Now that you have made the decision to give Scratch programming for beginners a try, it’s time to help your child learn about the program. This free interactive platform provides students with a great way to create interactive stories, animations, games, and music.
Scratch coding for kids is a fun and free way for your child to learn a block-based visual programming language. You can create online projects using a block-like interface, and share your creations with the online community. So today, we'll help your child learn about the program and get started.
See how to start scratch programming for beginners
It’s fun for kids to get started with Scratch, but it can be overwhelming to try something new. Support your child for success with Scratch by following the four steps described below. You can also build your own knowledge by reading about how easy Scratch is to learn.
Step 1: Sign up for Scratch
The first step for getting started with Scratch is to sign up for a free account. Follow these steps to get setup with Scratch:
1. Go to Scratch on MIT to sign up for a free Scratch account.
2. Create a username and password. Consider choosing a username and password that will be easy for your child to remember.
3. Select the country you live in.
4. Enter the month and year you were born.
5. Select your gender.
6. Enter your email address.
7. Get started creating and exploring with your child!
Step 2: Learn about coding through the Scratch website
To get acquainted with Scratch, spend time exploring the homepage. Invite your child to look at the homepage with you and share what they notice and what they wonder. Make sure to check out the gallery of projects created by kids in the Scratch community.
Encourage your child to freely explore to get a sense of what Scratch is about. If your child has questions that you can’t answer, make a list so you can investigate all that your child wants to learn about Scratch. There’s no need to feel like you need to know the answers to all of your child’s questions— a great way to learn is by figuring things out together!
While the projects on the homepage are inspiring and show the code details, they can be hard to navigate and confusing for beginners. The tutorials offer videos explaining how to code different projects, which can be an interesting way to learn more about coding with Scratch.
After exploring the projects, watching tutorials can be a great way to get your child more familiar with the program. As you watch the tutorials, again add to the list of questions your child would like to have answered. If you have questions, add them too! The more there is to investigate, the greater the learning opportunities.
Although the tutorials provide an introduction to Scratch, they have a somewhat limited selection and do not give a lot of detail or the chance to ask questions to a live person. Exploring the site can be a good way to get a sense of what Scratch coding is about. But for more assistance and support to explore more options (and get your Scratch questions answered!), a live teacher may be a better option.
Step 3: Take Scratch programming for beginners classes
After your child has gained familiarity with Scratch, consider signing up for a Scratch for kids class through Create and Learn where teachers introduce students to computer programming through live online coding sessions. This is a great way to support your child to use Scratch to develop their own interactive stories, games, and animations.
Create and Learn offers a variety of levels and topics for students to choose from as well as free trial classes, including a variety of classes designed for children in grades 2 through 4. The class sizes are small (max 5 students), offering students the opportunity to receive more one-on-one instruction.
Step 4: Play Kahoot games to review coding concepts for beginners
Create & Learn has recently added an option to join a Kahoot! after completed class sessions to put kids’ knowledge of coding skills to work, to reinforce content, and boost retention while having fun.
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform where kids can share and play learning games and quizzes. Joining one of our FREE Kahoot! sessions gives your child a chance to review and apply new skills and understanding about coding.
During the Kahoot!, kids play three levels— starting from level 1 all the way to level 3. Your child can play Kahoot! from a phone, tablet, or computer. Or use this fun tutorial to learn how to make a Kahoot! game.
Succeed with Scratch programming for beginners!
This is just the beginning of your child’s coding journey and it can start with our free introductory class: Intro to Scratch Ninja. As your child becomes more familiar with Scratch, support him or her to learn advanced Scratch techniques.
Wherever your child is on this coding journey, try to take an active and curious role in learning about experiences and new knowledge. Above all, have fun!
Up next, see how to pick the right coding class for your child.
Written by Amanda Hendrix, a Create & Learn instructor with 10 years of teaching experience. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership, and a BS in Elementary Education.