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Any good coding/programming software for young kids?

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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?
 
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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.
 

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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
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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....
 

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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?
 
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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 )))
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
 

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If ready to graduate to actually making programs, Visual Studio 2019 Community:
 
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Are there any "Turtle Logic" kits today? Back when I was in grade school, it was the turtle programming thingy. The little turtle that has commands like "turn left", "draw", and other commands that make a simple picture on the screen. I never got good at it, but it left a strong impression on me.

I did a basic search on the subject... it seems like PythonTurtle is a modern recreation of this old "Turtle Logic" from days of past. http://pythonturtle.org/ I don't know if that's the best modern version of Turtle Logo, but... its something to look for. That old turtle taught so many of us kids 20+ years ago, even at a grade school level.
 
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The original "turtle" language some are referring to was called Logo. It's been used for decades, with probably dozens different implementations.

It's still fun today because of the interactive nature that draws kids.
That said, the paradigm and syntax are absolutely outdated at this point.

The best idea today is Scratch. Nothing really comes close.
Scratch is also commonly used in programmable toys and drones (e.g. LEGO, DJI Tello).

Forcing kids to learn Python or C so early seems like a bad idea. You need some math understanding to do it properly. Starting too early just leads to bad habits that have to be weed out later.

With some math (functions, set theory, algebra) understanding, probably 14 years old and above, one can start to tackle normal programming.
And of course Python is the way to go. Preferably in some interactive form, like notebooks or Spyder IDE).
Not because it's powerful or easy to use, but because it's the most commonly used language today. So it makes easier to learn and more useful later on.
Realistically, you don't know if your 14-y-o will become a programmer. Maybe he doesn't like coding at all. Maybe he likes, but he'd rather learn something other than more languages.
He'll be able to use Python in multiple career choices: STEM, finance, medicine and so on. It's just a better investment.
 
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this would even match your avatar and i forgot its free
 
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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?
It wasn't called that back then, but we had a Lego "robot" in school that we could program from the school computers.
Yes, Sweden had special school computers that ran CP/M-86 and we programmed in COMAL...
The point is, you're not too old to have been able to have had programming interactions with Lego, it just seems the German school system didn't invest in it, so you were just unfortunate.
Looks like even worked with Macs.
 
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I picked up a Kano computer kit for him today at Target. I found it on their sale shelf, was on sale for about $95 with taxes.

He seems stoked about it, but the little guy has to earn time to use it. Hopefully it'll help him focus and give him something to work towards if he gets his homework and chores done and not throw hissy-fits and screaming tantrums because he's not getting his way.
 

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Rabbids Coding - it's a good one even for older people, hah. It helped me with some things.
 

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I think it would cool if companies would create more web development courses for kids, including both back end and front-end as well. A lot of companies nowadays require a lot of web-developers for their projects, as I know - way more than any other sphere of this business. If there are would be more young people involved in web-development, the question like how much does it cost to create an app - wouldn't be so scary by it's answer and prices, hah, you know. Cause alternatives will decrease the market prices for such services.
 
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I think it would cool if companies would create more web development courses for kids, including both back end and front-end as well. A lot of companies nowadays require a lot of web-developers for their projects, as I know - way more than any other sphere of this business. If there are would be more young people involved in web-development, the question like how much does it cost to create an app - wouldn't be so scary by it's answer and prices, hah, you know. Cause alternatives will decrease the market prices for such services.
Back in my day, that was called Neopets, Geocities, and Homestead.

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Neocities is the modern Geocities replacement. Learning to represent yourself on the internet is a good skill. $0 hosting for the first static website, and $5 /month isn't bad for additional websites.
 
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