Interested to learn about Python for kids, but not sure where to begin? Learning a new programming language is an exciting task, but getting started can be daunting.
Today we'll reveal some answers to common questions beginner programmers ask about Python, from the best age to start learning Python to how it differs from other programming languages. We'll even share some excellent resources for kids' Python coding.
If you're ready to jump in right away, Create & Learn’s Python For AI series is a fun, interactive, and comprehensive introduction to the language developed for children in grades 5-9 and includes a free Introductory class.
Learn Python for kids with answers to common questions
1. What is Python?
Python is a high-level, interpreted, object-oriented programming language. Translated into non-CS-speak, Python is a user-friendly language which allows coders to quickly create and run powerful code.
It’s a great language for beginners and professionals alike, and it’s commonly cited as one of the top languages to learn. In the last several years, Python has also become one of the most popular languages, eclipsing major coding staples like C++ and Java.
2. How is Python different from other coding languages?
One of the major ways Python diverges from other coding languages is that it is easier for a human to read and use. Python syntax is very close to English, which makes the code significantly more comprehensible to the average viewer than a language like C++.
Python is also not compiled by the programmer, meaning that the programmer does not have to take additional steps to run the program and can focus on the code itself.
Another major draw of Python is its huge collection of modules. Python modules contain code written by others that can be imported into and used in your own projects. Thus, Python serves as not only a coding language, but an access point to thousands of useful functions and analytical tools. These modules are a large part of the reason why Python is so popular among software developers, data scientists, and amateur coders.
Use emojis in Python with the emoji module, draw with the turtle module, solve complex mathematical problems with math or numpy modules, or explore the many other modules that Python has to offer.
3. Is Python easy to learn? Is Python a good language for a beginner?
Python is considered a high-level programming language. Which practically means that a Python user does not have to think as much about how the code will run behind the scenes.
Thus, a lot of the challenge of lower-level programming languages is removed, and the coder can focus only on what they want their code to accomplish. Additionally, because Python’s syntax is close to English language syntax, English speakers may find it easier to understand. For these reasons, Python is a great language for a beginner coder to learn.
For a beginner coder, there are lots of access points for Python. A lot of students find early success in using Python’s turtle module, which allows users to draw and create animations.
4. What is a good age to start learning Python? Is it a good language for kids?
Generally, we find students who are ages 11 and above tend to succeed in learning Python. Previous experience with coding (such as Scratch) and ability to touch type are also important factors in a student’s success.
Python is a great language for kids as it is both commonly used at all skills levels and can serve as a jumping off point for other written languages. Create & Learn offers a full sequence of Python classes geared specifically for middle schoolers - sign up for our free, introductory class here.
5. What should I learn before I learn Python?
For younger students, especially, it is advisable to start learning Python after developing some other coding fluency. We recommend Scratch, as it teaches students fundamental programming concepts which transfer well into Python, but any experience writing or using code will be helpful. Your child should also know how to type and use essential computer programs and tools (browsers like Firefox or Chrome, copy/paste, etc.)
6. How is Python used in the real world?
Python is an incredibly versatile language, appearing in virtually every field and industry: data science, software and game development, artificial intelligence, and many others. Because of its ease of use and extensive libraries of code, Python is great for both novice and expert coding projects. Students often enjoy using Python to build animations and games.
Here’s our Python animation tutorial, which teaches you how to draw in Python!
7. Is Python free?
Yes, Python is free, as are the majority of common tools used to run it (see below).
8. What technology tools does my child need to start coding in Python?
We recommend using a computer to code in Python, as opposed to a tablet or phone. The layout and development of Python code are much easier to accomplish with a full keyboard, and most of the commonly used Python tools are more effectively accessed through a computer (also, most apps are not free).
Additionally, most Python programmers choose to use an Interactive Development Environment, or IDE. IDEs allow coders to write and execute programs in the same window, and often include helpful features like color-coding code and debugging tools. For students, trinket is a great IDE because it is online and thus easily accessible and shareable.
9. How do I start learning Python?
10. What are some free, online resources I can use to help me learn Python?
As Python is hugely popular, there are a plethora of resources to guide you through your study of the language.
- Khan Academy and W3Schools both provide lots of excellent videos and tutorials on Python concepts. Both sites are great to use as references while coding, and are also helpful if you want concept or syntax refreshers.
- Sites like code.org and Advent of Code have lots of projects that will help you develop and hone your Python skills. Projects are levelled so you can choose one that fits your child’s current skill level and set of interests.
Learn Python for kids today
We hope this FAQ has helped you learn more about how to get started with Python! It is a fantastic language to learn, and well worth encouraging your children to pursue.
You can get started with a free introductory class at Create & Learn. Our Python For AI series will help your student build foundational Python skills, engaging them with fun projects and setting them up for coding success in high school and beyond.
Brought to you by Sarah Rappaport, Instructor Create & Learn
Create & Learn is on a mission to power up your child’s future with courses in AI, Robotics, Data Science, and more. Designed for children grades 2-9, classes are delivered virtually with live, expert instructors. Lessons are interactive, foster creativity, and make real life connections across industries so your child can explore the latest technologies and have fun! www.create-learn.us