“I’m new to Scratch, but both my students and I are already loving it! I’ve never seen students take something so quickly or with such enthusiasm” – Coding Teacher.
“My two children were immediately hooked. Scratch allows kids to program by ‘stacking’ commands like LEGO blocks. Instead of reactively playing video games – now they can create them!” – Parent
The above are just a small number of the many emails parents, educators and youth have sent to the Scratch foundation thanking them for the numerous benefits it has brought to the kids’ lives.
If you are reading this, you might have also heard of this innovative new way of teaching children how to code. The good news is that the basis for much of these rumours is true as evidenced by the growing number of children interacting with the platform each year.
To demonstrate, in 2019, Scratch had about 1.9 million users and over 900,000 projects. As of today, that number has jumped to 83 million users registered with over 100 million projects shared.
For those who are unaware, Scratch is both the world’s largest coding community for children and a coding language designed, developed and moderated by Scratch Foundation, a nonprofit organisation.
It is an easy to learn visual programming language that allows young people to create digital stories, games and animations which they can share with the rest of the Scratch community.
Part of its growing popularity is thanks in part to the programming syntax it enforces on its users, educating them on how to assemble and construct programming logic. It works by taking small snippets of code and grouping them together to form longer, more complex codes. Scratch is designed to meet the needs of children aged between 8 and 16.
In this article, we share 6 benefits of teaching Scratch to kids.
1. Scratch is Fun, Engaging and Interactive
It is a well-known fact that kids easily absorb new material when the learning process is fun and engaging. The developers at the Scratch Foundation understood this clearly which is why the Scratch user interface is replete with vibrant colours and visually appealing elements.
But that’s only one aspect of why Scratch is so compelling. Another is because of the sheer number of options kids have at their disposal to unleash their creativity. With blocks of code, they can make their characters sing, dance and jump.
The characters are customisable, and so are the backgrounds, voices, sounds and even photos can be introduced – making it easy for kids to create interactive programs easily.
2. Scratch Promotes Creativity
The breadth of the Scratch platform is a compelling factor, but it is also this same quality that encourages and challenges kids to be creative. This falls in line with the software’s slogan which is to “Imagine – Program – Share”. This is reflected in its large library of predefined sprites (images kids can create and program) as well as backgrounds which provide a canvas children can use to develop their design, animation and storytelling skills, giving life to the characters, solutions and ideas they may have.
3. Scratch Nurtures Problem Solving Skills
Scratch embraces a constructionist approach to learning where students are active participants in their learning journey and knowledge is constructed based on their experiences. As they develop, they reflect and incorporate new ideas with prior knowledge. This approach is beneficial for developing problem-solving in young minds.
Similarly, in Scratch, kids develop programmatic thinking where problems are broken into smaller sub-components through the assembly of code blocks and by exploring multiple solutions to a problem.
They’ll have to figure out multiple parts of code or a design to realise the mechanics of their story or game. These same organisation and problem-solving skills will pay dividends in many areas of their lives as they grow.
4. Scratch Provides a Platform for Kids to Become Programmers
Scratch is one of the best and most fun ways for kids to learn coding in contrast to other programming languages that have strict rules on usage and often require learning relevant text commands to make the most of them.
Scratch eliminates that need and allows kids to focus on conceptualising, building, designing and sharing their creations with friends.
It is an ideal platform for kids to develop programmatic thinking which they can later use as a springboard to launch into a career of high-level coding.
5. Scratch is Easily Accessible
Another key benefit of using Scratch is accessibility. No special programs or tools are needed, just an internet connection, a web browser and an account. This means your kids can continue learning in the comfort of their own homes.
Beyond that, its employment of block-based coding and the fact that it doesn’t rely so much on text opens up a world of opportunities for those with learning deficits.
Scratch coding is the best way to build a strong foundation for your kid’s future particularly in getting them 21st century ready.
Stem Genius has been helping many children fall in love with coding and programming. We have done this while continuing to maintain the rigorous standards required of an accredited STEM educational institution.
If you wish to schedule beginner coding classes for your kids where they learn how to use scratch to unleash their creativity, you can do so by registering here.