Programming is like puzzle solving. Let your child try out the puzzle.
Programming languages are used to create programs to control the behavior of a machine or to do something useful and interesting like games. Just like human languages, programming languages needs to be learned. Learning a traditional language can be overwhelming for kids but they will really enjoy if they start with languages that are known as Graphical or Visual Programming languages (VPL). These languages let kids describe a program by manipulating graphical elements, dragging and dropping shapes into place instead of typing a series of words and symbols. It will shorten the learning curve and will make the learning a FUN activity for them.
Here are few popular graphical languages:
Scratch – Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.
LabView – LabVIEW is a graphical programming platform that helps engineers scale from design to test and from small to large systems. LabVIEW is a development environment for problem solving, accelerated productivity, and continual innovation.
GameSalad – GameSalad is the fastest and easiest way to build video games for mobile or desktop.
HopScotch – Hopscotch is an intuitive, friendly programming interface designed for everyone. No typing. No syntax errors. Just drag and drop blocks.
App Inventor – MIT App Inventor is the fastest way to build apps for Android phones and tablets. Even with no prior experience, you can learn to build apps within hours.
Authorware – Authorware is the leading visual authoring tool for creating rich-media e-learning applications for delivery on corporate networks, CD/DVD, and the Web.
Graphical Programming on the iPad for Kids:
iPad apps like Daisy the Dinosaur, Move the Turtle and Hopscotch provides kids an opportunity to create animations of cartoon-like illustrations using a graphical programming language. As both the language being used and the thing being created are visual in nature therefore kids quickly grasp basic programming concepts. All these apps are available for iPads in the App Store.