Scratch is a free graphical, drag and drop style, programming language for elementary & middle school kids, ages 7 -12. It is developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). It is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the concepts of computer programming! Learn about Scratch by taking these Scratch Tours, which will show you some examples of what can be done. To try your hand at Scratch follow these steps:
- Download Scratch for free at Scratch Software.
- Install and launch the Scratch Software on your computer.
- Following the steps in Getting Started With Scratch.
- You can also watch video tutorials at Scratch Video Tutorials.
- Read over the Scratch Reference Guide. It’s pretty short and you will definitely understand how to use the Scratch interface after reading it.
- Now that you have a feel for Scratch, try some of the projects at Redware Scratch Projects. I am especially fond of the Fish! project, which I used for a summer programming project with some 4th and 5th graders at my son’s school. I had to break the steps down a little more, but the kids loved it! Redware Scratch Projects also offers great lesson plans & video training for parents or teachers interested in teaching their kids Scratch.
- You can learn everything you want to know about Scratch from the steps above. That’s how I did it. However, if you or your child feels more comfortable using a book, here are some options:
Enjoy & happy programming!