Game Design for Kids

You may well find, as I did, that whilst I thought my son was interested in programming games, he actually wasn't.  What he wanted to do was design games -- very different.

He got frustrated when he couldn't easily implement these ideas with the general purpose programming environments I'd got him going on.  This page is about resources I've found that he's found good.
He really liked the "Level UP!" book shown below; it's not a kids book as such but he (14) found it a good read and read the whole thing over a few days.

Books on Game Design for Kids



You can design "mini-games" within Minecraft, there's quite a lot of people doing this.  You can do a lot with just basic Minecraft skills but to do better games you'll need to understand "Redstone" which allows a sort-of programming within Minecraft (book above).

For the more technically inclined you'll want to get your teen into "modding" Minecraft, with a mod they can enhance the game in significant ways.

There's a web-based system called Learn To Mod which is pretty good web based subscription service -- a good book linked to the service is Minecraft Modding for Kids

Alternatively, if you've got a somewhat older kid (say 13+) then do it yourself with the Forge framework and Minecraft Modding with Forge: A Family-Friendly Guide to Building Fun Mods in Java.