Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction To Programming

by: Jason R. Briggs (0)

Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone.

Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The ever-patient Jason R. Briggs will guide you through the basics as you experiment with unique (and often hilarious) example programs that feature ravenous monsters, secret agents, thieving ravens, and more. New terms are defined; code is colored, dissected, and explained; and quirky, full-color illustrations keep things on the lighter side.

Chapters end with programming puzzles designed to stretch your brain and strengthen your understanding. By the end of the book you’ll have programmed two complete games: a clone of the famous Pong and "Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit"—a platform game with jumps, animation, and much more.

As you strike out on your programming adventure, you’ll learn how to:
–Use fundamental data structures like lists, tuples, and maps –Organize and reuse your code with functions and modules –Use control structures like loops and conditional statements –Draw shapes and patterns with Python’s turtle module –Create games, animations, and other graphical wonders with tkinter

Why should serious adults have all the fun?
Python for Kids is your ticket into the amazing world of computer programming.

For kids ages 10+ (and their parents)

The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!

The Reviews

I teach Python to kids. I've looked at just about every Python book for kids, and this is the best one. It is not perfect, but it explains things in an easy enough manner for kids to learn on their own if they miss a class. So I use it as the textbook for my classes.The explanation of String formatting needs to be updated. We don't do embedded values using %s anymore.I recommend skipping the chapters on Turtle Graphics and tkinter.The introductory chapter on classes and objects is not bad, but the topic is beyond what most kids will need, and they should really focus on imperative / procedural programming first using just lists and dictionaries as their basic data structures.

My kids do NOT like learning things from books -- I guess it's a foreign concept to their generation -- so buying this as a 9th birthday present for my daughter was a risk. But she had really enjoyed learning Scratch, and it was the summer of 2020 so she had time on her hands, so I went for it. She certainly didn't make it though the whole thing, but on the whole I think it was worth it.The first few chapters of the book are very well done, presenting concepts through examples that a kid can easily follow along with using a Python interpreter. (The book has advice on installing Python on different operating systems as well, by the way.) With an adult by her side -- either myself, who codes for a living but not in Python, or her mom, who took some programming classes but has forgotten a lot of it -- my daughter was able to try out all the little code examples and see for herself how things worked. She was also able to experiment. It helped that she had already learned how to type fairly well in school; this way of learning might be rough on kids who are not comfortable at the keyboard.After Chapter 7 (about functions and modules), my kid paused indefinitely. Among other things, the summer was over and she had to start school again. It may be just as well, because the next few chapters have issues in my opinion. Chapter 8 covers classes, including inheritance; I'm highly skeptical that this is a good idea at this point in a book of this level, so I probably would have advised her to skip it and come back when she had a motivation for learning it. Chapter 9 covers many of Python's built-in functions, in alphabetical order -- it would make a good reference but should probably also be skipped the first time through, although I didn't see any mention of that possibility in the text. Chapter 10 does a similar thing for some standard modules, most of which I expect a kid who had never done any other programming would not see the point of and would not learn anything from. A chapter on using tkinter for graphics comes next and rounds out Part I of the book. Parts II and III are extended examples that work through coding up some simple games. I wonder if it would be better to move this content earlier, or else let the reader know when it is safe to skip ahead.Overall, my family had a good experience with this book. My 9-year-old made it about 1/3 of the way through before setting it aside, but it's here when she wants to pick it up again.

After a fair amount of research, we bought two Python books for kids for our tween son. Despite all the positive reviews, they were only so-so. Then his tech teacher said to get this book instead. So happy she suggested it! This book is more useful, has more thorough and clear explanations, and is easier to navigate than any of our other Python coding books. It's helped him manage all his projects and helped him make great strides in learning Python and having fun. It's really the only book he needs. As my son said recently, I wish we'd gotten this one first!

Python For Kids, teaches you all about the code, python. Its really good because everything is step-by-step, everything is gradually getting more difficult as the author teaches you the basics of Python. It goes in depth in the descriptions and explanations, giving you a clear understanding on how Python works and how to use Python. Starting at the smallest step or instructions or like the first thing to know about Python, the author explains everything, very detailed, and shows you examples, explanations, and more. Closing the end, Python For Kids, get into making real games, to show you the code behind some common or well-known games (I know bounce is one), also giving you an idea on how to create your own game. I personally have not finished reading (though I am close), my friend has and was able to create his own game with his own mind and the information Python For Kids gave him. And this book can also be for grown ups. Its not boring, to me, and my friend, and many others, so I highly recommend this book. It's one of the best Python books I have read.

I got this book for my 7 year old son, I gave him my mac book and asked him to start reading this book and follow along. To my surprise he was able to download python all by himself and also went on reading and practicing to code immediately. This book covers all important coding building blocks, I am glad that I found this book.

Used this for very basic start in python for elementary school homeschooling. Maybe a little out of date at this point, but it was still helpful.

Not just for kids, and looking at some of the other reviews. I've gone through a few python books to bolster my scripting skills and this one is great because it actually has examples that have some focus that builds upon itself as opposed to a few dry examples just to get a point across.

I am so happy to purchase the book at the beginning of “stay-at-home” time. My son is really enjoy to learn coding from this book. He is 11 year old, and had never learned the coding before. This book guides him step by step to understand and apply various python concepts. It is recommended for kids, but it is also for the parents as well. I learned as a beginner although I can understand the concepts easily than my son. It covers the basic Python statements and excises and a lot of examples. I still remembered how happy my son was when he created a program using his car model. I am so please with the book that I am passionate about with my kid during this special time.

I bought this with the intention of starting to teach my son programming. I come home one day and my wife had already started teaching it to him in homeschool. She had never programmed either, but now can mess around with python. It goes great when used adjacent to his math curriculum

Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming is a great book. It is well written, covers excellent topics and gives numerous examples for you to follow along. The book is very clear and is easy to work with.I am using it to learn Python and teach it to an advanced high school junior.It is fun to learn from this textbook and you can skip around as needed so you can get started quicker on writing a program that meets your own needs and goals. The book shipped on time. It was only slightly used (as advertised) and I read it often.I think even a serious user would enjoy this book, but I am grateful that I chose this text, as I am learning both the fundamentals as well as some advanced programming skills.So whether you want to learn about loops, logic statements, turtle graphics or whatever, this book will get you going and open you eyes to the wonderful world of Python.

Was useful for beginner

very well written, happy with this purchase

This Fall, I plan to teach an after-school Python course at our local public school to 4th and 5th graders and I have selected "Python for Kids" to form the content. I had looked at a few books on teaching kids programming and on learning python and Jason Briggs' book stands out for several reasons.It makes programming and Python in particular accessible to kids with no experience with either. One of the great challenges in teaching kids is shedding assumptions about language, knowledge, perspective etc. that adults take for granted. Jason does this very well without talking down or dumbing down.I also found the book to be paced well with a balance of challenge (concepts and coding tasks) and support (explanations and help). When new terms or programming concepts arise, Jason makes sure to introduce them so nothing goes over your head.The first 12 chapters are a basic introduction to the language and to programming concepts and the last 6 take the reader through two programming tasks of increasing difficulty.The first task is the creation of a "Bounce!" game - it takes 2 chapters (21 pages) to teach and about 100 lines of code. It is a primitive "breakout/pong" style game and really a fair amount of payoff for the effort the budding programmer must put in.The second program is called "Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit" and is a bit more advanced/involved. It takes 4 chapters (62 pages) to cover and about 260 lines. It has more complexity but most challenging thing is that for a lot of the code, you can not run it to check your work as you go. I had a bug in my code that took me a bit of effort to find before I got it working perfectly. However, Jason has a companion web site with all code snippets in the book including these last two projects and the code example he provided there helped my find the error I had made.I am very grateful to Jason for writing the book I was looking for.

Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction To Programming
⭐ 4.6 💛 953
kindle: $20.05
paperback: $4.68
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