A Guide to Parents: What is Scratch Coding?

A Guide to Parents: What is Scratch Coding?

Scratch: Coding for All Ages

What is Scratch and what is it all about?

Scratch is designed as an introductory coding language where kids and even adults get to enjoy educational and easy to use tools. It allows you to create interactive games, stories, simulations, arts, and a lot more using block-based programming technology. Everyone can really enjoy using Scratch. You don't need advanced Computer Science experience and knowledge to be able to take this programming classes. Kids would definitely enjoy coding classes using Scratch because its more accessible and friendly to use, even some of the top universities use Scratch and other similar block-based technology in their computer science courses. 

If your kids are taking a more advanced programming classes, you will notice that they are using text-based programming like Python or JavaScript, which is definitely beneficial. You may just think that Scratch serves as a stepping stone or training ground for kids to learn patience and coding skills at the same time before they get into the nitty gritty of kids coding classes.

Now, let's dive deeper and know more about Scratch, how to use it, and what differences does it have compared with other programming languages.

Another Kind of Coding Language

If you notice, Scratch is much different with the other programming languages available. Even if it's not a text-based programming language, it still is considered popular. It even ranked 19th in May 2020 as the most popular programming language worldwide, taking the world by storm one kid (and even adults!) at a time. Even though it's different, Scratch does not get left behind by leading programming languages.

Scratch helps kids build fun websites just by dragging and dropping blocks from the block palette into other blocks, just like fitting a jigsaw puzzle. Majority of the leading apps and websites use the most popular coding languages that are text-based. They use and type symbols and words to create a program using text-based languages like JavaScript, Python and C++. Whilst these programming languages are commonly used, if your kids are starting to learn how to code, then it will be difficult for them to learn the first time. Imagine kids learning new words everyday or new foreign language where they need to learn from scratch.

Scratch: Block-based programming language

Scratch: Block-based programming language

When you compare text-based languages to learning new human language, there are special ways on writing texts for different computer commands, just like having a complete and unique pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. And this may often lead to confusion especially for young kids who are just learning how to code.

So to bridge this gap and be able to reap the benefits of coding classes, Scratch is developed as a block-based programming language. Kids and even adults will not have a hard time typing traditional commands using words and symbols because Scratch allows you to use colorful blocks and create programs just like solving a puzzle. You can take your blocks out or snap them together, just like playing your LEGO blocks, but virtual! It's that simple and fun at the same time! Afterwards, you can click on the green flag in the Scratch interface to run the command you have just created.

Scratch blocks that are connected together.

Scratch blocks that are connected together.

Scratch can do exactly the same thing as Python or JavaScript but the difference is, Scratch makes it easier to do. And since using Scratch code is much easier to follow and create, kids will surely be able to learn quickly and run programs just like using text-based languages in computer science. They don't have to worry about syntax. And because Scratch is block-based, then it will be more fun to build and create interactive stories, games, and projects that your kids will surely love.

Scratch let's you create interactive stories

If you and your kids love to bond over exciting and fun stories, then Scratch is just a perfect pair to your kid's interests. It allows you to create your own interactive stories and lets you customise and personalise your stories as well. Your project in Scratch is different from the regular storybooks that you read. And because it's interactive, it allows anyone playing the game to be the main character of the story. How cool is that! 

You can find different projects in Scratch including interactive stories that you can just play or control the story by yourself. All you need to do is click on the Green Flag. You get to save your projects and let other users see and play what you made. You can also play the interactive stories that other people made.

Not only will your kids bond over these stories but they get to practice their own storytelling and learn codes online at the same time. You both get to enjoy simple yet fun projects that can be non-interactive or interactive, depending on the creator of the story, just like filming your own cast and movie.

Raise Your Child's Artistic Side

Your kids will not only learn how to code interactive stories, simulations or games but also will improve their creativity and artistic sides. By building a game, your child will need to create a set of game characters called sprites and will use different presets and backgrounds. Your children can also draw their own design. Scratch can hone your child's coding skills and creativity without the terror of text codes. They can customise the spirtes and build narrative to improve their creative skills in making the design, theme and storytelling.

Improve Your Child's Planning Skills

Planning will also helps your kids figure out the parts of their code and design that they want to work with. Just like in any other things, practice makes perfect. And practicing on using codes and planning what to do about them will develop their sense responsibility, planning, management and organisational skills.

Enhance Your Child's Problem-Solving and Logical Thinking Skills

Your kids can become a great problem-solver using Scratch programming codes. And because this allows your child to build projects that uses block-based codes, it enhances your child's ability to logically think, decide and solve problems using the coding concepts. In this way, your child can prepare for advanced computer science programs and even excel in other subject areas like Math or Science. Using Scratch, your kids can establish confidence in any decision they may face.

Ready to Start Learning Scratch?

Besides the ones I mentioned above, your child can definitely reach greater heights with Scratch. This is a fun and creative platform of learning codes perfect for kids of all ages. To start using Scratch, create a free account by visiting this website at scratch.mit.edu. Your kids can play with the amazing projects that other Scratch users made or create their own projects using different blocks.

You can also enjoy amazing different projects in the Scratch Community. It is an online community that allow Scratch users to share what they made so that others can access it. The Scratchers projects serve as an inspiration for others who are just starting to use Scratch. Whenever you click on a specific project, you can see the codes used and edit the codes when you make a copy for yourself.

Don't worry because the Scratch community is safe for your children. The whole Scratch team ensures that your kids can learn online coding while having fun in a safe environment. They implement strict community guidelines where anyone can share their own projects safely. You can also make use of the Search Wiki to read about the latest news and updates on new Scratch features and codes.

Your kids' imagination is their only limitation. So try Scratch now and create a brighter and creative future for your children.