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We use Scratch in many of our introductory programming classes, especially for kids in the 7-12 age range. It’s so easy to use! Kids can create fun animations and interactive games with a drag-and-drop interface. There’s some typing, but it’s minimal, and the commands are easy-to-read, so most of the younger kids can keep up with the class. Scratch comes with a great built-in library of graphics (called Sprites) that kids can use, or they can use the drawing tools to create their own. Some of our kids will also download images from the web to use in their Scratch projects.

Depending on the length of the class, we usually teach kids how to make the following with Scratch:

  • Simple animation that “draws” on the screen
  • Interactive, keyboard-controlled animation
  • “Apple catcher” game that combines randomization, looping, events, and variables
  • Web cam controlled music generator
  • Keyboard-controlled “maze” game
  • Virtual pet

You can see some of the class projects that we’ve uploaded here: