Teaching Young Children about Programming

goober99 profile image Matthew D. Miller ・1 min read

I've been reading through Peter Shirley's excellent Ray Tracing in One Weekend and implementing the ray tracer in Scheme. It would be a great project for a teenager interested in programming. As the father of a daughter who turns one in a couple weeks, I have a long way to go before she's a teenager, and I'd love to introduce her to fundamental concepts of programming as she grows up.

My daughter just recently took her first steps, so it's probably going to be awhile before she writes her first lines of code. For you parents who are further along the parenting path, when did you start introducing your kids to programming? What activities such as certain games or toys did you find reinforced programming concepts without involving actual code? How do you teach young kids about programming?

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Matthew D. Miller


I'm a DBA by day and a youth pastor by night. I love Perl.


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I've got my 4 year old the FisherPrice Code-a-pillar and it's brilliant fun! My daughter will get the same, but she's still a bit young - but does 'create bugs' when she gets involved in the Code-a-pillar time!

I've also got a friend to get him an 'ElectroDough Kit'. And can't wait to get a Kano kit when he's older.

I mean to be honest, these toys and kits are as much for me to have fun with him as they are for his learning!


Thanks for sharing these, Matt. I'll check them out too!

It's been a while since you commented... Have you tried anything else with your kid since then?


These all sound awesome. I'll have to check them out.


Hey Matthew - I'm a bit further down the line (my kid is 3yo now) and I'm also looking for resources.

While I do think it's important to teach them about coding, I find it useful to be explaining them more things about computers, in general, to get them excited and willing to learn more! :D

Have you tried anything with her already? How did it go?