Scratch Coding for Kids: A Complete Guide

Scratch is a good place to start if you want your child to be interested in coding. This is a visual programming language that is easy to use and learn. It’s perfect for budding programmers of all ages. By creating code blocks and dragging them into place, kids can create interactive stories, games, and animations.

Read on to learn more about:

  • How to get started with Scratch coding for kids
  • Some tips and resources to help your child along the way

 

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What is Scratch Coding and Why Use it?

Scratch was developed at MIT in the United States. It was conceived after seeing children who were unable to get into programming due to their lack of knowledge or skills. Creator Mitchel Resnick developed this free program for them with help from other programmers at school and lab experimentally until 2002, when it became available for kids of all ages.

From thereon, many improvements have been made, including adding more features to make coding a lot easier.

The popularity of Scratch among schools and kids has to do with its accessibility and creativity. It’s primarily aimed at kids ages 8 years old to 16 years old. However, any child can learn how to use it with some encouragement.

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What are the Benefits of Scratch Coding?

Your kids might not think that coding is something that would be beneficial to them. However, the Scratch programming language can teach your child valuable skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. Not to mention, it can be extremely fun!

Here are the benefits of Scratch programs:

Simple and accessible

All commands are right in front of your child’s eyes, so there’s no need for them to remember text or any particular code.

The block-based approach of Scratch makes it ideal for younger kids who are just starting out with computer programming. The following are just some ways to ensure its simplicity and accessibility:

  • The drag-and-slide Scratch interface is easy-to-use. Children will have an easier time navigating through their educational experience.
  • The Scratch commands work together to ensure that there are fewer error messages. This means your child will be more inclined and willing to try for longer periods of time. This leads them on an exciting journey where they learn new skills.
  • The visual hints of all commands make it easier to create chains of code.
  • Colour-coding and categorising of commands is a great way to solidify visual learning. The ability for colours or categories can really help when trying new things, as well as reinforce what has been learned before in other lessons.
  • The common activities in a Scratch program have their own button set for ease of language.

Fosters creativity

Scratch is an awesome way for kids and teachers alike to create their own projects that fit into the curriculum. It’s fun, engaging – there are no limits!

Scratch is like a virtual workshop for creative projects. Children can use it to design and build their own Scratch project, which they can then share with others in order to inspire new ideas or challenge themselves creatively.
 

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Helps develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills

Coding can be difficult for children, but Scratch makes it easy. The language is designed with a helping hand in mind. It also deals exclusively in positivity through trial-and-error learning processes. It allows beginners to develop their coding skills without strict rules or text commands, as found within more advanced programming languages such as JavaScript.

The foundation for becoming a strong programmer is logical thinking and problem-solving with coding. These skills can be found in Scratch, which makes it an important starting point when learning how to code. They will also benefit from developing other subjects such as mathematics or science while studying programming languages like Python – all essential components needed by any future tech professional.

Cultivates planning and organisational skills

Kids will need to think about how different parts work together when they’re planning out their own games or stories. Practising brainstorming in Scratch helps kids develop powerful organisational skills.

FAQs About Scratch Coding Language

Scratch allows your child to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Scratch is used by millions of people around the world, both kids and adults.

New to coding or just want to learn more about how Scratch works? Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about coding with Scratch.

Is Scratch coding for kids free?

Yes, the world of Scratch coding is open to everyone. Your child can visit the Scratch website and start creating new projects and building games immediately. But to save them, create an account with the site.
 

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What code do Scratch programs use?

With Scratch, there are no worries about syntax because the coding blocks are all drag and drop. Plus, you get to focus on important concepts like messaging or operators instead of worrying too much about formatting. The Scratch blocks categories make it easy for beginners as well.

Is Scratch coding for kids safe?

At first glance, it might seem like scratch coding is dangerous and risks exposing users to malware. But it’s safe to scratch code.

The program was designed with young people in mind. The projects are only public if your child would like them to be. Moreover, it uses filters on content so that the language stays clean for everyone who visits their profile. No personal data gets collected, as well, unless other scratchers choose specifically to let their info show up online.

Where to Learn Scratch Coding?

Teaching coding can be daunting, but luckily there is a thriving Scratch community that you should feel free to lean on. Here are excellent resources for further reading and ideas about projects your child could do with this program:

The Scratch website is a treasure of ideas and inspiration. Not only will it give you some helpful background on the software, but there are also handy activity guides to master Scratch.

YouTube is an excellent resource for tutorials. There are a lot of great visual explainers with short videos that will give you the basic concepts of Scratch coding and computer science. There are also written guides, if need be, including tips for using several Scratch extensions. But it is recommended that you watch some initial overviews first. This way, your child won’t get too overwhelmed by info-dumps later on down the line.

STEM Learning has created an index of teaching assets for Scratch beginners. Topics include lesson presentations and plans, quiz questions & answers.

Scratch classes are specially designed to teach kids how the code works and prepare them with full mastery of this environment. It also helps students 8-11 years old learn other programming languages like Python.

Start Scratch coding now and see how much your child enjoys the process – and the amazing Scratch projects they can create. We hope this guide has enlightened you on just how easy it is to get started with scratch coding for kids. For your questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to us. Happy coding!

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About the author

Ana Moniz

Ana lectures for computer games design at higher education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Games Design and a  Master’s degree in Digital Media Design from the University of Edinburgh

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