Python for kids
Today, there are so many programming languages to choose from and every one of them differs in ease-of-use, complexity, and application. If your kids are just starting to code, our number one piece of advice is that you select your language based on your child’s interests. But wherever possible, we strongly encourage you to select easy to learn languages.
At CodaKid, we have successfully taught tens of thousands of kids their first computer programming language. The formula for our success is based upon finding a language that’s easy to learn, read, and use. In order to get kids interested in coding, the first programming language needs to be beginner-friendly, timeless, well-versed in good practices, and frequently used in the industry.
In our experience, no other language fits this criteria better than Python.
In this article, we list the top 5 reasons python programming is perfect for kids who want to become future developers.
1. Python Programming is Perfect for Beginners
The hardest part of coding for beginners is understanding new ideas and concepts. Most computer languages, especially older ones like C, require a lot of textbook learning before the fun starts.
If you want to program in C, first you must learn difficult syntax. Most beginners, especially younger ones, get overwhelmed and frustrated within a short period of time. They lose interest or develop an aversion towards programming before they even start writing the actual code.
Unlike the majority of programming languages, Python’s syntax is concise and easily readable by humans. It mirrors the human language far better than any other programming language which makes it an ideal language for beginners. It just makes sense.
Writing code in Python is similar to writing commands in plain English. As beginners, kids will quickly pick up the basics and learn how to use this language for game development and animation.
This is a near perfect environment for new, young coders because of the clean, uncomplicated syntax. If your student is intimidated by curly brackets and semicolons and lengthy phrases, Python is a great solution. It’s actually often described as the closest you can get to old-school BASIC (WITHOUT the bad habits).
With Python, you wouldn’t need to dive right into the deep end of object-oriented programming just to accomplish simple programs. You can start right at the basics and work up from there to avoid any daunting challenges.
Python for kids is beginner friendly and reduces the risk of frustration, which can sometimes cause kids to fall away from computer programming – sometimes for good.
2. It’s Easy to Set up
Programming environments can be difficult to set up, but with Python it’s a whole different story.
If you have Windows, Python can be installed in just 3 easy steps. If you’re using a different operating system, you may have to invest just a little more effort into the process.
To set up Python on your computer, all you have to do is visit the official site and download the software from:
Remember to select the latest release of the software that’s compatible with your OS.
After your download is complete, just launch the installer. Depending upon the version you’ve downloaded to your computer, you may or may not have to unzip the file first. Once the installer appears on your screen, just follow the instructions.
When you complete the installation process, new files will appear on your computer. One of them will be a Python interpreter that converts your human-readable Python code into commands, so that the machine can understand what you want to do and act accordingly.
The moment you download Python, you can pull up your PC’s terminal and run the program. If you’re using Windows, browse your computer for “cmd” and launch it. If you’re a Mac or Linux user, search for the program called “terminal”. From here, you can start writing code.
3. Python is Kid-Friendly
Python is great for kids, especially as a first language. New programmers can go right from the very first simple “Hello world” programs to creating games with the Pygame toolkit.
It’s an amazing, text-based coding language, perfectly suited for children older than the age of 8. This makes it a perfect resource to follow up more visual, block-based coding programs geared toward pre-reading audiences.
With Python, youngsters can begin to transform their ideas into reality and there are a number of exciting resources that can help them do this.
For example, CodaKid offers a unique courses on the topic of Game Development with Python. They are fun, highly-engaging, and perfect for kids. In this course, we teach students how to develop popular games from the ground up. When kids get stuck they can message or screenshare with our friendly team of teachers who will get them back on track.
Teaching kids Python through creative projects that they are interested in is a winning combination. CodaKid now has several Python coding courses for kids starting with basic Python and progressing all the way to a course in which students learn to program their own multiplayer Super Smash Bros style game from the ground up. If you’d like to try one of CodaKid’s Python for Kids courses just click on the purple text right below this paragraph.
To continue on with the perks, there is a massive (and supportive) community focused on the use of Python in computer science education. This means that you’ll find plenty of books, tutorials, and other resources that are specifically geared towards using the Python language in their curriculum.
4. The Demand for Python is Continually Growing
While the accessibility for young coders is a great element provided by Python, perhaps the best news is that this doesn’t come at the cost of professional credentials. Python actually powers plenty of professional applications, is regularly seen as one of the best programming languages, and is recognized as the fastest programming language of recent years.
According to Stack Overflow, the largest and most trusted online community for coders, Python is the fastest-growing programming language of 2018.
If it maintains this rate, the Stack Overview staff believes that by the end of 2019, Python will outpace other coding languages in terms of active use.
Many online resources claim that Python is now one of the most popular coding languages to learn. in the K-12 arena, many educational leaders believe that Python will become the official language of the Computer Science AP Exam (the exam currently uses Java).
So, why is Python one of the fastest growing languages? What are the reasons behind this growing potential?
Python is also considered the language of choice for data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence – all areas that are extremely in demand in our current economy. These areas also have immense value in the future of our economy and where technology has been heading, so there is sustainable value in this skill.
In addition to these major areas, Python is growing in some other areas as well. To illustrate this value, we’ll go in depth on all of these industries and how Python is vital to their growth.
As you may have guessed, Python holds a particularly special place in the hearts of Data Scientists everywhere. Data Science is centered on dealing with “Big Data” or massive amounts of data at a time.
For simple usage with large sets of frameworks and libraries of data, Python is quickly becoming one of the most promising handling methods. Another big reason for this is Python’s generally easy integration with other languages. This makes it much more scalable and future-oriented since everything can be consolidated with ease.
Another one of the major areas mentioned is machine learning. Since Python is an interpreted language, it is comprehensive enough to be interpreted by virtual machines against any other language – something the hardware understands.
Furthermore, it can be used in complicated scenarios by using variables, objects, complex arithmetic, or other concepts to make its demand skyrocket. Even the growth of machine learning on its own has been exceptional in the past few years as algorithms are becoming more sophisticated every day.
One of the biggest and fastest-growing areas in computer science is web development. In this area, Python is chosen by 2 out of 3 developers who initially worked with PHP.
Python has been experiencing a steadily growing upward trend in the past few years as it offers so many great libraries and frameworks that make web development easy.
Overall, Python is able to create more robust code that can be used in the most versatile cases. This makes it a vital tool in this area which can make knowledge of it an incredibly useful and profitable skill later on.
One final area to discuss would be automation. To automate tasks, you are required to write test scripts. This is where Python comes into play. You’ll be absolutely astonished with how little time and number of lines it takes to write codes for tools. Everything here can be made easier with the power of Python.
With basic Python codes, a programmer can reach the advanced level of automation in a fairly easy and efficient manner. Software testing is one of the most critical areas that Python can help with since it can be incredibly tedious otherwise!
5. Python is Here to Stay
As the above-mentioned statistics suggest, Python’s popularity will only continue to grow, and many experts believe that the language has staying power due to it power, simplicity, and the fact that enormous amounts of Python code within large projects will need development and maintenance for years to come.
Even though Python has changed and evolved over the years, the structure of the language still remains relatively intact. The same methods and functions from a decade ago are almost identical to the ones used today.
Once your kids pick up the basics of coding in Python, their skill will never become outdated.
While it may be too soon to start thinking about jobs for your kids – Python looks like it will be around for a long time, and starting salaries for Python-skilled programmers are some of the highest.
According to Daxx, Python is the second highest-paying computer language in the U.S. With an average annual income of $103,492, Python coders come second to Ruby developers.
This language is used in a wide variety of businesses and industries today. Google, Instagram, Dropbox, YouTube, Quora – all of these tech giants were primarily written in Python. Google especially loves Python and uses it for a wide range of purposes (e.g. cloud storage).
All of these brands praise Python as a programming language and are on a constant lookout for more Python coders to come work for them.
When the big players love you, it’s only a matter of time when others will follow.
Just like with any language, Python does also have some limitations. While they definitely don’t outweigh the strengths and benefits, it is always important to note them before starting out so that you know everything you should expect.
While Python is a fairly universal and popular language, it does have some quirks and ideas that don’t cross and transfer over into over languages perfectly.
One example would be that indentation isn’t simply a way to make your code neat and organized – it’s actually a requirement that shapes how the code works. To add to this, object-oriented programming concepts are bolted on in a manner that many users could find a little messy or confusing.
One of the more significant drawbacks to note is the reach that Python has. In other words, if you’re a beginner who is building an application in Python, it is up to you to make sure you distribute it like a traditional desktop application. To get even more complicated, building a mobile app would feel nearly impossible.
Of course, professional developers can run Python to build server-side web applications and other more complex tasks, but it isn’t an easy entry point for beginning programmers. For this reason, beginners will usually stick to the desktop applications and worry about expanding to more complex subjects later on in their education (or through other platforms and resources).
Python for Kids: Wrap Up
Python for kids is exploding in popularity, as more parents and educators view it as a beginner-friendly kids coding language that imparts immediately transferable 21st century skills.
The main takeaways to remember about Python programming are:
- It’s perfect for beginners
- It’s easy to set up
- It’s kid-friendly
- The demand for Python is continually growing
- It’s here to stay
What are your thoughts about Python as a kids coding language? Have you found any kids coding languages that you prefer more?
Please give us your thoughts in the comments below!