Scratch is one of the most popular, engaging platforms and kids coding languages out there, and millions of young programmers got their start on the site.
So, what’s next for kids who love Scratch?
If your child loved learning how to make a game with Scratch and is looking for their next challenge, or perhaps they’re simply looking to expand their coding repertoire, there’s a world of block-based coding to explore!
From making sprites to creating music with code, there’s no question that Scratch is fun to explore and designed to get kids excited about learning to code and spark an interest in STEM.
But what makes it educational, as well as popular, for kids?
After all, there’s got to be something besides cute cartoons and fun animations going on, right?
Benefits of Block-Based Coding
There are many educational benefits built-in not only to Scratch but block-based coding in general; these languages are well worth the hype.
Learning to code for the first time can be intimidating, especially for young learners. Even if your child has never coded before, block-based coding offers a simple, visually-engaging introduction that balances fun with showing kids important fundamentals of programming.
The drag-and-drop tools are easy to use, and demonstrate how computers process coding languages. Kids can visualize how code works and see the results of their work almost instantly. The straightforward nature of these tools makes it easy to create multiple projects and games, so kids’ creativity can really thrive!
With this foundation, youngsters will not only be ready to tackle more and more sophisticated coding projects, they’ll have something arguably of equal importance: the drive and curiosity to keep learning.
And that drive can take kids to amazing places!
The current state of STEM education indicates a clear need and many windows of opportunity for kids who love technology. There is a surprising shortage of qualified candidates for exciting, high-paying jobs in STEM fields down the road.
Building a solid foundation at a young age can open a lot of doors. Plus, all destinations aside, learning to code is a fun, worthwhile journey in and of itself.
Let’s take a look at the perfect next step for your learner!
8 Apps, Games & Block Coding Sites Like Scratch
Here are a few interactive platforms that are great next steps once your child has explored Scratch!
Lightbot gamifies learning in a way that rewards progress and also encourages kids to level-up their coding skills. With every puzzle completed, kids will familiarize themselves with core concepts like sequencing, overloading, loops, and conditionals. Of course, they might not realize how much they’re learning because they’ll be having too much fun!
2. Hour of Code
Hour of Code is an incredibly versatile online platform dedicated to bringing free tutorials, activities, and resources to kids of all ages with an interest in computer science.
While the annual Hour of Code event is definitely worth looking out for, it’s also a fabulous year-round platform! Hour of Code’s plethora of tutorials feature kid-friendly faces like Disney and Minecraft characters - similar to the characters of Scratch - and are sure to delight young coders with a new set of challenges.
Just like Scratch, Kodable is such an engaging platform that kids might not even realize they’re still learning to code! Perfect for the youngest coders, Kodable is a fresh concept that’s formatted in a way that will be familiar after exploring Scratch, but complete with new coding puzzles and activities.
4. Google Coding School
Free and easy to use, Google Coding offers a range of options and plenty of room to grow once kids master Scratch programming. Kids can choose from writing a story, creating a game, and creating interactive art—all while learning to code in a range of languages.
Read More: The cost of Coding Classes
5. Roblox Lua Coding
Roblox coding is another great stepping stone to follow Scratch. Using a similar game-oriented approach to coding, Learning Lua basics provides a level of intrinsic motivation that is crucial to continuing to grow as a programmer.
6. Root Coding
Level 1 of the Root coding app picks up right where kids will have left off with Scratch. While interacting with the Root robot, kids can build on their block coding skills (and beyond) by exploring activities, lessons, videos, and games in the app. Now, kids can take coding on the go and enjoy games while learning at the same time.
7. Sphero Edu
If your child thrives in a more hands-on learning environment, exploring robotics is a perfect way to make coding both tangible and interactive. With Sphero, kids can hear, see, and experience their coding prowess, something that’s critical to keeping the learning going.
To support that progress, Sphero Edu offers a wealth of activities, learning experiences, and tools that really brings coding to life.
If your child is excited to enjoy all the benefits of robotics, an online tutor for kids who understands all the bells and whistles can be a game changer. Who knows? Starting a robotics club could be their next adventure this school year!
Massively popular with good reason, Code.org is a great next stop for coders looking to level up their skills fast. Starting at a familiar, block-based level, Code.org offers levels of complexity that will match the most curious minds and keep pace with the fastest learners.
Ready to grow your child’s coding skills?
Coding is a journey with limitless possibilities. Scratch and these platforms are wonderful ways to begin that path, which begs the question, what STEM adventure is next?
Learning to code with Minecraft or Roblox are also excellent options for applying the fundamentals of Scratch and block coding in new and exciting projects.
Keep the momentum going this fall and beyond with this post on easy games to create on Scratch, and our suite of online after-school programs and Online Private Lessons perfect for beginners!