but you have to start to be great.”
This is a series of Scratch Kid Programming learning journey tutorial suitable for anyone who wishes to follow along and learn how to program using Scratch and create useful and fun kids programs, games and stories.
All Scratch projects will be linked at the bottom of this page so Do bookmark this page for quick reference.
Without further ado, let’s dive in, dissect and figure out what Scratch programming is all about and learn how to create something useful and fun from it.
What is Scratch Programming?
Scratch is a Free programming project created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab which helps young people learn to think creatively to produce their own games, interactive stories and interact with other like minded people in the online community.
Since Scratch is primarily designed for 8 to 16 years old, it is relatively easy for both kids and adults to pick up and learn.
We can customize Scratch project learning objective according to your requirement.
e.g. To learn how to create your personalize Valentine’s Day, Birthday Card.
To learn how to create animated Montage for Wedding, Graduation, Birthday etc.
To learn how to create a simple Game, animated Story for a Special Someone or Special Occasion.
System Requirements for Scratch
Under Scratch FAQ page, the following 3 criteria are required :
- Mac, Linux or Windows computer
- Adobe Flash Player on or after June 15, 2016
- Any of the relatively recent web browser
- Chrome (Mac, Linux or Windows)
- Firefox (Mac or Windows Only)
- Safari (Mac or Windows Only)
- Edge (Windows Only)
- Internet Explorer 10+ (Windows Only)
An offline editor Scratch 2 is available for download to create Scratch projects without an internet connection (This option is used to create all the Scratch projects in these series).
You can try downloading and installing an older version Scratch 1.4 if your computer does not meet the above requirements.
Creating my first Scratch animation using Scratch 2 editor
After installing Scratch 2 and upon running the program, the above screen is displayed.
At first glance, it seems pretty complicated, however after playing around the software for about 10 to 20 minutes, I discovered that Scratch is using a simpler methodology of dragging and dropping predefined building blocks as compared to traditional coding language, which typically consist of hundreds or even thousands of lines of code just to create some simple animation.
The Scratch 2 screen can be categorized broadly into 6 segments:
Segment 1) The project display. This is where the background image and all added characters (also known as Sprites) are arranged, preview and test run.
- More Blocks
Segment 5) These are all the available features of the above 10 building blocks. e.g. move 10 steps, play sound, change color etc.
When the GREEN flag is clicked,
The Cat Sprite will say “Watch me dance!” for 2 secs,
It will repeat the following 100 times,
Move 10 steps to the right,
Play drum 1 for 0.25 beats,
Move 10 steps to the left,
Play drum 4 for 0.25 beats,
Change the Cat Sprite color effect by 25
Scratch contains 13 tutorials on the right side.
By following the tutorial steps of “Getting Started with Scratch” plus some slight changes, my very first Scratch animation is completed and can be accessed below (Adobe Flash player required).
Note: Do allow some time for the animation to load.
Click on the GREEN flag and see the Cat and Woman dancing away and colors changed according to the programmed blocks.
Click on the RED button beside the GREEN flag to stop the animation.
I will go through each of the following 12 Scratch Kid Programming tutorials and show how it’s done.
- Make a Birthday Card
- Animate Your Name
- Make it Fly
- Make Music
- Race to the Finish
- Hide-and-Seek Game
- Fashion Game
- Create a Story
- Create a Pong Game
- Let’s Dance
- Catch Game
- Create a Virtual Pet