How about we share some ideas for good game-related christmas presents for the little ones? I don’t have kids, but if I did I would make it my #1 priority to turn my house into 24h game factory. I’m only human.
My gift suggestion for you lucky ones who rule over little minds that need molding:
Hello, new to the forums, and woken early by the baby, so pardon me if yall know this, it’s just based on my experience with my son.
My son is 10 and has been programming in Scratch since he was 8. I would totally put a kid on the path of scratch.mit.edu (and the scratch mobile app development kit is not bad). Kids have trouble knowing the keys on the keyboard fluently and this can be an unnecessary barrier to learning the logic needed.
Gamestarmechanic is ok, but not as robust and sandboxy as scratch.
Once they get through Scratch, the Alice -> Greenfoot path is a good way to go. Alice carries the block methods from scratch and then can ease them into more direct control, and then Greenfoot is a of course a java game design interface.
Also, don’t discount the PC version of minecraft. There is computercraft, which creates terminals within minecraft that can teach you basic Lua scripting. Sethbling teaches programming logic from within the world of minecraft in youtube videos, since the switches in minecraft can be used make visual logic loops.
My son was explaning a blocks vs zombies game he had watched Sethbling make, and I translated it into called objects, methods, and fields for him. His eyes lit up at the idea that he was learning “real” programming (vs scratch blocks).
but if you actually want to spend MONEY… Lego Mindstorm Starts at $345 on amazon.