5 Easy Python Projects for Beginners

When kids are learning a new language, it’s important that they work on projects and create something tangible. It brings a sense of accomplishment and increases their intrinsic motivation to continue their learning. In teaching middle schoolers how to code, I’ve found that these projects are great ways to encourage them to create with Python.

1) Madlibs

This is a simple game that uses basic Python functions. It only takes 30 minutes to create and is a fun way to use their newfound programming skills. Kids love building Madlibs as a group and sharing their stories.

2) Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA)

This game is a great way to encourage kids to plan out their project prior to building. You can make this a very simple game with conditionals or dive into more complex programming concepts, using functions and classes. I love revisiting my students’ CYOA games as they learn new concepts.

3) Budget Calculator

Some kids gravitate towards numbers and calculations in Python. Creating a budget tool is an easy way to demonstrate how Python can be used in the “real world.” Kids can pick a specific time frame in which they want to save for something (ex. I want this game and it costs $35 — how long will it take me to save this?). Or they can choose a specific amount to save each month (ex. I will save $15 each month — how much will I have in 5 years?).

4) Turtle Drawings

For more visual kids, Turtle is a great way to combine programming and design. They can create shapes, mazes and graphics using Turtle commands. From my experience, kids get very creative with Turtle and don’t want too much direction. Give them the tools needed and then let them explore.

5) Quizzes

Think Buzzfeed Quizzes — Ask kids to create a quiz based on their favorite book, movie, show, etc. Provide some examples to get them started (ex. What Harry Potter character are you?). You can create a basic version of this or build a more complex quiz with Python functions. Then kids can share with their friends.

Learn more about Kiwi and how we’re teaching middle schoolers to be self-taught programmers at http://bit.ly/kiwi-python.

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