and pretty much taught the other kids in class so we could all pass the class.

Also taught ourselves HTML and found our school's website, where it was hosted and someone figured out some backdoor passcode to give anyone admin access that logged in with it to the school's server. We rebuilt the school's website and also distributed NES and Atari emulators/games to every computer in the school. Since only the computer's IPs were being logged when accessing the server with admin rights no one got caught. The school was really pissed about the website makeover we did and they had to spend hours and hours deleting all the emulators and games.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
12,522 (2.74/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3333 @ 14-14-14-34-2T
Video Card(s) AMD RX 5700 XT (XFX THICC Ultra III)
Storage Mushkin Pilot-E 2TB NVMe SSD w/ EKWB M.2 Heatsink
Display(s) 32" LG 32GK850F-B 144Hz Freesync 2 Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) VGA HDMI->Panasonic SC-HTB20/Schiit Modi MB/Asgard 2 DAC/Amp to AKG Pro K7712 Headphones
Power Supply SeaSonic Prime 750W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 Enterprise (yes, it's legit.)
Oh .. Minecraft? Any opinions on that?
There is redstone circuits in it, which while technically turing complete, are really weird/slow. I would not advise the game for coding reasons. Other reasons sure, but not coding. You'll just get frustrated.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
1,012 (0.31/day)
Location
Omaha, NE
System Name It's A-L-I-V-E...Perfect 1080p gaming!
Processor Ryzen 5 2600
Motherboard Asrock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac
Cooling Cryorig M9A w/ be quiet! PURE Wings 2 ~ 92mm
Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws V ~16GB(2 x 8GB) ~ DDR 4 3200
Video Card(s) Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 580 8GB
Storage Samsung 860 EVO - 500 GB
Display(s) Dell S2715H
Case In the market for a new case...need ideas!
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1220
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3
Mouse Logitech Zone Touch Mouse - T400
Keyboard iKBC CD108 ~ Cherry MX Blues
Software Debian Buster 10
Benchmark Scores The whole system is dead silent at 18 inches.
I started programming at a young age. I'll add a +1 to Silentbogo's comment....Scratch.

The Raspberry Pi 4 I recently picked up has Scratch. I've had more fun with that little board...definitely worth the cost of entry.

Best,

Liquid Cool
 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
25,724 (6.19/day)
Location
IA, USA
System Name BY-2015
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (4 x 4.00 GHz) w/ HT and Turbo on
Motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M7
Cooling Scythe Kotetsu
Memory 2 x Kingston HyperX DDR4-2133 8 GiB
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon RX 5500 XT Pulse 8 GiB
Storage Crucial MX300 275 GB, Seagate Exos X12 TB 7200 RPM
Display(s) Samsung SyncMaster T240 24" LCD (1920x1200 HDMI) + Samsung SyncMaster 906BW 19" LCD (1440x900 VGA)
Case Coolermaster HAF 932 w/ USB 3.0 5.25" bay
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150, Micca OriGen+
Power Supply Enermax Platimax 850w
Mouse SteelSeries Sensei RAW
Keyboard Tesoro Excalibur
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Faster than the tortoise; slower than the hare.
Human Resource Machine
Basically a video game crash course to assembly.

If ready to graduate to actually making programs, Visual Studio 2019 Community:
 
Top