October 4, 2023

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12 Easiest Programming Languages for Kids

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In this article, we take a look into the 12 easiest programming languages for kids. You can skip our detailed analysis of programming languages, AI and their effects on the jobs market, and the economic importance of teaching programming to kids and go directly to the 5 Easiest Programming Languages for Kids

We are living in a technologically-driven and fast-paced world, where automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping the job market and transforming industries. According to Salesforce, leaders in the workforce emphasize the increasing importance of data security skills, ethical AI and automation skills, and programming skills in the workplace.

In this evolving technological landscape, it becomes important to acknowledge the economic importance of teaching programming languages to children. A recent study that involves five- and six-year-olds revealed that engaging children in a programming environment offers them valuable opportunities to enhance their mathematical understanding, problem-solving abilities, and social skills. By equipping the younger generation with programming skills, we empower them to be prepared for a future where automation and artificial intelligence play vital roles in the workforce.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 21% increase in demand for software developers by 2028, a growth rate higher than for most other occupations. This demand, coupled with the lucrative nature of the field, makes programming a promising career path for kids.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) also highlights the disruptive impact of automation and AI on the job market, noting that certain roles will become obsolete. However, they also emphasize that these new technologies will create previously unimagined job opportunities. It is this duality that calls for a proactive approach to education, particularly in the realm of programming languages for kids.

But before parents embark on the journey of teaching their kids programming, it’s crucial to select the appropriate language based on their age. So, what are the easiest programming languages to learn for beginners? According to Cory Althoff, author of “The Self-Taught Programmer,” choosing the right programming language is key. He recommends Python or JavaScript as starting points for kids.

Althoff also highlights Scratch as a suitable option for elementary or middle school children due to its graphical nature, which makes programming more accessible and enjoyable. However, Althoff emphasizes that Scratch alone won’t lead to job opportunities. To continue building projects, children will eventually need to transition to languages like Python or JavaScript.

To apply their early coding skills effectively, Althoff suggests encouraging kids to create simple games like “Hangman” since they can be developed relatively quickly. He further says the following:

“When you start learning to program, it can initially feel like studying disconnected concepts, and many people struggle to see their practical application.”

Ultimately, Althoff believes that game development with code demonstrates to kids the power and enjoyment that programming can bring.

The ability to understand and communicate with machines will be an essential skill set for kids. When kids know how computers think and operate, they gain the power to harness technology, influence it, and transform their ideas into reality. 

With the emergence of advanced language models like ChatGPT, we can even train kids to learn programming independently. The AI tools now possess an exceptional ability to comprehend and generate human-like language. This proficiency enables them to respond promptly and accurately to various prompts, catering to the specific needs of young coders.

In fact, the CEO of NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Jensen Huang envisions a future where “everyone can be a programmer,” as generative artificial intelligence evolves to understand multiple forms of input, including speech. This advancement highlights the accessibility and potential for individuals to engage in programming.

In this evolving landscape, several educational platforms have emerged as valuable tools for kids to learn programming languages. Notable among these platforms are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

As a renowned technology giant, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL) has taken significant strides in promoting coding education for children. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL)’s dedication is exemplified by Swift Playgrounds, a powerful tool designed to introduce kids to the world of coding through the Swift programming language. Swift Playgrounds provides a dynamic and engaging learning environment for young coders with its user-friendly interface and intuitive design.

Similarly, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has made notable contributions to coding know-how through its educational initiatives. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has platforms such as Minecraft Education and MakeCode, which offer accessible coding experiences for children. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) combines the popular Minecraft game with coding concepts to enhance learning.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), too, has ventured into the field of coding education with its educational resources. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has platforms like CS First and Blockly that encourage young learners to explore coding through interactive and engaging experiences. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s resources provide a solid foundation for kids to develop their coding skills while fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities.

So, if you have questions like what programming language is best for your kids, how should a 7 year old start coding, and what’s the simplest programming language to start with, this article answers that all. 

So, let’s explore the easiest programming languages for kids.

12 Easiest Programming Languages for Kids

Copyright: photovibes / 123RF Stock Photo

Our Methodology 

For our list, we carried out extensive research using popular forums on Reddit and Quora. For a more comprehensive analysis, we gathered data from educational websites like ComputerScience.org and edX. Finally, we have compiled a list of the easiest programming languages for kids. We ranked the programming languages based on their difficulty scores, ranging from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest). We ordered the list in descending order of low difficulty. 

Here’s the list of the easiest programming languages for children to learn:

12. C++ 

Difficulty Score: 4


Suitable for ages: 12 and up

C++ is a versatile programming language. With C++, kids have the freedom to explore and create a wide range of applications, including video games, software, and even artificial intelligence. This language provides high performance and precise control, allowing young learners to delve into complex projects and unleash their creativity. While C++ can be challenging, kids with a solid foundation in programming concepts can begin learning it around the age of 12 or 13. It answers one of the most asked questions in this regard, as to whether a 12 year old can learn programming.

11. Swift 

Difficulty Score: 4


Suitable for ages: 13 and up

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPL)’s Swift is a programming language specifically designed to develop apps for iOS, macOS, and other Apple platforms. It is a great language for kids due to its user-friendly syntax and interactive development environment. Swift’s simplicity and modern features make it accessible to young learners. Kids around the age of 13 or up can start learning Swift and dive into app development. With Swift, they can unleash their creativity, build their own iOS apps, and even see their creations come to life on Apple devices.

10. Java 

Difficulty Score: 4


Suitable for ages: 12 and up

Java is a robust and widely-used programming language that offers various opportunities for kids to learn and explore coding. While children as young as 7 can start with coding languages, Java is better suited for kids around the age of 12 or up with some prior experience. Its versatility is one of its strengths, as Java can run on multiple devices, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This accessibility allows kids to engage with Java across various platforms. With its advanced features, Java provides young learners with a deeper understanding of coding principles and prepares them for more complex programming concepts in the future.

9. JavaScript 

Difficulty Score: 4


Suitable for ages: 12 and up

JavaScript offers unique advantages for kids. Aspiring young programmers can start learning JavaScript around the age of 12. JavaScript enables kids to add interactivity and dynamic elements to websites, games, and projects. If you are looking for more hands-on ways to teach kids how to code, consider taking them to an online or in-person JavaScript class, where they can receive guided instruction and engage in interactive coding exercises. It is one of the easiest coding languages for kids aged 12 and up.

8. Python

Difficulty Score: 3


Suitable for ages: 10 and up

Python is one of the best programming languages to learn. The brainchild of Guido van Rossum, it is a programming language loved by kids for its simplicity and user-friendliness. It’s like a language that speaks their way. Python’s clean and readable syntax makes it easy to understand and write code without getting tangled up. That’s why it’s perfect for young learners. Kids as young as 10 years old can dive into Python and start their coding journey with confidence. It sets them up for success and makes learning programming a fun experience.

7. Lua 

Difficulty Score: 3


Suitable for ages: 10 and up

Lua is a versatile and beginner-friendly programming language often used in game development. It is suitable for kids aged 10 and above who are interested in creating their own games. Lua’s simplicity and syntax make it an accessible language, similar to Python, making coding less frustrating for young learners. One notable feature of Lua is its proprietary web-based drag-and-drop code editor, Roblox Studio, which allows kids to develop games and unleash their creativity. Additionally, Lua has a vibrant and supportive community, similar to Scratch, where young coders can receive guidance, tips, and feedback from experienced developers and fellow learners.


Difficulty Score: 2


Suitable for ages: 10 and up

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are fundamental web development languages that form the backbone of the internet. They were created by Tim Berners-Lee and Håkon Wium Lie, respectively. These languages are suitable for kids due to their simplicity and immediate visual feedback. Kids around 10 or 11 years old can start learning HTML/CSS and begin crafting their own frontend web pages. HTML provides the structure and content of a webpage, while CSS allows for customization and styling, making websites visually appealing. Learning HTML/CSS is like having the power to design and create your own corner of the internet.

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Disclosure: None. The 12 Easiest Programming Languages for Kids is originally published at Insider Monkey.

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