Last Sunday, the New York Times had an article about a software development language for kids 8 and over. It’s called Scratch. It can be found at http://scratch.mit.edu. We downloaded it last week and my kids have been making programmes throughout the week.
Basically, Scratch has a drag and drop interface that work like lego. You grab a block with an “if . . . then” and drag it onto your actions panel, then you drag other events (like “MouseOver”) and actions (like “Add n to X”) to fill in the blanks. It works surprising well and give a good introduction to software programming.
If you have kids, you should check this out.