I want to teach my little 8-year-old cousin Python. Her dad says she's only just getting used to Windows. I'm giving her an old laptop running Edubuntu to practice on (so her environment is similar to mine), and I'll be teaching her through email correspondence since I go to school away from home. I figure Edubuntu will be good for two reasons. First, she'll have education games. Second, her mom's a teacher and might like it. Anyway, I need some recommendations.
It has been suggested that I try PyStart. Anyone have experience with it? How does it do on testing for correctness of code? Is it likely to be total overkill? I suspect the answer to that one is yes.
I normally recommend How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning With Python for learning Python as a first language, but the book was written for a class of high-schoolers. My feeling is that some of the math examples might be too advanced. On the other hand, maybe I could just give her different examples. The only book I've seen suggested for young kids is Snake Wrangling for Kids. Has anyone used this to teach an elementary-schooler Python? How'd it go? Any other suggestions?
Finally, development environment. I'm a vim user. I like the command line. I'm also not crazy. I'm not spending time teaching an 8-year-old vim before she can do any programming. The only Python IDE I've used is Idle, which isn't much more than Gedit with a run button. I'm looking for suggestions on easy-to-use (but hopefully still featureful) Python IDE. It's an older laptop, so it'd also be best if it's something smaller than, say, Eclipse.
Thanks for any input, guys!