Let me show you how to teach your kid to code in scratch

Let me show you how to teach your kid to code in scratch

Hello! Welcome to a new kidocoder tutorial. This time I will show you how to introduce your kid to the world of programming by using the well-known scratch by MIT.

First, let’s open the website:

Create an account for your child with an easy username and password ( maybe he/she will learn how to log in by themselves in the future ). And then click the link as in the screenshot below.

Begin learning scratch

Now that we’re in, it’s time to explain a bit how things work. The main idea of this program is to make the orange kitty do stuff. How do we do that? By adding some commands.

Each of the commands in the picture below represents an action that the kitty will make.

Scratch moving actions

Behind each command, there is some code that runs to make that kitty to the action, but because it’s a course for kids, they shouldn’t know about the complex things behind and they should start by understanding how those blocks interact to create an action. Combining multiple actions can create a flow, but first, let’s create our first action. Click and drag the move 10 steps action into the panel on the right like in the picture below. After that click Start moving and then you can press on the move 10 steps block multiple times.

Add your first scratch action

Notice the movement? Great !!

Now let’s do something more interesting. Let’s drag turn 15 degrees, but don’t link it to the last block, add it separately. And then drag change x by 10 also and link it to the turn 15 degrees like in the picture below.

Create a new scratch block of actions

Now it’s time for testing! Click click click the block!

As you can see there are different actions on that list, which I will explain you now.

The first 3 are quite straightforward, the kitty moves forward 10 steps ( notice that forward is not the same as moving to the right, it will move to kitty’s direction ). And the other 2 actions are to rotate the kitty. move 10 steps, turn right 15 degrees, turn left 15 degrees

The next 2 point in direction 90, point towards mouse pointer are also for rotating, but this time you can specify the rotation and for example, at 90 degrees can be used to reset the rotation of the kitty.

Now as you can see, some of the actions have numbers or text that you can change. Those are called parameters.

Scratch actions parameters

Let’s try to add the glide action to our previous second block, but first, change the numbers to 20 and 20 like in the picture below.

Add your first action with parameter changed

And now click the block to test! Try some other numbers.

What we’ve learned today?

  • We covered what is an action - in the programming world is called a function.
  • We covered what is a parameter and how can it change the return of a function.

Try these with your child and as a bonus follow the picture below to make the kitty create a sound. This will make him more interested and see you in the next tutorial! Remember that kid attention is short so keep practicing in short sessions.

Make the kitty to 'Meow'

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