What to show to a kid?


I’ve got a kid (actually a friends) of 8yrs who I want to show him a little of programming, where should I start? To see if he’s interested at all…maybe start with a little online course of Python etc?

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Surely games has got to be the way with a kid. If I was the kid i think making a game would definitely be the easiest way to get me interested. I’d do all the boring stuff for him and just let him put the finishing touches on something in pygame or something like that. Disclaimer I don’t have kids myself but I remember being one.

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Someone told me this


Dude. He is 8 years. I doubt that he can even count or do some basic math and you want him to interact with complex machines?

Wait until he becomes at least 14-15.

You might be interested in Scratch


I second Scratch…that would be an awesome way for a kid to get started…my daughter told me she used Scratch when she was a kid and thought it was pretty cool.

By the way, don’t let the kids age deter you one bit. I started programming when I was 12 with BASIC and C++… only reason I didnt get started earlier was because I didnt have a computer earlier than that or I sure enough would have. Kids learn to count and start doing basic math by 1st grade…for sure an 8yo 3rd grader can.

Not to mention we here have no idea of this kids abilities and interests, that you are asking has me thinking you believe hes ready…and if he’s not, no harm no foul…try again next year. My own kid could read and do complex math by the time she started pre-school…as long as she progressed, I kept teaching her… I believe, as long as a kid has an interest and finds learning something new fun…nurture the heck out of it!!! :smiley:


No Starch Press do a load of stuff aimed at kids which you might be interested in, paid but some of the authors make their stuff available for free online, and they always have offers on (and many of the books pop up in Humble Bundle deals regularly)


One of the authors published by No Starch, Al Sweigert, specialises in teaching beginners/kids, and his books are free to read online; mostly kinda aimed squarely at the audience you’re talking about


Yes he probably can’t even count, kids are really stupid and have never even encountered computers at that tender age :roll_eyes:


not my kid, it’s friends…think he’s even 9 or 10, don’t know 100% :slight_smile:

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I’ve never taught kids but I was once a kid so… I would do is essentially what ever @wedge recommended.

Set up something fun and interesting for the kid, i.e. you do all the hard and deep stuff and then let them do the fun parts. This could be in python or scratch or anything really.

For example, if using python (pygame), you set up a map, a character, and an interface/class for moving the character, then all the kid has to do is character.move(xCord, yCord), or just move(xCord, yCord) as the dot notation may be to high a level of abstraction for them to handle.

Maybe hard code an a few obstacles in the map with an end goal. Or if you’re feeling up for it, add some dumb AI in there to provide a challenge.

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I don’t have any better advice than what has been offered already, but it would be awesome if you would tell us what you try and how much this kid enjoyed themself over in the reviews. There are a fair number of parents on here who might be interested.


Kids are natural at programming and honestly we hold them back way to much.

MineCraft Programing (seriously there are tons of books on this geared towards kids)
https://www.alice.org/ - this awesome and the story behind it even better. Geared towards teaching kids to program.
Have him go through some HTML.


Also Raspberry Pi, there are lots of fun DYI projects for kids with one of those.

At ten my nephew used one of those to randomize lighting in his room.

Arduino blocks - there are lots of lego like arduino/circut sets out there. my daughter used these to turn her phone into a sound board at age 9. Same nephew built an interface for his spiro bot. There are a ton of these sets out there all geared for different projects.



Says more about the poster I guess.

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I don’t understand what do you mean by that.

I started programming in Minecraft using ‘command blocks’ when I was 8. Terrible syntax, huge limitations, not really even a programming language, but it was really similar to actual languages and it taught a lot of logic and problem solving. I don’t recommend using command blocks to start them off on the programming path, just saying I think 8 is a perfect age to start. Obviously an 3rd grader is going to have very limited abilities in language in mathematics, but they should be able to learn the basics of syntax and how programs operate. Just my opinion though hope everything works out for you guys!


I think that https://codecombat.com/ could be nice for children to learn programming

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I began to teach my daughter at code.org and it looks like she enjoys it a lot. She’s 9 now.

there are several projects supported by microsoft make code.
They need a hardware but some of them are very cheap.

Many kids in that age are using one of these and there is a lot of research going on about how to design the best learning method. so i strongly suggest you to check this out. especially microbit.

As above, I agree with using Scratch as the starter for introducing kids to Coding. It’s practical and it will help the kid understand the logic of how code works. Plus, always a perk when code runs so the whole process can be explained through it.

Also, I recently came across this talk where the speaker has explained how he has introducing machine learning to kids. He uses Scratch too but it’s worth seeing how he’s makes the kids think outside the box.