Teach Your Kids to Code

Teach Your Kids to Code

A Parent-Friendly Guide to Python Programming
by Bryson Payne
April 2015, 336 pp.
Full Color

Bryson Payne and Teach Your Kids to Code are featured in The Wall Street Journal!

Teach Your Kids Kids to Code was selected as one of the best books for learning Python by Real Python

“A straightforward, crystal-clear guide to programming in Python...Sophisticated concepts and serious programming make for an easy, enjoyable game for families.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“An easy five stars...With the information provided in Teach Your Kids to Code, kids (and adults) will have a solid foundation from which to jump to more advanced programming books.”
—James Floyd Kelly, GeekDad

“Kid coders who have mastered the likes of Scratch, or older students who are math inclined and want to learn how to code, will find a worthy choice in Payne’s guide to Python programming.”
School Library Journal

Listen to Bryson Payne's interview with A Closer Look on WABE, Atlanta's NPR station, and check out why the book was nominated for the opensource.com 2015 summer reading list.

Bryson Payne's Udemy course is now available! Register with coupon code NOSTARCH27 and follow along with lessons from Teach Your Kids to Code.

Look Inside!

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Teach Your Kids to Code is a parent's and teacher's guide to teaching kids basic programming and problem solving using Python, the powerful language used in college courses and by tech companies like Google and IBM.

Step-by-step explanations will have kids learning computational thinking right away, while visual and game-oriented examples hold their attention. Friendly introductions to fundamental programming concepts such as variables, loops, and functions will help even the youngest programmers build the skills they need to make their own cool games and applications.

Whether you've been coding for years or have never programmed anything at all, Teach Your Kids to Code will help you show your young programmer how to:

  • Explore geometry by drawing colorful shapes with Turtle graphics
  • Write programs to encode and decode messages, play Rock-Paper-Scissors, and calculate how tall someone is in Ping-Pong balls
  • Create fun, playable games like War, Yahtzee, and Pong
  • Add interactivity, animation, and sound to their apps

Teach Your Kids to Code is the perfect companion to any introductory programming class or after-school meet-up, or simply your educational efforts at home. Spend some fun, productive afternoons at the computer with your kids—you can all learn something!

Author Bio 

Bryson Payne has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia State University and is a tenured Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia, where he has taught for over 15 years.​​​​ He previously taught middle-school math and programming and continues to work extensively with K-12 schools to promote technology education.

Table of contents 

Introduction: What Is Coding and Why Is It Good for Your Kids?

Chapter 1: Python Basics: Get to Know Your Environment
Chapter 2: Turtle Graphics: Drawing with Python
Chapter 3: Numbers and Variables: Python Does the Math
Chapter 4: Loops Are Fun (You Can Say That Again)
Chapter 5: Conditions (What If?)
Chapter 6: Random Fun and Games: Go Ahead, Take a Chance!
Chapter 7: Functions: There’s a Name for That
Chapter 8: Timers and Animation: What Would Disney Do?
Chapter 9: User Interaction: Get into the Game
Chapter 10: Game Programming: Coding for Fun

Appendix A: Python Setup for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Appendix B: Pygame Setup for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Appendix C: Building Your Own Modules


View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)


“The text is clear, the graphics are engaging, and the apps are awesome. This is the programming guide for parents and kids to enjoy together.”
—Aaron Walker, Cybersecurity Expert, NASA

“The energy and excitement Bryson brings to teaching is captured perfectly in Teach Your Kids to Code, with colorful, captivating games and graphics that help develop real-world skills.”
—Bindy Auvermann, Executive Director, Next Generation Youth Development, Inc.

“Provides the building blocks of a great future in the rapidly changing world of technology.”
—JoAnne Taylor, former Vice President, Global Telecommunications, IBM​

“The concepts in Teach Your Kids to Code can help any young person enhance their college prospects and expand their career opportunities, and Dr. Payne presents these skills through fun, challenging games and apps.”
—Dr. Raj Sunderraman, Department Chair of Computer Science, Georgia State University

“Every child on the planet should have this book, and so should every parent.”
—James E. Daniel, Jr., Founder, App Studios, LLC

“An innovative, motivating guide . . . Builds skills that can last a lifetime.”
—Dr. Steven Burrell, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, Georgia Southern University

“The kind of book I wish I’d had as a kid.”
—Scott Hand, Software Engineer, CareerBuilder

“Dr. Bryson Payne is a computer scientist and professor of the highest caliber, and with Teach Your Kids to Code, he brings the power of computers within easy reach for readers young and old.”
—Dr. Antonio Sanz Montemayor, Informatics Professor, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

“A brilliant combination of engaging, imaginative apps and valuable, lifelong skills.”
—Ted Cunningham, author of The Power of Home

“Teach Your Kids to Code and the logical thinking it introduces will help build the next generation of technology leaders.”
—N. Dean Meyer, author and executive coach

“This book can jump-start your child’s success in a high-tech world.”
—Ken Coleman, leadership author and former radio host of The Ken Coleman Show

“Dr. Payne set us on the path that led us to our dream jobs! With Teach Your Kids to Code, he’s providing parents and teachers everywhere the chance to do the same for the next generation of creative problem-solvers.”
—Shah and Susan Rahman, Riot Games

“Bryson helps people improve their lives with technology. His book does the same.”
—Ash Mady, Technical Manager, RedHat, Inc.

“Enjoyable and accessible to parents and children alike.”
—Steve McLeod, Deputy CIO, University of North Georgia

“Dr. Payne used robots, games, and fun programs to motivate me in college, and Teach Your Kids to Code extends that same passion for coding cool apps beyond the walls of the campus.”
—Bobby Brown, Lead Developer, GetUWired

“It's so straightforward that you could easily hand this book to a child in upper elementary school or beyond and have them teach themselves. A win in my book when it comes to summer activities.”
—Mel Ford, BlogHer

“My grade 8 students won't give the book back! They love it!”
—Brian Aspinall, K-8 Teacher, Dork, Coach, Blogger, TEDx Speaker

“The graphics are impressive, the games are fun, and the explanations are clear and encouraging.”
—Sandra Henry-Stocker, IT World

“An excellent guide to learn Python.”
—Tim Slavin, Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine

"Teach Your Kids to Code is a helpful resource for any homeschool parent wanting to introduce their child to computer programming. It's a great investment in the technical education of your children!"
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

"If you are looking for a way to help students (or your own children) to expand their horizon and reach their full potential then this is a book you should check out."
School Counselor Online

"A very accessible introduction to coding."
—Ocho Sin Coche

Listen to Bryson Payne on WBAI's Off the Hook radio!

Bryson was interviewed on “The Public Eye with Dr. John Raber.”

Listen to an interview with Bryson Payne on Fred Fishkin's BootCamp Report.

Teach Your Kids to Code is featured in the Gainesville Times.

Bryson Payne spoke with Grayson Hamilton on the Popzara podcast about the importance of STEM education and teaching kids how to code.