Scratch is a fantastic starting place for any child interested in learning how to code. There are a number of great Scratch coding resources for parents and kids online, including YouTube videos, live online classes, and self-guided tutorials. Many of these resources are absolutely free, and boast great parent reviews. Plus, they’re all created by expert programming teachers, so you can get started knowing you’re on the path to success with learning to code!
Jump right into a live online Scratch coding class to learn how to make games:
Enjoy Scratch coding resources for parents and kids
With the vast list of Scratch resources online, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are five great options for anyone looking to get started with Scratch!
1. Scratch YouTube videos
Scratch YouTube videos are an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn Scratch programming. The official Scratch channel and the Create & Learn channel are great places to start, with engaging and educational videos that are perfect for beginner coders. These videos are easy to follow and provide hands-on learning experiences, allowing kids to see the results right away!
To get started, you can check out this video on how to make Pong in Scratch from the official Scratch channel, or maybe this video on creating a Flappy Bird game from Create & Learn. The Scratch channel also hosts occasional live coding sessions which you can follow along with, and you can catch up on the recordings of those live streams here.
The main advantage of learning with YouTube videos is that it's free; however, it can be less structured and interactive compared to other resources. That said, with thousands of tutorials and lessons available, it's easy to find the right one to match your learning style!
2. Live online Scratch classes taught by an expert
One of the best ways to learn Scratch is by taking a live online class! Create & Learn offers a number of award-winning classes to take for every skill level. In each of these classes, students create a hands-on project with guidance from an expert teacher, with the opportunity to share their work with other students and get feedback and advice on the spot. There’s also a free introductory Scratch class for anyone looking to dip their toes in the water, in which students create their own fun animation as they learn some Scratch basics.
Younger students grades K-2 can get started with the ScratchJr class, which makes use of the ScratchJr app on iOS and Android, an easy platform for young kids to get started with programming. Students from grades 2-5 can start off with Scratch Ninja instead, learning all the basics of Scratch over the course of up to 16 live classes. And older students grades 5-9 can jump into the Accelerated Scratch class, designed to work through the basics at a quicker pace over the course of 12 classes.
3. Raspberry Pi Scratch interactive tutorial
The Raspberry Pi Scratch tutorials are another great way to dive into the world of Scratch. This online platform provides interactive lessons and exercises that guide you through the basics of Scratch coding step-by-step. With these tutorials, you’ll learn how to code and create interactive games and animations.
The biggest advantage of this approach is that you can progress at your own pace and revisit lessons as needed, which is great for anyone looking to learn Scratch in their spare time. Of course, the downside is you won’t receive the direct feedback and support of a teacher. That said, the lessons are designed to be easy to understand and follow, often providing starting templates for the projects, and featuring simple steps with lots of screenshots to help guide you through the process.
4. Blog post tutorials and challenges
If you’re looking for a smaller project to get started, you can check out the Create & Learn blog posts on Scratch programming. These posts feature tutorials and challenges to get up and running right away with Scratch, and there’s material for every skill level! This allows you to take on small, bite-sized projects at your own pace, but of course, it lacks the direct support and guidance of a teacher. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to just get started now, though! Here are some posts for each skill level to get the ball rolling:
- How Do You Code on Scratch? - This post is a great place to start! Enjoy a simple walk through that will get you comfortable with the Scratch interface and start you on your first series of challenges.
- 5 Beginner Scratch Challenges - As the title suggests, this post features 5 simple Scratch projects to get some good practice in with the basics.
- How to Make a Catch Game in Scratch - Making games is one of the best ways to learn how to program! This tutorial walks you through making a simple catch game.
- How To Make Falling Snow In Scratch - This tutorial shows how to create a falling snow effect, complete with techniques like randomization of size and location on the screen.
- How to Make a Virtual Pet in Scratch - With this guide, you’ll create a virtual pet that will react when you pet it and will eat food, and which you can continue to customize later.
- How To Make a Piano in Scratch - Scratch is an amazingly flexible platform, and this piano project shows off just how much can be done with some of the more advanced techniques.
5. Code.org hour of code Scratch tutorials
The Code.org Hour of Code Scratch tutorials are a series of fun and engaging lessons designed to teach kids the basics of coding with Scratch in roughly one-hour projects. One of the biggest benefits of these tutorials is that they are self-paced, so kids can work through them at their own speed and repeat lessons as needed. Additionally, the tutorials are designed to be accessible to kids with little to no prior coding experience, making them a great starting point for anyone looking to learn Scratch. However, it's worth noting that the Hour of Code tutorials are relatively brief, so kids may need additional resources to continue their learning beyond the hour-long session. Here are a few tutorials to get you started:
- Scratch 5 Block Starter - This is a great entry point for kids grade 2 or 3 who are just trying out Scratch for the very first time.
- Imagine a World - This open-ended project encourages kids to create whatever world they might imagine, where anything is possible, and use Scratch coding to bring their world to life.
- Make Music with Scratch - This tutorial covers how to make an interactive music project which allows you to choose instruments, add sounds, and press keys to play music.
- Sport + Code: Xtrail - Utilizing color sensing blocks and movement, you’ll create a cross country biking track game, including designing your own track.
- Broadcasting Spells: Scratch Coding Beyond the Basics - Here you’ll use Scratch blocks to create a wand that casts spells to turn characters into toads, grow, and shrink them. You’ll edit sound effects and learn how to broadcast messages to affect multiple sprites at once.
- Space Invaders - With this guide, you’ll create a high-quality recreation of the classic game Space Invaders, with authentic-looking graphics and gameplay.
Help your child learn with Scratch coding resources for parents
Scratch is a fantastic platform for any coding beginner. If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with coding, check out this blog post about online coding classes for kids. And don’t forget to check out Create & Learn’s Scratch Ninja class to get the ball rolling!
Written by Create & Learn instructor Josh Abbott Salazar. Josh is a teacher, coder, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating with a Master's in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Josh turned his attention to the technology side of things, and has been working in various aspects of coding and engineering ever since. He runs a small music studio in Nashville called Tango Sound Studios, and develops video games in his spare time.