Programming tipps for children wanted

category: code [glöplog]
Hey guys!

Watching my sons (eight and ten years old) showing a super high interest and competence in maths and technical stuff blows my mind (especially since i never got into that stuff so much when i was young)!

So I wonder what the contemporary access to this topic is, a c64? :)

They are Minecraft magicians, build Lego and Fischer Technik, so what's the next step?

We have Ipads and a Macbook Pro (no Windows, sorry) and a working TV Set, if there's some fancy hardware i never heard of...

I really hope for your expertise, I know some of you are the most creative and able programming artists I have ever met in my life, the demoscene and its output never stopped to amaze me! So thank you very much in advance!

Love, Orange
added on the 2021-01-15 13:39:57 by orange orange
Well the Raspberry Pi 400 is built exactly for that kind of stuff. Learning computer stuff, programming, controlling external gadgets with it - all in one cute package :)

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added on the 2021-01-15 13:49:25 by kb_ kb_

My 11 years old kid did his first demo with a freind last year in processing.
It also has a Web interface called P5js.

It s really good to start.

added on the 2021-01-15 14:00:02 by nytrik nytrik
+1 for pi 400
added on the 2021-01-15 14:03:56 by ferris ferris
What's helping people learn programming on the Pi 400? Isn it just a standard raspi? (I.e. a Linux?)
added on the 2021-01-15 14:13:28 by Gargaj Gargaj
Scratch is also a nice option for really beginner stuff
what about PICO-8?
added on the 2021-01-15 15:12:01 by spike spike
Hi there,

I taught myself to program BASIC when I was 8 years old. I've received feedback from people of similar age who read the tutorial "The Real Adok's Way to QBASIC" which I had written when I was 12. They wrote that it it easy to understand and fun. Since QBasic is not shipped with modern PCs, I updated the tutorial a couple of years ago to cover Creative Basic instead. These tutorials are in German language. I have not translated them to English yet. Anyhow, I think Basic is still the way to go for kids.
added on the 2021-01-15 15:22:25 by Adok Adok
If you have a nintendo switch, fuze basic may be interresting as it come with a nice documentation. You can hire an USB keyboard also but the OSK is nice. Also something else called Smile Basic 4, but it is *very* complicated in my opinion (for beginners). I own both and for children Fuze seem very good.
added on the 2021-01-15 15:46:26 by Romain337 Romain337
Might be a language barrier (as it's german only), however I found it quite cute for learning to think programatically (this.. then.. that..). It also has sin/cos - so it basically has everything that is needed to make a demo ;)

And as they have Minecraft, how much Redstone did they do yet?
added on the 2021-01-15 15:53:28 by mog mog
For their background maybe:
BBC micro:bit

+1 WDR Maus, PI400, Scratch and Processing

Also (maybe later):
Bundeswettbewerb Informatik (German)
I was surprised to learn that there is an own scene attacheched to it that is all about competetive programming.
added on the 2021-01-15 16:35:33 by noname noname
+1 for the Pi 400 Kit, got it myself recently.

@Gargaj: It's a nice and cheap complete set where you could do the first steps with Scratch and Python, which is covered in a well done printed beginners manual which comes with the set. And also would cover hardware toying with gadgets...it's just much easier than gather all the stuff together with PC hardware/software...
added on the 2021-01-15 16:43:40 by Kuemmel Kuemmel
Yeah that much I figured but I just wondered if you wanna play with those, an existing computer is just as good...? Like as much as I love the idea of the Pi 400 (and the possible use cases), it's really just "another computer", if you already have one.
added on the 2021-01-15 16:49:16 by Gargaj Gargaj
There's the GPIO port that's well supported by all the programming environments on the Pi, there's a lot of fun hardware available for that port (but hey, two wires and a LED will do as a start), and the manual that comes with the kit teaches how to use it. That's definitely something that would be cumbersome to do with any existing laptop or PC.
added on the 2021-01-15 17:19:42 by kb_ kb_
added on the 2021-01-15 17:32:43 by nytrik nytrik
Since you mention Apple hardware, maybe Swift Playground should be considered
With code controlling an mechanical device such as lightbulb on/off or starting stopping a huge motor. I wished I had toyed with this when I was a kid.

Welcome new artist.
added on the 2021-01-15 23:57:44 by neoneye neoneye
neoneye: but in the late 80s we had those nice electronic circuitry lab kits for kids... good start for moving on to breadboards once you really knew how electronics work ;)
woow, this is so cool! thank you guys so much! I'm now gonna have to review all this crazy cool stuff!
added on the 2021-01-22 18:04:16 by orange orange
Just to give yet another recommendation for Scratch:

My 8 year old loves it. She is able to follow the tutorials on her own and end up with something fun, like simple "catch the ball with mouse" type of games. And things get creative immediately afterwards. Minor things, like tweaking the examples, changing backgrounds / characters, making the characters say silly things etc. But she is always super happy with it.

Whatever you choose, steer clear of the "coding puzzle games". My kids tried them out and quickly lost all interest. There's usually only one or a few solutions that you need to figure out, typical school exercise stuff. Never have I heard any of them ask if they can play those "games" again. Who wants to be in a yet another school?

Myself, I started with Basic. I remember it was just a bit too hard when I was 8, but I had a 12 year old friend who was able to code with me (ok let's be honest, often more like "for me"). We all remember fondly the C64 prompt, but I'm not sure that is pedagogically the best approach. Maybe if the parents ain't that clueless anymore helps, but:

Hypercard is where I remember first being able to do stuff really on my own, like adventure games and so. To me Scratch is the modern equivalent of Hypercard. So, whatever the tool, I think scriptable visual objects is not that bad idea for giving kids for creative playground; a gateway drug of sorts. From my personal experience, the Hypercard projects started have more and more scripts and less funny visual objects as time went by.
added on the 2021-01-23 11:23:43 by pestis pestis

My 11 years old kid did his first demo with a freind last year in processing.
It also has a Web interface called P5js.

It s really good to start.


How did you deal with the fact that all the videos are in English? (I assume your kids don't speak it well enough)
added on the 2021-01-23 18:04:59 by skrebbel skrebbel
Let them see this
added on the 2021-01-23 19:18:30 by w00t! w00t!