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Do I need a Raspberry Pi or can DS learn programming another (easier) way

(8 Posts)
mynameisnotmichaelcaine Mon 26-Aug-13 18:14:39

Hi all,

I'd really appreciate any tips/advice. I learnt to programme on a Sinclair Spectrum, my DB and I had loads of fun entering the commands and running programs (there was a booklet that showed you how to do it iirc).

Anyway, DS is insistent he wants to learn how to write video games. I told him it's very complicated and we'll need to teach him programming. Sadly, my geeky potential was never fulfilled, and I now am very, very un-computer literate (beyond the real basics).

Would a raspberry pi be helpful? Or is there stuff he can do that's basic on my Dell laptop? I really don't know where to begin, so would appreciate you talking to me in words of one syllable!

DH is a little more literate, but could use some guidance too. Am hoping to get DBIL involved over Christmas, as I recall he used to "build" computers and do all sorts of exciting things as a teen.

GiraffesMum Mon 26-Aug-13 18:17:39

Why not try the code academy code academy website to let him try out programming?

ValentineWiggins Mon 26-Aug-13 18:27:23

How old is DS? Is there a Code Club at his school? (

Otherwise he can start by looking at Scratch by himself/with your help ( as this leads you to very simple video games really easily. There's lots of good resources for that out there too - a quick google will get you all of that. Try as this looks pretty reasonable.

Otherwise you can learn Python on any PC - there are various introductory websites/books that will tell you how to get it set up. My husband likes but it might be a bit advanced/boring for a child. Try as that claims to be accessible to 10-12 year olds...

ValentineWiggins Mon 26-Aug-13 18:27:55

Oh and the current version of scratch (2) is completely web based so you don't need to install anything on your PC.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Mon 26-Aug-13 19:03:17

Oh, that's brilliant, thank you so much! DS is 7, sorry, that was probably quite crucial information.

ArtemisKelda Mon 26-Aug-13 19:06:37

Scratch is great for learning the basics, it's free to download from

My 7yr old DS plays around with it.

Quackster Mon 26-Aug-13 20:48:19

Also maybe see if there are any CoderDojos in your area?

The Pi from a programming sense is in relevance to Minecraft mainly for kids. But in that essence, there is nothing that can't be done on the PC version.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:06

DS and DD are currently having a whale of a time on Scratch, and earlier we were learning a bit of html on Code Academy. Really helpful tips, thank you all very much!

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