Pygame or App Development using Kivy or XCode?

19 May, 2018

Sunil writes:

I would, first of all, like to thank you for the amazing book you have written "Python for Kids"
It's really helped my nephew learn Coding in a very exciting and fun way.
He is now very keen on continuing with Python. He is 8.
But at this point, I do not know what would be the next set of things to teach him. Should we proceed with learning Pygame or App Development using Kivy or XCode. I am a little confused on this matter.
I tried a bit of reading online, but it did not help my decision making.

What would you suggest is the best Python learning path for an 8-year-old after having followed your book.

I'm quite partial to the idea of Pygame as a natural progression from the games in the book. Adapting the Bounce or Stickman game to use Pygame, instead of tkinter, seems like a good way to get started, and then Pygame has support for audio (mixer) and joystick modules, so there's opportunities to enhance and extend the games to add new features. This would be building on learning from the book, which I think is a nice way to move forward. It's certainly going to be the easiest way to get some instant feedback as well (since it's not hard to get up-and-running), so thumb's up from that perspective.

I don't know a lot about Kivy - so I can't really comment on how suitable it would be for an 8 year old -- but even if it proved too difficult, if he's interested in mobile apps, then I don't think that time would be wasted.

XCode will probably mean learning a new language (depending on what your nephew wants to do with it). If iOS apps, then the options are Objective-C or Swift -- which is not to say you're entirely limited to those languages, but you're going to find the most community support with one of the primary languages. Of the two, Swift is the most approachable (IMO), but I still wouldn't call that easy going for a child to pick up.

So with very limited experience in the other two options, I guess my personal preference would be Pygame, then Kivy, finally XCode. Do let me know how you get on...

Reference links for other readers: