Scratch Programming for Kids

How Flashy Can You Make Your Name?
Help kids get started in their coding adventures with a fun hands-on exercise!

Scratch is a free block-based programming tool targeted primarily at children. Using a visual programming approach, users can code interactive stories, games and animations and share their creations through an online community. Developed as a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, the tool helps young people to apply creativity, reasoning and logic while working on collaborative projects.

This activity kit introduces Scratch to elementary school children. You don’t have to be a developer to lead this activity – just need to be curious and enthusiastic about introducing children to the possibilities with programming.

Audience:

  • Ages 6-10 (Primary/elementary students)

What’s the goal of this kit?

  • Introduce programming concepts using Scratch with a simple hands-on animation activity.
  • Students will learn to adopt a four-step approach to plan, design, code and present as part of this activity.
  • Students who successfully participate can earn an Hour of Code certificate (PDF).

Why is this topic important?

  • Computer science is foundational for every child, regardless of career. An early exposure to STEM will help students feel comfortable with studying technology topics in later years.
  • Computer Science is the 4th most popular STEM major for college-bound students.
  • Computing occupations are the #1 source of new wages in the US (that's 16% of all new wages).
  • 67% of computing jobs are outside the tech sector.
  • 91% of parents want their student to learn CS and 93% of parents want their child’s school to teach CS.
  • An early introduction to computer science will ensure that students are not left behind with new collar jobs.

What do I need to know about this activity?

Programming/coding expertise is not required. Experience of using Scratch is helpful but not essential since it can be easily self-taught.

This activity is ideal for volunteers who…

  • … enjoy working with elementary school students
  • … are comfortable leading hands-on software activities
  • … like to experiment with design and coding

IBMers can apply volunteering hours to their THINK40 total.

Activity resources