The Ultimate Parent’s Guide to Java for Kids
Kids of all ages can find fun in learning how to code, and once they get started, you’ll be amazed by how easily they can advance their skills.
Not only will learning the basics of computer science pave the road for an amazing future career, but it can help kids develop strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Those foundational skills can help improve other coursework, stimulate new interests, and will come in handy no matter what a child chooses to pursue after high school.
Coding classes and camps are increasingly popular for parents looking to help their child learn about computer programming. Java is one of the most common coding languages, and though it is more advanced than other syntax, it can be mastered at a young age.
What is Java?
Java is a widely used, object-oriented programming language that has become integral in website, software, and application development. First released by Sun Microsystems in 1995, Java quickly transformed the world of computer science, and remains an important and influential language for developers today.
It’s important to know how to code in Java because it is actively used in the real world. While some coding syntax exists for very specific applications, Java is broadly used to improve experiences on devices and applications of all kinds. Its use-scenarios have continuously evolved over the last few decades, making it one of the most important programming languages in history.
What is Java used for?
Many coders use Java for gaming and app development, but the programming language is used in countless other ways. It’s leveraged in developing everyday websites, for Android and Microsoft applications, and for a wide range of games from Codewars to Minecraft.
Is Java a good programming language for beginners?
Java is an important programming language to understand, but many of its applications are best for advanced coders who have already had an opportunity to get the foundational skills. That said, developers have worked to make it more engaging for those learning about code for the first time. Games like Minecraft use Java but introduce it as a way to allow kids to exercise their creative skills.
Coding empowers kids and teens to develop excellent problem-solving skills. Once a beginner learns how computer programming works, they’ll quickly be able to lean into different Java-based applications, write their own codes, and produce real scripts.
How old do kids need to be to learn to code in Java?
Coding can be great for kids as young as 7 years old, but that’s not the best age for learning Java. The Java language is advanced, so teens and young coders with existing experience will have an easier time learning how to write and interpret code.
How long does it take to learn to code in Java?
Coding is a lifelong learning process, but an immersive camp or course can make it easier for teens to learn new skills. As with any programming language, a commitment to practicing what you learn is an important part that distinguishes good Java coders from great Java coders.
Why is Java good for kids to learn?
Not only is Java one of the most widely used computer programming languages, it’s actually a requirement for many professional coding jobs. It is used for a wide variety of applications and across all devices, so having a foundational understanding of how the code works makes it easier for kids to challenge their know-how and explore new applications.
Talented coding experts are in high demand in the tech industry, and that demand is expected to grow in the coming decades. Identifying the best coding languages for teens will set them up for success if they would like to pursue a career in computer science.
What are the benefits of learning Java?
Technology is ever-changing, but the Java language has been widely used for decades and remains popular. Given its longevity, it has a robust user base, and there are many tutorials available to make learning easy.
The language is open-source with a rich API, and it’s useful in countless applications. With fewer barriers to learning the language, Java can quickly give kids confidence they need to learn basic coding skills and the limitless opportunity to explore how it can be used.
Kids who enjoy coding on any level have lots of potential, and learning Java is a great step in the right direction. With Java, teens might be empowered to develop their own coding language, create new technologies, or use their skills as a programmer to engineer unique solutions in life and in their careers!
Empowering kids to learn how to code can help them:
- Develop strong problem-solving skills
- Build resilience
- Engage creativity
- Explore imaginative free play
- Excel in STEM studies
Introducing kids to Java programming
It’s great to introduce your kid to programming at an early age. From toddler and preschool-friendly robotics toys that demonstrate simple sequencing of commands, to visual languages that teach code blocks and related variables, loops, conditionals, and if/then logic, there are many avenues to explore.
Once your child is ready to learn advanced coding, steer them towards Java. Encourage them to explore popular tutorials, sign up for a camp or coding class, or join a community of their peers with similar coding interests.
Benefits of coding classes and camps
Java classes and camps offer students an immersive environment in which to learn about programming. Coursework and challenges are designed to introduce coding in a digestible way that makes it fun, not frustrating.
From beginner courses that allow students to learn about code blocks and conditionals, to applications that rely on if/then logic for programming games and activities, there’s a lot to be gained from a great program.
Courses and activities available for students vary with age and experience, but teachers work to make the learning process really flexible. They know that many students benefit from one-on-one lessons, while others thrive in a social group environment. The curriculum and applications explored can also be guided by the child’s interests.
Practicing at home
There are lots of online communities that have worked to build a network of support for those learning Java. Those options for social learning make it easier for students to learn from home. Help your student make new connections and find opportunities that will not only spark their interest in the process, but will also challenge their knowledge of coding.
Mobile app development
It’s no surprise that the prevalence of smartphones and tablets make app development top-of-mind for teens like never before. Java is a great coding language to learn if your kid has a passion for building their own apps and games for personal devices.
What are the best ways to get better at coding in Java?
Practice, practice, practice. To become a great coder, your child will need to apply the skills they’ve learned along the way to reinforce how the code is used, and become comfortable troubleshooting it when it doesn’t work right. Getting involved with online communities, and working with others to solve challenges and learn new applications expands how one learns to interpret and write code.
Best Java coding games and platforms for kids
There are many ways to get your kid involved in coding and interested in Java applications. Some of the most popular games, toys, and coding platforms include:
Minecraft modding gives young learners and older kids a glimpse into a virtual world and allows them the opportunity to learn and code in a social and collaborative environment.
This subscription-based box offers a variety of activities and materials for a young coder. Each month, subscribers will receive a box that contains coding projects, ranging from simple syntax to advanced algorithms. They will also be able to type the given code into the connected app and make revisions to test their skills.
ROBOT WARS Coding Board Game
Students can get an introduction to Java by playing Robot Wars. The game challenges players to consider sequential logic, conditional logic, functions, looping, and robotic movements. Through gameplay, they’ll be able to begin to translate the Java programming language into English commands.
What other coding languages are good for kids?
Java is one of the most widely recognized coding languages, but with over 700 coding languages used around the world, it’s always best if young learners start with easy challenges.
Drag-and-drop visual block programming options such as Tynker and Scratch are popular introductory languages for many kids. From there, they might share that they’re interested in web development, robotics, or even open to the challenge of building their own computer.
Java is a great language to learn when the time is right, but kids can also benefit from learning other languages including:
Find kids coding classes and camps near you
If you’re interested in introducing Java programming for kids, it’s a great time to enroll your child in an immersive coding course or camp. Kids of all ages can learn about computer science and programming, and teens are especially apt to pick up new skills in advanced languages such as Java.
theCoderSchool provides coding camps and classes that make it easy for teenagers of all skill levels to learn Java. With locations across the United States and flexible courses including virtual learning, in-person classes, or private one-on-one lessons, our teachers provide a child-focused learning philosophy to help the next-gen to take their curiosities with technology to the next level.
Find a class near you and get in touch with the educators at theCoderSchool today if you have any questions.