Choosing the Right Programming Language for Kids: Python, JavaScript, and Blockly

Joe Goodwin

Choosing the Right Programming Language for Kids: Python, JavaScript, and Blockly

In today’s digital age, it’s never too early to introduce kids to the world of coding. Learning to code isn’t just about creating the next blockbuster app or video game. It’s about helping children develop critical thinking skills and fostering creativity.

Choosing the right programming language for kids can be a daunting task. With the plethora of options available, it’s important to find one that’s not only educational but also fun and engaging. In this article, I’ll guide you through the best programming languages for kids.


When it comes to programming languages for children, Scratch stands out. Introduced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it’s perfect for kids above the age of eight. Scratch is specially designed with a simple, user-friendly interface that makes coding fun and engaging.

One of the standout features of Scratch is its visual programming language (VPL). Kids don’t need to be experts in syntax or type long lines of codes. Instead, they can simply drag and drop colorful blocks to create their sequences. This form of coding eases children into understanding the logic without burdening them with the complexity of syntax.

Scratch offers a myriad of design options. Kids can animate their characters, create interactive stories, and design their games. And let’s not forget: they learn basic coding concepts while bringing their creative imaginations to life! Scratch fosters creativity while instilling the fundamentals of coding logic.

An important aspect of learning that Scratch incorporates is community involvement. There’s a whole community of Scratch users online, where kids can share their projects, receive feedback, and learn from the creations of others. This platform provides a sense of belonging, making coding a more social activity. By sharing and receiving, kids can improve their skills and understanding of the programming language.

Scratch’s user-friendly interface, along with its capacity to foster creativity, makes it a top-notch pick for introducing kids to the world of programming languages. Kids not only identify the language’s utility but also build a solid foundation in coding skills. It’s an effective tool, introducing kids to the basics of coding while creating an environment that encourages creativity and community involvement.


Transitioning from Scratch, I’d love to introduce Python, another excellent programming language for kids once they’re comfortable with the introductory concepts of coding. Python is a text-based language known for its simplicity and readability, often recommended as the next step for young coders. It’s widely adopted in real-world programming, making it a practical skill for future developers.

At the heart of Python’s appeal for children are its straightforward syntax and logical code structure. While it introduces the complexity of a text-based language, Python does so in an intuitive way. There’s no dealing with cumbersome punctuation or complex code structures. As a general-purpose language, Python’s capabilities extend across several software domains.

Python Libraries for Learning

To further aid in the learning process, Python offers many educational libraries such as Turtle, Pygame, and PIP installs. These resources help kids illustrate the results of their code visually, keeping the learning process interactive and stimulating.

  • Turtle – This library is excellent for teaching kids how to draw shapes and create animation using Python scripts.
  • Pygame – An advanced library used for making professional-grade games. However, it is also straightforward to use and can introduce kids to more complex coding concepts.
  • PIP installs – This feature helps kids download and manage other Python packages to further boost skills.

What’s worth mentioning is Python’s significant role in the field of Data Science. As kids grow older, they can use their Python skills in data analysis, machine learning, and other exciting opportunities.

Python, therefore, stands as a substantial yet accessible gateway to the vast world of programming for kids. It’s a skill that grows with the child, enabling them to handle a range of real-world applications while providing a steady progression in their coding journey.


After getting comfortable with Python, it’s a good idea for our young aspiring programmers to dip their toes into the waters of JavaScript. An essential language in web development, JavaScript is the backbone for dynamic, interactive websites, and apps. As kids advance with their coding skills, exploring JavaScript opens doors to a world of opportunities.

JavaScript, or JS for short, was initially developed for front-end web development. However, it’s significantly evolved over the years. Its use now extends to back-end development, embedded systems, and even game development with the help of powerful frameworks and libraries like AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS, and Three.js.

Due to its ubiquity on the web, JavaScript offers instant gratification that’s great for captivating the interest of young coders. Changes can be made in the code, and the results are immediate on the web page – no need to wait for lengthy compile times. This aspect makes JavaScript exciting and engaging for children learning programming.

Diving deeper, kids can develop impressive projects with JavaScript. With its solid foundations in HTML5 and CSS3, JS opens up the possibility of creating interactive websites, web applications, games, and even 3D graphics. It’s an excellent way to put the theoretical coding skills into practical use, providing a better understanding of how things work behind the scenes.

JavaScript isn’t child’s play, though. It’s a vastly more complex and powerful language than Scratch or Python. The syntax can be tricky at times and might require a little patience, but it’s an extremely rewarding language to learn. Online resources such as Codecademy, Khan Academy, and Mozilla Developer Network offer fantastic JavaScript courses catering to different age groups and skill levels.

Indeed, equipping our young coders with JavaScript proficiency is a huge step. From Python’s simplicity, they’re stepping into a space more technical yet incredibly practical. Even as we speak, JavaScript is utilized in millions of websites globally. It’s undeniably a worthwhile addition to their coding repertoire.

With JavaScript, kids are no longer just consumers of the digital world. They start becoming architects, building their own apps and websites. Expect their online world to look slightly different, a little more engaging, a lot more interactive, and infinitely creative.


Taking the journey a step further, I’d like to introduce Blockly, another excellent resource for children to learn coding concepts. Blockly’s visual programming language (VPL) environment is great for kids as it allows them to create programs with blocks that represent different coding concepts. Rather than focusing on syntax, they can spend their time understanding logic, structure, and algorithmic thinking.

Much like Scratch, Blockly uses drag-and-drop blocks which map to genuine programming constructs. These blocks include loops, if/then statements, and a variety of other command and logical structures. It’s an ideal starting point for focussing on the logic behind coding before diving into the rough and tumble of real-world languages.

The advantage of Blockly is that it also serves as a bridge to text-based coding languages. As children piece together blocks of code, they can simultaneously view the equivalent JavaScript. This feature allows nascent coders to start recognizing patterns and structures in text-based programming languages.

For example, an if/then statement block in Blockly is simultaneously reflected as if (condition) { do this } in its JavaScript view. This parallel view enables a seamless transition from visual to text-based coding, something I’ve witnessed to work incredibly well with many young learners.

Various online learning platforms like and App Inventor use Blockly as their foundational learning tool. Children can experiment within these environments, solving puzzles and creating games. The best part is that they get immediate visual feedback.

In that light, Blockly holds a prominent position in my list of recommended coding resources for kids. It marries the simplicity of block-based coding with exposure to text-based languages, making it an excellent stepping stone between Scratch, Python, and JavaScript.


So there you have it. Python’s simplicity makes it a perfect starting point for kids to begin their coding journey. As they grow more confident, JavaScript awaits, ready to unlock the vast world of web development. But the learning doesn’t stop there. Blockly’s visual approach to coding serves as an important bridge, guiding young learners from Python to JavaScript. It’s a tool that’s not just fun but also educational, fostering logic and algorithmic thinking. With platforms like and App Inventor leveraging Blockly, it’s clear how integral it is in children’s coding education. The transition from Scratch to Python, and finally to JavaScript, has never been smoother. Remember, every child’s coding journey is unique, but with these resources, they’re well on their way to becoming the programmers of tomorrow.

Joe Goodwin