I have been aware for some years of the various programming languages available for children. This evening I decided to have a go with Scratch with my daughters, as Leda is now almost eight, the bottom of the suggested age range for the language.
I was blown away. Scratch has an extremely wide range of capabilities, ranging from very simple animations through to complex conditional loops, all done through extremely easy rearrangement of colored blocks.
Any child would be immediately drawn into what they can do, and simply by playing, learn the principles of programming. Scratch’s originator MIT’s Mitch Resnick tells the story in this TED talk below.