5 Kid Friendly Programming Languages


Last week we showcased an article titled “7 Games That Enable Kids To Learn Engineering Skills” and the response we received was wonderful so we thought we would take things a step further this week with a list of programming languages aimed at kids.

Personally, our team has used 3 of the 5 examples below and we would love to hear your feedback if you have used any of them. All of the programs are free to use and easy to get started- enjoy!


Screenshot: Scratch

Scratch / try it
Developed in 2003 at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers.

Alice / try it
Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games.

Hackety-Hack / try it
Hackety Hack will teach you the absolute basics of programming from the ground up. No previous programming experience is needed! With Hackety Hack, kids learn the very popular programming language, Ruby, which is used for all kinds of desktop applications and websites.


Screenshot: Code Monster

Code Monster / try it
Code Monster takes away the complexities of writing JavaScript and leaves just that. It was created by Greg Linden, who wanted to teach his own kids how to code. This split screen tutorial places JavaScript on the left of the screen and images on the right. When kids alter the variables on the script side, the images transform instantly in response.

Hopscotch / try it
Hopscotch allows kids to create their own games and animations. Kids unleash their creativity with this beautiful, easy-to-use visual programming language. Inspired by MIT’s Scratch, the Hopscotch programming language works by dragging and dropping method blocks into scripts.

57 thoughts on “5 Kid Friendly Programming Languages

  1. actually do not like Alice and Scratch and was not a success with my 9 year old daughter. The interface was not something that kept her engaged.

    • Shital, have you seen anything out there you like better? We’d love to know. We’re keeping our eyes out too.

  2. My 9 yr old daughter participated in a Lego robotics camp at the Colorado School of Mines over the summer and loved Scratch. She picked it up instantly as it was extremely intuitive and built a number of cool products. She now uses it at home and has introduced it to her G&T coordinator at school.

        • That makes sense. Thanks for chiming in @aaronlinkow:disqus! We appreciate having you involved in the conversation. Keep in touch :)

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