[python-uk] Python for Kids

Mamading Ceesay mamading at gmail.com
Fri May 13 20:11:59 CEST 2005


One of the threads at the last London Python Meetup was about Python
for Kids.  Specifically about how to get kids into Python programming
and possibly how to get Python taught in Schools.  There was mention
of the Livewires python tutorial material for example.

Simon B. in particular (IIRC) was interested in Turtle Graphics for
Python (a la Logo).  Along similar lines, but drawing upon the Karel
the Robot tradition there is
RUR-PLE where there is a robot that is controlled using Python syntax,
 there is a set of lessons provided where the student has to
accomplish progressively complex tasks with the robot using Python
syntax introduced in the course of the lessons.  An overview of
RUR-PLE can be found at  http://rur-ple.sourceforge.net/en/help.htm. 
It's based on wxPython.

I have a young nephew who has just reached school age, so right now
I'm more concerned about him having educational games and software
than programming.  Being able to extend/enhance the software in Python
would be useful though.  Childsplay http://childsplay.sourceforge.net/
is just the thing, it's a suite of educational games for young
children along similar lines to Gcompris but without the C/C++ code
and GNOME dependencies.  It's based on Pygame and is cross-platform. 
It only has two games bundled, you have to install the plugins to get
the other available games.  Games are written as plugins in python
that run in the Childsplay environment.  Ideally, you might get your
older kids to write new game plugins to keep your younger ones amused,
just an idle thought! ;-)  Anyway, I intend to try out Childsplay on
the nephew this weekend.

Mamading Ceesay

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change 
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." 
-- R. Buckminster Fuller

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