Top 7 Best Coding Languages for Kids

Introduction

The term ‘programming language’ is broadly used to describe any means of communication used to instruct a computer or build a program. However, that’s far from the actual picture.

Kids can choose from different programming languages ranging from simple, block-based languages like MIT Scratch to complex, text-based languages like Python and JavaScript.

In this story, we’ll talk about the 7 best programming languages that your child can learn to flourish in the world of computers. Let’s start by understanding the different types of programming languages.

Popular Types of Programming Languages for Kids

1. Compiled Languages

A compiler generally translates source code into machine code in a compiled language. This may sound complicated but let us explain this with a simple example.

Let’s say you go to Germany and see a signboard that has directions on how to get to your desired location. But you don’t speak German so how can you understand it?

Simple, someone’s already translated the directions on the signboard to English! That’s exactly what a compiler does. The most recognizable examples of compiled languages include:

  • Java
  • C++
  • Swift
  • BASIC
  • Erlang

Interpreted languages

Now imagine there’s no English translation on the German signboard. How do you understand where to go? Luckily, you have a friend who understands German and speaks English too!

They’ll be the interpreter for you. In an interpreted programming language, something similar occurs. The target machine does not have a compiler that can translate the source code. Instead, there’s an interpreter that does this job.

Famous examples of interpreted languages include:

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • PHP
  • MATLAB
  • Groovy

3. Functional Languages

Functional languages allow programmers to work with symbols and semantics. They’re based on mathematical functions. Here’s a list of popular functionals programming languages:

  • C++
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Haskell
  • R

4. Concurrent Languages

A concurrent language allows a programmer to execute threads and programs side-by-side simultaneously. Famous examples of concurrent languages include:

  • Java
  • Clojure
  • Julia
  • Rust
  • Scala

5. Visual Languages

A visual programming language is often referred to as a block-based programming language. These languages are simple to use and allow programmers to create programs with a convenient drag and drop functionality.

Famous examples of Visual/block-based programming languages include:

  • MIT Scratch
  • Blockly
  • Grasshopper

Summary: Few of the most popular types of programming languages include compiled, interpreted, functional, concurrent, and visual languages. Each of these languages has its own strengths and purpose.

7 Best Programming Languages for Kids

1. MIT Scratch

MIT Scratch is a block-based, visual programming language that allows kids to create programs by simply dragging and dropping blocks to execute commands.

Benefits

  • Easy to learn
  • Simple to use
  • Available for free

Suitable For

  • Grade 1 to 5
  • Beginners

2. JavaScript

JavaScript is a text-based, scripting/programming language that is primarily used for web development. Its syntax is easy to learn and is used almost everywhere on the World Wide Web.

Benefits

  • Easy to understand
  • Convenient to use
  • Wide range of applicability

Suitable For

  • Grade 5 and above
  • Amateur programmers

3. Python

Python is a text-based, interpreted programming language that’s considered to be ‘general purpose’ because it can be used in multiple domains. It’s perfect for kids graduating from block-based languages to text-based languages because it is easy to learn.

Python is a language that is synonymous with various fields like Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Web Development.

Benefits

  • Simple to use
  • Large number of libraries
  • Used in multiple domains

Suitable For

  • Grade 5 and above
  • Intermediate programmers

4. Java

Java is a text-based, incredibly fast, and class-based programming language. Just like Python, Java is considered to be a general-purpose programming language because it can be used in multiple domains.

Benefits

  • Convenient to use
  • Superior speed
  • Platform independent

Suitable For

  • Grade 5 and above
  • Intermediate programmers

5. HTML

HTML is a super simple markup language used to create web pages. Most schools and universities from around the world include HTML in their beginner’s coding syllabus because it is easy to use.

Benefits

  • Very easy to learn and implement
  • Free to use
  • Can be integrated with other languages

Suitable For

  • Grade 5 and above
  • Amateur programmers

6. CSS

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a programming language that is generally used to manipulate the aesthetics of a web page. It is used in conjunction with HTML but can be used with other XML XML-based markup languages.

Benefits

  • Super simple to learn and execute
  • Robust formatting options
  • Encourages creativity

Suitable For

  • Grade 5 and above
  • Amateur programmers

7. PHP

PHP is a scripting language that’s considered to be general-purpose because it can be used in several domains. PHP is generally associated with building interactive web pages.

  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to maintain
  • Simple to execute

Summary: The 7 best programming languages for kids include block-based programming languages like MIT Scratch and text-based programming languages like JavaScript, Python, Java, HTML, CSS, and PHP. Block-based programming languages are suitable for kids from Grade 1 and above. Text-based programming languages are suitable for kids from Grade 5 and above.

Frequently asked questions
If you have any questions about the program that aren't covered here, email us at support@campk12.com

At what age can a child start coding?

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Kids can learn to code right from the age of 6. However, it’s important to choose the right programming languages that are not overwhelming and easy to learn. This is what a leading coding school like Camp K12 does.

Which is the easiest coding language?

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The term ‘easy’ may vary from person to person but in general, programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and HTML are simple to learn and easy to execute.

Which programming language is best for coding?

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The best coding language is the one you are comfortable with. It should be in-line with your strengths and way of thinking. However, certain programming languages like Python are considered to be the go-to coding language for several programmers.

What are the top coding tools & platforms for kids?

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1. HatchXR

HatchXR is a convenient platform where programmers can build and design AR/VR programs. You can do all of this using your web browser since there’s no need to download the platform.

2. MIT App Inventor

MIT App Inventor is a free platform where programmers can build apps on their own. It is primarily used for kids to teach them computational concepts by building mobile applications.

Summary: HatchXR and MIT App Inventor are some of the best platforms to help kids explore the world of coding. HatchXR lets its users create AR/VR programs on the web. MIT App Inventor allows its users to learn programming concepts by building apps.