Top 6 Best Programming Languages for Kids

For kids who are just getting started with coding, learning to code and deciphering all of the different coding languages can seem intimidating. Fortunately, while learning something "new" is rarely easy, there are plenty of options of coding languages out there for your child that comes with a range of possibilities for every skill and experience level.

A programming language is a specific, coded language used to convey instructions to a machine—in most cases, a computer. Machines work in a specific way and programmers must use formal languages to communicate with computers and develop software programs, express algorithms, or provide specific instructions.

The better a programmer understands one of these languages (including its syntax and grammar), the more likely they're able to get the computer to accomplish exactly what they want in the quickest amount of time. Keep in mind, while there are some things you can do to accelerate the process and learn to program fast, relatively, it's not unlike other interests and crafts. Learning to code requires dedication and iterations to reach your goals. The first step, though, is choosing a language.

Here are a few languages which are considered to be the best to learn for kids.

1. Scratch & other visual programming languages

Best to get kids excited about coding


Visual programming languages like Scratch provide a solid foundation of programming principles, with your child being able to drag and drop code blocks to animate characters, create games, and build apps.

Best of all, their simplicity gets your child excited about coding! Visual programming languages can be used to make interactive stories, games, and animations.

This language is great for:

  • Kids who don't have programming experience and/or are younger

  • Showing kids how fun coding can be

  • Visual learners

  • Teaching basic concepts, like problem-solving and if-then thinking

2. JavaScript

Best for reaching a web audience


JavaScript is an object-oriented and procedural programming language that’s used for front-end or client-facing applications, meaning its actions are executed on the user’s computer.

The language is very popular, supported by many users (and jobs!), and is native to all web browsers. JavaScript is most commonly used to make complex and interactive web applications.

Though their names sound similar, Java and JavaScript are two very different coding languages (see the next section).

This Language is great for:

  • Students who are interested in web development and design

  • Kids who want to start learning the fundamentals of programming

In our UI development program, we teach introduction to HTML, CSS, and Javascript as a base to design websites and games. To know more click here.

3. Java (Minecraft coding language)

Best for intermediate students


Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, with analysts saying that about 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies leverage Java. So it’s a great option for students who want a rich understanding of coding that can be built upon for years to come.

Java is a statically typed language, meaning it requires you to specify a variable type. While this means that apps built with Java are known to be more scalable, stable, and maintainable, it also means that Java can take longer to master than other languages.

Java is good for kids because it can be used to make game engines, Android mobile apps, large backend environments, and much more.

This Language is great for:

  • Intermediate coders who want to strengthen their skillset

  • Kids to learn Java principles through a fun game like Minecraft

  • Teens who are preparing to take the Computer Science AP Exam

  • Teens who want to develop a strong understanding of programming concepts

  • Patient students who don’t mind taking time to learn the language’s syntax

4. Python

Best for beginners (and for versatility!)


Named after the comedy series Monty Python, Python is considered one of the easiest coding languages to learn, in part because of its simplified syntax and focus on whitespace. Python requires fewer lines of code to get up and running, so even beginners can start creating relatively quickly.

Companies like Google and Disney use Python, and it’s very popular in scientific fields, where individuals are scientists first and programmers second. This language can be used to develop video games, web frameworks, and many scientific and numeric computing projects.

Python programming is great for your child and is also versatile enough to be used in intricate fields like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

This Language is great for:

  • Kids and teens who want to get their ideas up and running in little time

  • Creating easy-to-read code that looks a lot like regular English

  • Students interested in pursuing scientific fields, especially artificial intelligence

5. C++

Best for a deeper understanding of computer science

This programming language is used to create applications that run locally on machines such as your computer.

Despite the time and complexity required to learn C++, this language will provide teens with a very deep understanding of programming. C++ can be used to create systems software, games, and a variety of other programs.

This language is great for:

  • Teens who want a complex understanding of programming principles

  • Students who want to program in the gaming industry

  • Your student’s résumé—jobs expect programmers to have a level of familiarity with C++

6. C#

Best for learning to program while making 3D games

C# is an extremely popular programming language that’s used to develop most third-party applications for Windows. It’s the fourth most in-demand programming language for jobs and can be a great starting language for people who are new to coding.

Syntactically, C# is very similar to Java, so experience in using one of these languages will make it easier to pick up the other. C# has even been called the Microsoft clone of the Java language. It can be used to create web applications, games, and other programs.

This language is great for:

  • Students who are interested in creating applications for Windows

  • Teens who have Java experience and are looking to learn a similar language

How to choose the right programming language


Many students are sometimes required to study a foreign language in their academic careers. So how do you decide which foreign language to choose? Will it be Spanish or German? Mandarin or Cantonese? Or maybe even Swahili?

Choosing the right programming language for your child is similar. Here are some of the ways you can go about it!

Focus on the output

If your child is planning for a long vacation in Germany, he might want to study German. Similarly, if your child dreams of designing video game elements, he might want to study C++ or Blueprints, which is Unreal Engine’s visual coding language.

Think about transferability

People often recommend studying the romance languages, as they all come from the same root language, and learning one of these languages can make it easier to learn the others. Similarly, sometimes learning one programming language, like Java, can set you up to learn others more quickly and efficiently down the line.

Choose based on skill level

Learning to write in Spanish, which features an English-like alphabet and grammatical structure, is much easier than learning to write Japanese kanji, which includes thousands of unique characters.

Likewise, learning a coding language like Python is great for beginners, as it’s easier to get up and running without worrying as much about syntax.

Sometimes there’s no clear direction on what language your child should start out using. That’s okay! Students can learn important programming principles from any coding language, so you don’t need to worry about choosing the wrong one. If your child is interested in coding, just let them get started! Register for a free class here.

There are numerous reasons why kids and teens should learn to code. Improve your child's computational thinking skills, creativity, and if-then reasoning with a programming instructions program.

While this guide should give you a good understanding of which programming languages might be the best fit for your child, remember that when in doubt—just choose!

Every one of these languages will help students better understand programming principles and get excited about coding.

If you have any further questions, reach out to us here.

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