Have you always wanted to help your child learn to code with Scratch, but not been sure where to start? Don't worry, we're here to help. At Create & Learn, we aim to make coding understandable and fun for all students — just explore our free coding classes for kids (including a free, award-winning Scratch intro class) to get started.

Today, we're going to walk you through the basics of beginning Scratch coding including how to set up your account. We'll also share what the different types of blocks are, and how to think about putting them together to create something great, such as fun projects with Scratch. Let's get started!


What is Scratch coding?

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, Geometry Dash, Basketball Game, Pacman, or Snake. Scratch is designed for students age 8-16, but can be used by everyone.

Learn to code with Scratch

How do I learn to code with Scratch?

Here we'll get started learning Scratch coding with a few simple steps.

1. Start a new project

To code in Scratch, first open the page on Scratch at MIT. Next, click on the “create” button to make a new project. You should have a screen that looks like this:


2. Drag the code blocks

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.

3. Click on sprites to code for them

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, our 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, and change color. And when connected together form a series of actions to build your games, animations, and other projects.

4. Watch your code run

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!).

Explore basic coding blocks to learn to code with Scratch

There are many different types of blocks on Scratch and we're always excited to learn which blocks are our students favorites.

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.

Event Block

When: How it Works

Run the code when the green flag is clicked (when the program begins). Most of the time, we use this block

Run the code when a key is pressed. Use the dropdown menu to choose which key you want! 

Run the code when the sprite is clicked.

Scratch motion blocks

These blue colored blocks allow your sprite to move, rotate and glide.

Motion Block

Types of Movement

This block allows you to move your sprite. It will move in the direction your sprite is facing

These blocks allow you to rotate your sprite to the right or the left. 

This block lets your sprite “jump” to a position. You can click on the dropdown menu to see the different options! 

This block allows your sprite to smoothly glide across your screen to a position of choice.

These blocks allow you to adjust the direction that your sprite is facing

Try combining a motion block with an event block to see what happens!

Looks blocks

These purple colored blocks change the appearance of your sprite.

Looks Block

Appearance: Types of Looks

These blocks change the size of your sprite. 

These blocks will change the color of your sprite. Use the dropdown menu to see other fun effects! 

These blocks will create a speech or thought bubble for your sprite, with the text in the code block

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.

Loops Block

Repetition: How Long to Run the Code

The forever loop will keep running the code (as long as your program is running)

Notice that the forever loop doesn’t have a notch at the bottom. This is because the loop will keep running forever, so nothing added under it will run! 

The repeat loop allows you to specify how many times you want to run the code.

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”.

Sounds Block

Start or Play: Types of Sound

Will start playing the sound. Any code blocks under this one will run as your sound it playing 

Will play the sound until finished. Any code blocks under this one will run once the sound is over

That's how you learn to code with Scratch

And that’s it! Scratch coding is fun and easy. There are infinite possibilities for your child to create with Scratch. Your child can learn beyond the basics in our award-winning Scratch for kids coding courses (there's even a free introduction course).

Up next, learn how to make a ball bounce in Scratch or how to make a clicker game.


Brought to you by Carolyn Qu, Instructor at Create & Learn.