If you are a newbie to the world of programming, Python is a great place to start! Of course, this is just one of many coding languages, but it is unique in the fact that it is easy to understand without using a bunch of foreign symbols that might have your child ready to quit.
We want to show you why Python might just be the perfect programming language for your kid, give you a short tutorial, and share the best coding courses to help your child learn to code for themselves.
Python was created by a language inventor, named Guido van Rossum, in 1990 who named it after Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He wanted an updated language that would simplify coding and be pleasing to view and create.
His update in the 2000s followed five key concepts:
Beautiful is better than ugly
Explicit is better than implicit
Simple is better than complex
Complex is better than complicated
At the time this was a foriegn concept and all other languages were not friendly to anyone who was not a computer wiz. He wanted coding to be for everyone, fun to use, and the ability to create anything you can imagine.
Because of this shift, coding became a subject kids could now learn! Technology is part of our everyday life and kids are usually playing around on a smartphone or tablet from a very young age. This opens a door for curiosity and exploration because kids want to know how things work, and they can now learn and create computer programs for themselves.
If you are wanting to get your child started in computer programming, Python is a great place to start.
This coding language is a lot easier to understand because it does not use unordinary symbols.
Beginning with an easier to understand language, your child may form an interest in coding without becoming overly frustrated or overwhelmed. Python is considered a “block” language because it is purely graphical. There are other block programming languages such as Scratch, but Python is unique in the fact that your kid will not outgrow it, and their skills that they develop with Python can grow and advance with them instead.
Did you know Youtube, NASA, Google, and Walt Disney Feature Animation are all powered by Python? These are just a few big names you may recognize, but Python is used to create so many applications used in today’s world by people of all ages making it easily one of the most popular and diverse languages.
There is no doubt coding can be overwhelming for anyone. Thankfully, Python is the perfect introduction to programming. By using a very organized, visually appealing format and working on small amounts of information at a time, your child will be set up for success.
Pick a project your child will get excited about and find a passion for. If there is a goal and purpose for their project, they are much more likely to engage in learning. Once they have picked what they want to create, encourage them to learn from their mistakes, and keep practicing. Practicing is the best way to get good at coding.
As we dive into what Python is and how simple it is to learn and use, let’s review some basic terms in the coding world:
Syntax: Syntax is essentially the ‘spelling and grammar’ of computer programming languages. Just as it may be difficult to understand an English sentence without proper spelling and grammar, a computer can’t understand their commands unless they are laid out properly. Syntax defines the proper way to layout commands in programming languages.
Variables: In computer programming, a variable is a type of value that can change. In this python tutorial, we will be exploring how we can change variables in Python and how this will affect the output of our programming.
Loops: Loops contain a set of instructions that are continually repeated until a specific set of conditions are met. In this tutorial, we will learn to understand the difference between a for loop and a while loop.
Now that you know these terms, let's put it into practice:
Let’s create a for loop ( a for loop tells the computer to perform the task for a certain number of times), enter this equation:
for x in range(6,1,-1):
Now let’s use this to code a popular song:
for x in range(5,0,-1):
print (x, 'Bottles of coke on the wall
Then you will see this:
5 bottles of coke on the wall
4 bottles of coke on the wall
3 bottles of coke on the wall
2 bottles of coke on the wall
1 bottles of coke on the wall
Now let’s take a look at variables. In the above code, x is the variable, but will it still work if we change it to a y? The answer is yes; it can be anything you want it to be.
Lastly, let’s learn about the grammar and spelling of computer programming, Syntax. This is the backbone of your programming codes, and it is easy to make a mistake. Luckily Python will let you know if you make a mistake; for example, if you type something wrong, this will appear:
File "<ipython-input-10-ebd4d8eb92d4>", line 5
IndentationError: unexpected indent
This feature is beneficial for beginner programmers because mistakes happen often but this will help you locate and fix them. We hope this short tutorial helps give you an idea of how to use Python and how simple it is. Now you need a more in-depth course to really help you hone in on these concepts. We offer a wide variety of Python courses from beginner levels to advanced.
Now that you are more familiar with what Python is and what the syntax looks like, let’s get your child started in a course!
We offer a variety of courses based on skill level and progression. If your child has no prior experience you will want to check out Intro to Coding to get them started.
The next course we offer is Python Coding for Kids which will give them a strong foundation in Python syntax.
They will then move on to Intermediate Python Coding for Kids which will transition them to writing native Python using a IDE and develop their computational thinking.
If your child is a bit older when they are first starting out, Python for Kids - Python Fundamentals will be perfect for them, as it is actually a sixteen week beginner course. They will learn everything they need to know about Python, writing syntax, and the last two weeks they will be put to the test by completing a project that will pull it all together.
We hope you enjoyed learning all about Python and that your child is now set up for an uncanny learning experience. Find the way your child learns best, make sure they practice a lot, are not afraid of making mistakes, and ultimately having fun!