Hell, back in the 80's it was common for kids under 10 to teach themselves how to program.
Um, I was around then. It wasn't "common" - it was only "common" among those who had aptitude for it. Like, you know, today.
Back in the 80's you had maybe 30% of kids who really knew how to use computers, let alone program. I'm not talking about games, I'm talking about being able to load up the OS, muck around, launch different programs and use them properly. Kids programming were the exception, just like they are now.
Just because a loop is obvious to you doesn't mean it's obvious to others:
"Why do we need these loop things? A counter? What's a counter? How does the computer know to go back and do it again? Where is the counter in the computer? What if I want to do it more times while I'm doing it? etc..."