I brought my son to work the other day and was suppose to show him what I do for a living. I wanted to introduce him to programing but he is only eleven years old and his native language is Swedish, unlike most programming languages.
To introduce him to the idea of programming, i.e. the way to think in terms of logic and structure, I searched for a visual programing language and found Kodu from Microsoft Research, which is made for creating games on PCs and the XBox 360.
Using Kodu I was able to introduce the basic concepts of sequence and flow of control in a very concrete way where the child with a click of a button could run the game and see the consequences of his programing.
Where as my son is only eleven this was maybe a little too early, or he simply lacked interest, however I was thinking what the next step would be? I found a couple of options.
SmallBasic has a user friendly development environment, event for children, and easy to understand guidance to get going.
Finally I thought of VB.NET with Visual Studio Express, which is kind of the way I started out myself, however, then it was Visual Basic 3 and the Internet wasn’t invented yet (well, almost).