Your Child's Introduction to Programming

Children on computersChildren are often smart, inquisitive and creative.  Can children learn how to program?  If they have learned how to talk, crawl, walk and bicycle, they can definitely learn how to program.



Baby on computerWhat would be the best programming language to teach children?  In my humble opinion, HTML.  By the time your baby is able to sit on your lap and watch you browse the Internet, he will be able to type on the keyboard by the time he's three or four and email you or text message you.

By the time he knows how to read, he will prefer to type instead of write using a pencil.  By the time he knows how to spell, he would be ready to learn some beginner's HTML.


Even though my current HTML class is targeted towards 10 year olds and up, I have found that children as young as Baby on computereight year olds could handle HTML programming.   HTML is an easy language to learn as it doesn't require much logic programming.  It is a language made for typesetting a document in plain English with simple rules and elements.

If your child has used a Word processor to edit a document, he will find this skill very useful in understanding the relationship between a HTML document and a regular document.  Your child will also learn about hexadecimals when he learns about Web colors, a useful supplement to his Math curriculum.  In addition, he will also learn about percentages.  If he's interested in art,  he will have a blast learning about color schemes and styling.  What an accomplishment it will be for your child when he learns that he can write his own web pages without the need for Google sites!

His knowledge in HTML will carry over to a real programming language, such as C and Javascript, as he learns about the concept of nesting and containers in HTML.  He will already be familiar with the discipline required of programming.  He will boost his self-esteem.  He will already have the experience of working to figure out why his code doesn't work the first time.   He will be able to showcase his work to the audience of his choice and build a portfolio.   May this be a positive beginning to a child's introduction to programming.