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Game Ideas for Kids

Python is one of the most amazing programming languages to start your kid’s programming journey. It is comfortable to use, versatile and generally a pretty “easy-to-pick-up” language for beginners. Children, especially, can use Python to develop small Python games along with other applications.

One may think that Python games might be a hard concept for kids, especially if they are just starting their coding journey. However, this is not entirely true. After all, everyone loves games, especially kids. So what better way to introduce children to programming than through the development of simple, yet exciting Python games for beginners?

Once the interest in gaming gets to them, they can gradually shift to more complicated problems and enjoy writing programs. Consequently, they will see coding as a fun activity to engage in, as much fun as playing games!

Python simplifies writing code for games with library tools like PyGame and PyKyra. Keep reading to know how these two libraries help programmers. Introduce your kids to Python games for beginners and give them a much-needed boost on their programming journey.

Python Games for Kids

What are some of the Python games that can be developed with the Python programming language?

The answer is simple – innumerable.

The language can be used to develop games which are single-player and even multiplayer. Most of the games played in the arcade are perfect to be developed in Python. Python was used to establish Battlefield 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean.

With these strong credentials behind it, kids can certainly develop some fun applications with this programming language. Python games code is oversimplified, thanks to its high level of abstraction.

How to Build Games in Python?

To build Python games, children can use Tkinter for graphic design or PyGame to create the entire application module.

We will explain here which tools you can use to make Python games for beginners.

Games require the frequent use of graphics and hardware such as the mouse, keyboard and computer screen. Coding for such components can become a lengthy process if correct programming modules are not used. So, the following coding libraries were created to encapsulate high-level functions and shorten the code.

  • PyGame

PyGame is an open-source library that makes it easier to use the computer hardware. Add this to the existing Python code and utilise the modules provided to make coding for the screen, sound, graphics and mouse inputs easy.

  • PyKyra

PyKyra is another module for writing game codes. It is fast, robust and is supported on a variety of platforms like UNIX, LINUX and Windows. It is similar to PyGame and just as widely used.

  • Tkinter

Tkinter is the default graphics module for Python. Kids can conveniently use this module to create interactive games and applications.

Once you have installed any of these three libraries, you can start your kids off on their coding quest.

Teach Your Child How to Code Games in Python

Through the following three simple examples, we will help your kids get started on their journey to make the best Python games. The first one is a simple game with no use of GUI or PyGame, while the second game uses Tkinter, which is Python’s GUI. The last one uses PyGame, which makes coding for games quite elementary. 

  • Tic-Tac-Toe

As a child, one must have played this entertaining game for hours. Bring back the memories for your kids and encourage them to write code for this enjoyable game in Python. Children do not even need to use any game interface like PyGame for this one. It can be done with minimal use of Python code.

To create a Tic-Tac-Toe two-player game, use a convenient concept called dictionaries in Python.

What are Dictionaries?

A dictionary is a data type that uses a key: value pair. It means the “value” is mapped onto the “key”. Whenever the “key” is accessed, the corresponding “value” is sent as the answer. For example,

my_dictionary = {1: 'pineapple', 2: 'orange'}

Maps pineapple to the number ‘1’. In the same way, you can map each square of the typical 3x3 grid used for tic-tac-toe to a number from 1 to 9. Now, all that remains to be done is to create a question-answer interface, where your kids and their friends can take turns to input ‘X’s and ’O’s.

The exciting part of this program, though, is in figuring out the conditions that lead to a ‘win’, ‘loss’ or a ‘draw’. While we will not give away the all-important logic, rack your brains to figure out how to build these Python games with your kids!

  • Dots and Boxes

First, you have to make a grid using dots which will look something like this:

Once this is made, the player and a friend should take turns in drawing a line connecting two dots. The aim here is to create a box by joining four lines. Players can also “use” the lines drawn by their competitor to make their squares first. The player with the highest number of boxes wins the game.

To create this Python game, use the programming language’s inbuilt Graphic User Interface called Tkinter.

We will walk you through the flow of the game. First, you have to create a grid square like the one above. Next, you need to make a dot and line structure like the one shown below.

Then, each player alternates and clicks on the line to colour it either red or blue. Once a box is entirely “made”, it should be coloured either blue or red. The highly confusing part of these Python games is working out the logic for the win or loss.

Children will explore many concepts like conditions, loops, and of course, get the hang of graphics design with this example.

  • Snake Game

Kids might have played this fun game on their computers or mobile phones. A “snake” starts as a small rectangle and “grows” over time by eating some “food”. The snake’s growth is shown by one adding one or more square boxes to its tail.

The catch of the game is that the snake must not touch the boundary wall. When it does, the snake “dies”, and you lose the game. Also, the snake must not collide with its own body. This condition also signifies a loss for the player.

To create this super fun yet challenging Python game, you will need to use PyGame to build the interface as well as the code. Through PyGame, you can first create a screen size, which will make a boundary in which the snake will move.

After certain time intervals, you have to add the “food” for the snake to eat. The logic for this game is relatively simple, but the challenge lies in creating the user interface.

This is exactly where the knowledge of PyGame will come in handy for kids.

Let your kids start learning PyGame with this challenge. A great learning tip for coding is hands-on programming; so, do not go easy on them!

While starting with Python games code, remember the challenge should be fun and not a chore for kids. Develop the game in stages. Only then, kids will find it engaging and get motivated for the challenges.

Get, set, code!

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