Kids learn HTML relatively quickly because it is an easy and fun programming language to work with. Due to its instant gratification-like nature, HTML enables us to view our web pages instantaneously – no web host needed!
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) lives on every website: We see it in headers, paragraphs, links, images, and so on. Most importantly, HTML makes it easier for anyone to learn other programming languages—it is a good starting point for a coding career.
In this article, we uncover just how easy it is to learn HTML. In ten easy steps, your kid will learn the ins and outs of what is considered “the building blocks of the Internet”.
Discover the best way for kids to learn HTML
Programming starts with creativity and learning HTML enables us to, not only build a new skill, but also express ourselves through code. We have put together some tips and suggestions, and we will explain why we encourage HTML as the beginning course for those children who are beginner creators themselves.
How do you explain HTML to a child?
To explain HTML to a child, always remember the look and feel of a website: The images, the links, and the text. Start by explaining that all things found on a single web page essentially came from HTML.
Is HTML good for beginners?
Absolutely HTML is good for beginners! No one was born knowing how to code. It is important that they start at the beginning, and while children are oozing creativity, HTML is a perfect platform for their moment to show-and-tell.
Is HTML still worth learning?
Absolutely HTML is still worth learning! The Internet started with and is still depending on HTML. Websites are here to stay and so is HTML, hence getting to know it now is the perfect time.
Learn HTML basics with 10 tips
Learning HTML does not have to be hard. It is quite the opposite of that. HTML can be explained and decoded in ten steps. We have put together the most important things to remember about HTML.
1. Prepare your text editor
Be sure you have a text editor of some sort. Most Microsoft Windows based computers come with Notepad Application. HTML syntax is manually typed up on a document found in an application such as Notepad, and is saved as .html file.
2. What to expect/Syntax
HTML is written in plain English with an exception that “<” and “/>” are used interchangeably. In order to view your creation, always remember to start your document with the following line: <!DOCTYPE html>
3. Think of an outline
HTML is like a summary with bullet points and a strict order. It is very important first picture what you want your page to look and feel like, before you start to code. Mock it up first. This can be done the old fashion way – just scribble it down on a piece of paper.
4. Use a simple skeleton at first
All we need is a few elements such as:<html>, <header>, <title>, <body>. The <html> element is standard and is usually followed by the header. Think of the header as the page number in a Word Document.
A Word Document's pages are sometimes numbed at the top (header) or at the bottom (footer). The Title tag is pretty much just that: a title of your project perhaps, or the title of the page. The body element is where your page’s content will be placed – it is like the body of an email.
5. Opening tag/ending tag
Try to remember that every new tag will start with “<” and will have its closing that will most likely look like this: />. Opening and closing elements matters. Think of your HTML document as an upside-down palindrome. The first line will reflect the last line, the second line will reflect the second to last line, and so on.
6. Stick with basics for now
Understand that your first HTML project is not going to look like a fancy website – this is ok! Don’t take on too much in the beginning. Overtime and with practice, your HTML skill will expand and because you’ll understand how HTML works, other programming languages will make more sense.
7. Stay organized
Always know exactly how the web page is going to look and feel. Visualize it, then draw it, then mimic it with HTML. Be sure you’re starting new elements on new lines. Keep your code/syntax as clean and as organized as possible. You may get discouraged if you do not have a solid plan and solid organization before you get started.
8. Take breaks
Take rapid breaks in between coding. It is very important to clear your mind by stepping away form your computer and doing something non-programming related. If you get stuck, don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. Instead, walk away and come back at a later time—don’t burn out.
9. Save your work
Periodically save your work. Computers crash, power goes out. Try to save periodically but be sure that you have .html after you name your file. Here is what you want to do. Click on file>save as>your_file_name.html>.
10. Viewing your work
Your last step is to view what you’ve created. You can view your web page locally, from your computer. All you have to do is find your .html file and open it. If you are connected to the Internet and have a browser like Chrome or Firefox, you can double click on your file and your project will show up in a new tab/new browser window, just like a real web page.
Discover HTML activities for beginners
We have searched the web to find more HTML resources and activities for you. Check out the links below for free practice and exercise.
- Hello World – At the bottom of the page you will find a green button that reads “Start Exercise”. The link can be accessed here. It is recommended that you read the lesson first before diving into this Activity.
- W3Schools – W3Schools is a popular online learning site where more information and activities can be found. To access W3School for HTML activities, click here.
Kids can learn HTML with online courses
To learn more about HTML and CSS, Create & Learn offers free as well as paid K-12 online classes with a curriculum designed by experts from MIT, Stanford, and more. Find more information about classes about coding websites for kids here.
Get started with HTML for kids
Technology is evolving and children are becoming more and more interested in how it all works. Now is the time to get your child introduced to a programming language that sort of started it all. HTML is the past and the future.
Up next, explore 10 fun Scratch coding concepts for kids.
Written by Sandra Dizdarevic, a Create & Learn instructor with 6 years of experience teaching STEM to children in the 3rd through 11th grade. She has an Undergraduate as well as a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from UNO.