Raspberry Pi a mini-computer that starts at around 80 euros and for which lots of starter kits for children

Explore & Learn​

Programming – why, how and from what age?

Yes, children should learn programming! Because that's the best way to understand how modern technology works. You don't just learn to write code, that is, to develop commands for software programs. What is more, you learn to solve problems creatively. It's also a lot of fun, even maths buffs come to realise the practical benefit of abstract logic. Once you've learned to program, you can basically give commands to all technical devices.

When and how to get started?

Children as young as five can playfully develop a basic understanding of coding. Programs such as Scratch Junior are well suited for this. The program works completely visually, i.e. using pictures and symbols that you move around on the screen. Unlike its big brother Scratch, Scratch Junior can also be used on tablets. You can create little stories and games – and you don't even have to pay for the program.

From about the age of seven, Lego WeDo 2.0 is also well suited for beginners. It can be used, for example, to bring self-built Lego models to life and turn them into little robots. The package includes Lego building sets, electronic components and software that can be used on laptops and PCs. Lego Mindstorms is a good choice for ages 9 and above: Here, you control Mindstorms robots with your own software and solve quite challenging tasks.

If parents are afraid that the first experiments of budding programmers might turn their laptop into electronic junk, a Raspberry Pi could also be a solution: a mini-computer that starts at around 80 euros and for which lots of starter kits for children are available.

From the age of 12, children and teenagers can usually already cope well with Javascript, one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It runs on almost every device that can access the Internet. With Javascript, they can program interactive websites and games, for example. Anyone who has mastered this program is also well prepared for a job in the digital world.