Kids Can Program Computers Too! Check Out Some Cool Kids Tools..

Here are links to some free programming environments & tools geared towards elementary & middle school kids.  I  introduced them in the order listed:

Elementary School Age (4th & 5th graders) & Early Middle School (6th grade):

  • Scratch: My 3rd grade daughter plays with Scratch,  so younger kids can do it.  It just depends on the kid.   My experience at a local elementary school was that 5th graders seem to pick it up easier than 4th graders, but the 4th graders got it with a little more help.   For the best way to learn Scratch using free web resources, see my Scratch Tutorial.

Middle School (6th – 8th grade)

Once your child has a good grasp on programming with these tools, you could introduce them to Arduino which is, basically, a programmable microprocessor/circuit board.    It’s not free ($85), but it is way COOL!  My geek momness is coming out….  We purchased Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit — Includes 72 page Instruction Book for my 11 year old son.  Ben had a lot of fun building and coding the blinking LED.   Coming soon…  an Arduino tutorial on the best way of learning to use and program the Arduino utilizing free web resources.