Brought to you by Carolyn Qu, Instructor at Create & Learn
Have you always wanted to help your child start coding, but never sure how? Curious about how kids can learn about coding? Do you wonder what computer programming for kids looks like, or, how to get started learning with Scratch? Here at Create & Learn, we aim to make coding understandable and fun for all students.
Is Scratch easy to learn? Yes! In this blogpost, we’ll describe how kids can learn how to code and make fun projects on Scratch!
What is Scratch Programming?
Scratch is a free block-based coding platform that allows you to create your own games, stories, and animations. On Scratch, you can program many different types of projects, such as a Magic Pen, Wizard Tag Game, or Snake. Scratch is designed for students age 8-16, but can be used by everyone.
How do I Learn Scratch?
To code in scratch, first open the page www.scratch.mit.edu. Next, click on the “create” button to make a new project. You should have a screen that looks like this:
The code blocks are on the left hand side of the screen. To code, click and drag the blocks to the large center space. On scratch, the characters and objects are called “sprites.” You can add or delete as many sprites as you want. Each time you add a sprite, it will appear on the stage.
Click on each sprite to code for that particular sprite. There are hundreds of fun sprites to choose from. Whether it’s a soccer player, a butterfly, or a ballerina, my students in our Scratch Ninja course never cease to amaze by their creative choices and story lines.
To code, you can drag blocks of code from the left hand side and connect them together. Each sprite, as well as the background, will have its own code. These blocks can make sprites move, make sounds, change color, and when connected together form a series of actions to build your games, animations, and other projects.
After you’ve coded your project, you can click on the Green Flag to see your code run on the Stage.
If you want to save or share your project, make sure it’s saved under your account. If you already have an account, click “Log In.” If you need to make an account, click “Join Scratch” and follow the instructions (make sure you have a parent with you!)
Basic Coding Blocks in Scratch
There are many different types of blocks on Scratch and I’m always excited to learn which blocks are my students favorites in our Scratch Ninja course.
Notice how most of the blocks are shaped with a special notch at the top and the bottom; this is so that they can connect together! Here are some of the most important blocks:
Events Blocks in Scratch
These yellow colored blocks have a special shape, with the bump at the top. These blocks are “starting blocks,” meaning they must go at the top of any chunk of code we create. They tell us when the code will be run.
Scratch Motion Blocks
These blue colored blocks allow your sprite to move, rotate and glide.
Try combining a motion block with an event block to see what happens!
These purple colored blocks change the appearance of your sprite.
Loops - Control the Flow of Your Scratch Code
These blocks are found in the “control” section, colored in orange. Like the events blocks, they also have a special shape. Loops enable the continually run and repeat.
Sounds - Blocks to Enable “Talking” Sprites and More
This section allows you to add sound to your program. Each sprite has different sounds, but you can also add your own from the “sounds tab”. For example, get your dog sprite to bark or record some sounds to have it “talk”.
And that’s it! Coding in Scratch is fun and easy. And, I’m happy to teach your child the basics and beyond in our Scratch Ninja courses, units 1 through 4. There are infinite possibilities for your child to create with Scratch. Need more inspiration? You can look through the Featured Projects on Scratch to see what other kids have been creating. What does your want to create in Scratch?
Create & Learn is on a mission to power up your child’s future with courses in AI, Robotics, Data Science, and more. Designed for children grades 2-9, classes are delivered virtually with live, expert instructors. Lessons are interactive, foster creativity, and make real life connections across industries so your child can explore the latest technologies and have fun! www.create-learn.us