The Best Programming Languages for Elementary School Students

3 min read

Starting off with any profession or anything which interests you should be done the right way. One should be engaged while also challenged at the same time. When you are very young and in school, particularly elementary school, being engaged is about as important as being challenged to learn. Programming is a beast of its own and starting young students off with assembler-level programming is not the right way to get them to love coding. 

Here are the best languages to teach elementary school children.


Scratch is a favorite for many schools which teach programming to children, and for a good reason. There is nothing like a drag and drop interface to start teaching children how to approach programming. Some languages are harder than others, but when there is no actual coding involved, kids will love it, at least at the start, until they find the limits of the language. Scratch is great for getting children involved and it should be used for younger elementary school students.


Getting into the deep end of web development, Javascript or JS for short, is a great language for any student who is a bit more serious about their programming. JS is great for teaching children how to make web applications, something which is used extensively in our ever-evolving online world. It is a great starting language, while also being a great job opportunity in a couple of years.


Python is a popular language. Python is easy to learn because it has a pretty simple syntax and it focuses on actual code execution. Python is great for children because it can be taught relatively easily but it can also produce more powerful results compared to some drag and drop languages. Python can be used to make more complex applications, as well as video games.


And why not? C++ has a steep learning curve but one can still simplify it and make it understandable to children. Once they get a dose of C++, everything else will seem easier and less punishing. C++ is for attentive children and those who might want a career in low-level programming.

Most operating systems are written in C++, so that should give you an idea of what it can do. It can also make great video game engines and clients, as well as the games themselves. Adding it to an elementary school class might be a challenge, but it is worth it.


Java is a great choice if you want to familiarize children with languages like C++ and C. They use a similar syntax but Java should be a bit easier. It can also be used to code for games like Minecraft and almost every application on Android. It might be a difficult choice for children, but one that gives them many options.

Elementary school children can start learning programming with anything from Scratch to C++, depending on the teacher and how they can adapt learning the language to their students’ abilities. These are the languages to teach, though.