My husband laughed when he saw my latest books to review, Python for Kids and Super Scratch Programming Adventure! published by No Starch Press (publisher of a variety of geeky books). You see, he does tech support, took a basic programming class in college, and works in a school that uses Scratch for computer classes. So he was tickled.
Both Python and Scratch are free (and do work on Mac too, those of you who - like me - prefer Apple). The books break the processes down step-by-step, providing clear examples and written in child-friendly language, that isn't condescending and is appropriate for adults to learn as well. I learned a lot reading the books, and I had fun tinkering around too. Scratch enables kids to make playable video games - which is really cool for kids who enjoy playing them. The Python book also teaches kids (or adults) how to program two games.
Learning programming is a great creative outlet, especially for kids who are still searching for a talent or interest to express. It's not just for computer geeks - anyone can get into it, even if you aren't very tech-savvy.
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books to facilitate this review.