Ruby for Kids: Is the Ruby best choice to teach children programming?

Ruby for Kids: Is the Ruby best choice to teach children programming?

Hello. My name is Alexandr Kalinka, I'm a software engineer and DevOps. This is my first article, where I would like to talk about teaching children programming, in particular Ruby. I work with Ruby every day, and I suppose it's the best language to start teaching children. It this small article, I'll try to explain why.

(Note: English isn't my native language, I was helping me to translate, improve and make better this text using LanguageTool – the best language tool in my humble opinion, and, of course, Google Translate. Also, with the main thoughts, ChatGPT helped to me.)


Coding has developed into a core ability that is in high demand in today's technologically driven world. Early coding instruction benefits children's problem-solving skills and helps set them up for future opportunities. Ruby is a great programming language for kids because of how easy it is to learn and understand. In this post, we'll examine the advantages of teaching young children Ruby and offer materials, methods, and strategies for fun and effective instruction.

The Benefits of Learning Ruby for Kids

  1. Easy to Learn: Ruby is a fantastic choice for novices because of its clear, basic, and simple to comprehend syntax. Due to its simplicity, children may concentrate on programming fundamentals rather than becoming confused by complicated grammar rules.

  2. Versatile: Studying Ruby can give children access to a variety of opportunities as they get older. Ruby is a general-purpose programming language with a wide range of applications, including web development, automation, data processing, and more.

  3. Community Support: Ruby is a vibrant and helpful community that provides a wealth of information, tutorials, and discussion boards where newcomers may get help and ask questions.

  4. Creativity: Ruby's adaptability enables children to use their imagination when coding, which makes the course of study enjoyable and fun.

Teaching Techniques and Tips

  1. Start with the Basics: Begin by teaching fundamental programming concepts, such as variables, loops, and conditional statements. Use simple examples and real-life scenarios to help your child understand these concepts.

  2. Engage in Interactive Learning: Interactive learning platforms, such as or Codecademy, offer a hands-on approach to learning Ruby. These platforms provide instant feedback, allowing kids to see the results of their code in real-time.

  3. Encourage Project-Based Learning: Create projects that align with your child's interests, such as building a simple game, a web application, or a small automation script. This will keep them motivated and help them apply the concepts they've learned.

  4. Utilize Visual Tools: Tools like Scratch for Ruby or Ruby2D can help kids visualize the results of their code and make the learning experience more engaging.

  5. Break Down Complex Concepts: Introduce more advanced concepts, such as object-oriented programming, by breaking them down into simpler parts. Use relatable analogies to help your child grasp these concepts more easily.

Advantages of Ruby

Let's explore the advantages of Ruby compared to other popular programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, and Java, to help you understand its unique strengths.

  • Ruby's Readability and Elegant Syntax

One of Ruby's primary advantages is its focus on readability and clean syntax. Unlike some other programming languages, Ruby emphasizes the importance of human-readable code, which makes it easier for developers to understand and maintain their work. This is particularly beneficial for new programmers, as it allows them to focus on the problem at hand without getting bogged down by complex syntax.

Compared to languages like Java or C++, Ruby's syntax is more concise and expressive. This leads to shorter, cleaner code, which can result in improved productivity and easier collaboration among developers.

  • Convention Over Configuration

Ruby, especially when used with the popular web development framework Ruby on Rails, follows the "convention over configuration" principle. This means that the language and its associated tools provide sensible default settings and behavior, reducing the need for developers to make decisions about configuration details. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity when compared to languages that require more manual configuration, like Java or C#.

  • Metaprogramming Capabilities

Ruby's metaprogramming capabilities allow developers to write code that generates other code, making it easier to create reusable and flexible software components. While other languages like Python and JavaScript also support metaprogramming, Ruby's syntax and design principles make it particularly well-suited for this approach.

  • Active and Supportive Community

Ruby boasts a large, active, and supportive community, which offers numerous resources to help developers learn and improve their skills. From documentation and tutorials to online forums and open-source projects, Ruby developers have access to a wealth of information and support. While Python and JavaScript also have large communities, Ruby's focus on developer happiness and productivity fosters a uniquely welcoming atmosphere for newcomers.

  • Rapid Application Development

Ruby's expressiveness, combined with the Ruby on Rails framework, makes it an excellent choice for rapid application development. Developers can quickly create prototypes and iterate on their ideas, which can be a significant advantage over languages that require more boilerplate code and configuration, such as Java or C#.

  • Multiple Programming Paradigms

Ruby supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, procedural, and functional programming. This versatility allows developers to choose the approach that best suits their needs and makes Ruby adaptable to a wide range of projects. While Python and JavaScript also support multiple programming paradigms, Ruby's elegant syntax and language features can make these paradigms more accessible and enjoyable for developers.

Resources for Learning Ruby

  1. Scratch: Scratch is the world’s largest coding community for children and a coding language with a simple visual interface that allows young people to create digital stories, games, and animations. It's probably not about Ruby, but this service can give deep fundamental programming concepts.

  2. Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids (Amazon): A beginner-friendly book that introduces Ruby programming concepts through engaging examples and exercises.

  3. KidsRuby: A free, downloadable software that provides an easy-to-use interface for kids to learn and practice Ruby coding.

  4. Ruby Warrior: An interactive online game where kids learn Ruby by guiding a warrior through a series of challenges.

  5. RubyMonk: An interactive learning platform that offers Ruby tutorials and exercises for various skill levels.

  6. RubyKin: A great book Doug Wright & Adam Starr that provides free lessons for kids to learn Ruby.

Remember to be patient and supportive throughout the learning process, and celebrate your child's progress and accomplishments. With time, practice, and persistence, your child will develop valuable programming skills that will serve them well in the future.


Ruby can make teaching your child to code enjoyable and gratifying for both of you. You may assist your child in building a strong foundation in programming by utilizing interesting resources, deconstructing challenging ideas, and promoting project-based learning. Your youngster will be better prepared to take on increasingly difficult tasks and discover Ruby's limitless potential as their self-assurance and technical proficiency increase.

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