Two cool projects for kids to learn basics of programming / logic are CodeHS and Scratch.
Both of them don’t need any formal training. Give it a try to them with your kid, he or she may enjoy it as a game.
Here “Karel the Dog” accomplishes various tasks based on basic four commands.
move(); turnLeft(); takeBall();putBall();
Click here to Play
(No need to sign up also, just scroll down to Karel's window and start playing)
On some weekends I help my daughter (more as a typist) to play the game. It is more of an hour’s fun on a weekend.
Kid’s pickup very fast, two left make karel upside down and three left will make a right they get this logic very soon while playing.
Karel is an educational programming language for beginners and you can find more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_(programming_language)
As per their site it is described as
Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations -- and share your creations with others around the world. In the process of designing and programming Scratch projects, young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.
It is available for free at http://scratch.mit.edu
It is an interesting concept where you actually assemble graphical elements in logical order to create games, animations etc.. It can be expanded from a very basic game/animation to a very advance one.
Kids from 4’Th /5’Th grade can give it a try, to check if they have a liking for it.
None of this teaches real programming as such, but provides some logic building and problem solving exercise for kids.
Interestingly, at the current time there is a kind of frenzy going on in US about “everyone should learn to code”. From Mayor of New York City to Mr. Steve jobs of Apple to Bill Clinton, all whose who promoting it, supporting it. (Read it at http://code.org/quotes )
In reality not everyone can code or should code, but ......................