scratch vs python

As a well-informed parent, you would want your kids to be well-versed in programming because you see that future is technology. And you want to introduce your little ones to programming, but you don't know where to start. So if you're looking for something that can engage their interest but also be a good resource for them to kickstart their coding journey there are many options available to you. There are free, available resources that are simple, basic, and also interactive with drag and drop languages like Scratch and Blocky, or a text-based programming language like Python that kids can easily get along with.

Most schools start off their students with Scratch which is a visual programming language that has a very fun and interactive UI specifically targeted towards kids aged 5- 10 years old. It makes use of game design, storytelling and animation to familiarize kids with the basics of programming without making it seem boring and mundane.

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But while Scratch does get kids interested to use it, it might not be very effective over the long term and it does not introduce them to "real" coding. Scratch is based on a "drag and drop" system that can be a bit misleading for the students, because the actual process of writing programs is very different from the simple game design used by Scratch. So although scratch is a good start, it can't be relied on to teach actual programming to kids and the right approach would be to move them on to a simple language like Python as soon as they get curious about coding through Scratch.

Educators prefer Scratch because it is simple and easy to teach but real programmers believe that the best approach for a beginner is to start off with Python that would establish the basics of programming in depth.

So why python programming language specifically?

Python is beginner-friendly programming language that focuses on ease of access and user readability. The language is so easy because it is very English-like, and completes a task in fewer steps compared to other languages like Java and C++. Python is the best tool you can provide your kids with because it is the most popular programming language in the world right now, websites like Youtube and Facebook are based were written on Python. It is not only easy to use but also highly effective and resourceful for beginners and advance coders alike. Python can build anything from websites, to apps, to games and animations. The possibilities are endless.

So if we compare two 5 year olds starting off with either Python or Scratch, the student who started off with Python will take the lead and develop competitive self-learning and computational thinking skills along the way.

It is evidently more effective to start your kids off with python rather than softwares like scratch that are essentially not real programming languages but are there only to make learning fun without necessarily achieving the goal of teaching kids the basics of coding.