Finding the right product or motivation for your kid is the key. Some kids love making games. Others enjoy writing stories. One little boy I taught got very excited about "hacking" existing websites with Chrome Inspect Element tool. Another girl wanted to learn Java to make Minecraft mods.
You don't need to be a professional developer to get kids started in programming. Many of the products include lightweight curriculums and roadmaps to help the kid learn more. One of the most important qualities of a programmer is the ability to figure out problems. Googling is allowed!
This is not a conclusive list - I'd love to hear more recommendations from you in the comments.
- Hopscotch and Kodable. iPad applications for teaching foundations of programming.
- Scratch. Pair with the excellent curriculum guide.
- Codeschool. Dive deeper into different programming languages.
- Dash. Learn to make websites with an interactive tutorial.
- Coursera. I liked the Startup Engineering course.
Books and stories
- Blog following a father & 4-year old daughter learning to code.
- Hello World by Warren Sande. One of the best programming books for kids I've read. On Python, but applicable for many.
- Lauren Ipsum. Explains computing principles through Lauren's eyes. A story!
- Python for Kids by Jason R Briggs. Wonderful little book on Python. Also wonderful other books at No Starch Press.
Curriculum and community
- Code.org has a very large resource list to try out.
- Mozilla Webmaker includes tons of tools and guides for building the web.
- CoderDojo is a global non-profit for starting a coding club for kids.
- DIY.org is a community for kids to learn to make things.
- CS Unplugged has activities you can do without a computer to teach programming fundamentals.
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