Coding for Kids

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Those who have children and like to code, sooner or later got the question of how to get the children into it also. That can be a big challenge, because WhatsApp, Minecraft and Co. are hard to beat in interest of the children here.

Today everyone has got a smartphone, laptop or PC. But who can write a program for it?

Programming is the language of the 21st century

Ranga Yogeshwar

It is worth to support our children in this environment and perhaps to give the right momentum, that self-programmed app can be fun!

I do not mention that every kids should be a programmer. But in times of digitalization it’s good to know how an app is working or how complex it is to build.

Which examples?

My training in coding started at school, 30 years ago. The examples and tasks in class were very technical. An eternity we talked about sorting routines with different methods. In the other time we tried to code database routines for inputs and searching. That was certainly well intentioned that time but for a 14-year tremendously boring.

The first programs should therefore convey fun and playfully explain the programming.

So my choice is for the first projects to take simple games. This can be improved by the kids and extended with there own ideas.

What programming language?

The programming language I learned in school BASIC on a C64. They were about 40 commands, which you had to know.

Today, one is faced with a huge number of programming languages. How should we start now? Start as right?

An interesting overview of more than 50 languages are the Wikipedia page education-oriented programming (the link to see the end of the article).

For me it’s impossible not to use C# or Visual Basic with Microsoft’s Visual Studio in a Windows environment. If the target is rather the Web, PHP and JavaScript with HTML and CSS fits better. For app development on Android you have to learn Java and under iOS Swift. For universal projects or single board computer, such as the Raspberry Pi, is Python the first choice. Arduino’s use a C ++ similar dialect.

In my view there is no right programming language. Therefore my recommendation: Start with one language and learn always new ones!

For the start I think it is more important, that you can use a intuitive development environment to get started. It should be more comfortable than just an improved editor (such as IDLE for Python), but not too complex (e. g. Visual Studio) and it should view little programming errors directly.

I think here has the Lazarus team done a perfect job. It got a nice IDE, Pascal is easy to learn and it is available on and for many platforms.

The motto of Lazarus:

Write once, compile anywhere.

So my examples will be coded in Free-Pascal with Lazarus.

What’s next?

My projects can be found under topic Coding for Kids.

But your kids should know the basics already. Therefor wiki by Lazarus may help.

Now have fun with coding in Lazarus.


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