Since the "main" programming languages have these high learning curves, people have devised less intimidating languages like Blockly and Skitch. This past Saturday I was volunteering at a Teach Kids to Code - Hour of Code event at NYU. This had a link to this website, https://code.org/learn/
, which has different coding exercises using blockly. Here is a screenshot of one of the examples:
There's a very popular quote of Bill Gates saying, "Everyone should learn how to code because it teaches you how to think". I like that quote a lot, and I do believe there's some truth in it. These exercises are a great way for kids to experience the critical thinking and reasoning of coding without being bogged down by relatively clunky, boring, and expensive IDE's. It also gets them familiar with certain aspects of coding so that they will have an easier time when (if) they do decide to transition to eclipse, or some other IDE.