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Top 10 – Teaching Kids To Code

By John | July 12, 2009

For those of you that follow this blog,  you know I have a passion for K12 computer programming.  I have two boys (10 and 6) and want to prepare them for skills they might need in the future.  At a recent presentation for my 10 yr old’s class I told the kids -”There are two thing I have learned to do early in my life,  (play guitar and learn to code), and I am very glad I learned theses two skills.” I even went as far as, starting a web site called “”, to see if my passion could stick (it didn’t).  The problem with this passion is that it’s not my first passion – keeping food on the table for my family is first.  However, I was recently preparing to talk to someone about this topic and compiled a list of tools that you might find interesting for your kids… Here goes…

  1. Alice
  2. Scratch
  3. OpenSim
  4. Spritely
  6. Edubuntu
  7. Sugar on a Stick
  8. Pygame
  9. Lua
  10. Python

Topics: alice, scratch | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Top 10 – Teaching Kids To Code”

  1. PhiLho Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I am a bit surprised to see two languages in this list of tools, particularly Lua, which I love, and indeed feel is great to start to learn programming, but lacks a bit of pizzaz (graphics) out of the box. Now, there are some Lua-based tools, like Löve, making easy to make games.
    I recently discovered Scirra Construct which seems interesting too.

  2. John Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 12:52 pm


    Actually I see python and lua as migration languages after the gui based. I think lua is good follow up lang for after the gui/virtual experience and plays well for potential WoW stuff.

    Thanks for the comments. In my next life I am going to devote my like to K12 CS education…


  3. Dan Says:
    July 23rd, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Another interesting one is, an open source simulation environment geared toward teaching modeling and such. From the guys that did bluej.

  4. Mangrovia Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Hi, I’m Italian. I just completed a few days ago experiencing a two-months-long course on computer programming, presented to 13 and 14 y.o. guys in an experimental public school. I used the Labview graphical programming environement with a lot of pleasure, and the course was succesfull at the maximum of the extents, much more then i expected at start. This wonderfull environement, other than a sofisticated and deeply professional tool, is so clear and easy to learn and to use that guys where able to develope their first application (a water tank filling) in few hours, giving me the way to fully inseminate the classes with a lot of basical programming concepts. We will repeat this same experience for the next year.