This is the app which gives many children their first experience of coding. In a world where there is a digital skills gap and where an ever increasing number of jobs will be reliant on technical skills, this makes it important. It is very likely that the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg will have cut their coding teeth on this app.
Scratch Jr is a simplified version of Scratch, a block based programming language. In Scratch Jr, children can code movement, sounds, and conversations for multiple characters using multiple backgrounds. It also includes core concepts of coding and programming such as repeats, loops and if/then events. There is a great bank of resources and lesson plans on the Scratch Jr website, so it’s really easy to get started. Within a couple of lessons even beginners will be comfortable going in their own direction.
It shares a similar look and feel to the full version, so when you are ready to move children on to the full version of Scratch they will be familiar with many of the basic concepts.
Here are some examples of year 2 children coding their own version of The Three Little Pigs in Scratch Jr.