I have 4 kids, and my oldest is 10. Inspired by Jesse Stay and his 9 year old who just started blogging about programming, I’m looking for the best way to teach my kids programming. I’m very open to suggestions, in fact I want as much feedback as I can get!
In my initial scouting out there are a few platforms that are more of a “visual programming” language/platform that help teach programming concepts:
1) Kudo – Initially I saw the word Microsoft and ran (sorry, not a big MS fan). But then I realized it was all based on the Xbox. Ok that’s pretty cool. Need an xbox, but still really cool. A PC would work too if I could stand using it for more than 2 minutes.
2) Alice – This is by Carnegie Mellon University (and funded by big game groups like EA, Sun, Microsoft and then some government groups, DARPA, NSF and ONR). Its focus is on 3D animations, and kids end up creating animated stories while learning programming concepts.
3) Scratch – This is a product of MIT and it even runs on a Mac. I think I’m going to give this one a try first. I’ll post more details of my experience with it later.
What are you doing to teach (or help nurture) programming to your kids?
UPDATE 1: Here is the main forum thread that led me to most of these. I got feedback from Jesse Stay about what he was using with his 9 year old son, and it is this book on Python. I just bought it and am going to give it a go along with Scratch.