If your child has been wanting to learn how to code in Python, or if you want to encourage the activity, it’s helpful to have a list of resources to learn Python. Learning a new programming language is an exciting activity. Knowing where to turn when questions inevitably arise can help make the journey fun.
Why Your Child Should Learn Python
There are more coding languages than I can count on my fingers and toes. When deciding on the first language it can feel overwhelming. While everyone has their own opinion, I like to recommend Python for beginners. It’s great for kids and adults alike.
If you’ve been contemplating teaching your kids Python, but need a few good reasons I have you covered.
Numerous reasons exist, but I’ll keep it short and sweet here.
- Python is beginner-friendly because it’s easy to understand, even for those without prior programming experience
- Your child can grow with Python, unlike other languages that are graphical and designed specifically for beginners
I’ll note that the graphical programming languages, such as Scratch, are great for young learners! These languages help kids understand the basics of coding and how things fit together. Many of the graphical languages use blocks and arrows so the learner can visualize what is taking place.
While Scratch and similar languages are great for beginners your child will eventually outgrow them. With Python, your child can learn it today and land a job as a developer after college.
The Best Way To Teach Your Kids Python
Everyone learns a little bit differently. Some people need to read an instruction manual before getting started while others just dive in. No one approach is right. I’ve actually found using multiple approaches to be the most beneficial. But that’s just me.
When it comes to kids it’s a bit different. They need something that will grab their attention and keep them engaged. Thankfully, a number of coding apps, games, and websites exist to make education fun!
Here are a few other suggestions to make learning Python fun for your kids that I’ve found work well.
Gamification makes learning fun even for adults. Once a child has mastered a skill they will quickly grow bored if they aren’t challenged. I recommend finding coding competitions and boot camps. The competition is exhilarating and allows your child to shine as they get better and better.
Find project-based learning activities. Think about how many tech products began because someone wanted to find a solution to their own problem. If your child has the basics of Python down they can easily start to create code for their own use. Why not try creating a simple web app that lists chores to be done and those already done. For older learnings, they can create a budget or exercise tracker. These don’t have to be fancy. The real prize is the learning that occurs.
Encourage weekly, if not daily, practice. This might sound obvious, but it’s important. Learning how to code requires that the learner adopt a new way of thinking. Easy as Python is to learn, it will still require practice. By practicing your child will see themselves improve much faster than if they skip practice. This makes it fun as they advance and are amazed at their own skills.
Resources To Learn Python
This is what you’ve been waiting for! Here I’ll share some of my favorite resources to learn Python for kids. I’ll break them into groups for games, classes, and online tutorials.
Games To Learn Python
Code Combat is first up on the list. Their global community of 12 million learner who have cranked out 1+ billion lines of code are testament that Code Combat is a legit resource. Kids will write code that moves a character. It’s an easy introduction for new learners and the games keep a child’s attention.
PyGame allows kids to build a game. This is super cool and something even dads will enjoy! Building the game takes place over a series of short lessons. The snick-sized bites of education are great for kids since you learn a little bit at a time. Code is provided for kids to follow. Of course, those natural tinkerers can edit the code to see what happens. Don’t forget to check out some other, non-Python related activities that use Raspberry Pi.
Classes To Learn Python
A platform that I’ve used and love is Udemy. They provide an online platform with courses for Python and tons of other subjects. Instructors tend to be subject matter experts and all courses are reviewed by Udemy before being published. Consider that the courses do require payment. However, you can find many quality courses for $50 or less. Cheaper than a video game and more educational at that!
Tynker is another great resource for learning Python and other coding languages. I like that Tynker breaks their lessons into age categories. Current age brackets are 5-7, 8-13, and 14+. Kids will develop coding skills over a series of classes. The final product is building a game.
Online Tutorials To Learn Python
Practice like you are playing a real match is a mindset I’ve always liked. When it comes to online tutorials I like how Hour of Python by Trinket presents learners with real-world problems that a professional might encounter. Start with some free lessons and then jump into the challenges. A great feature not found too frequently is that lessons are available in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.
With a name like Practice Python you know they have some Python goodness. They provide over 30 beginner lessons complete with a topic discussion and solution. Some of the lessons include games, such as hangman, that kids know and enjoy.
The internet provides a ton of resources to learn Python, many of which are kid-friendly. If you’ve been tossing around the idea of teaching your child how to code now is a great time to start. Check out these resources and don’t forget to share your favorites in the comments below.