Code with ScratchJr

ScratchJr is a really fun (and free!) program that lets you code using blocks. Check out the ScratchJr website to download the program for a tablet, or if you would prefer to use a computer you can also download a desktop version.

First, I drew Sparky using the character creator tool using mostly shapes, the paint bucket, the rotate tool, and the move tool. Try making your own character – the wackier the better!

There are lots of scenes you can choose from, and I chose the park.

I added a few coding blocks (you can see them at the bottom of the picture above, they look like puzzle pieces) to make Sparky walk forward, jump, do a flip, and speak. There are so many different blocks to play with and learn from! If you are looking for a challenge, try to understand the orange blocks.

 Here’s a video of Sparky’s performance:

If you would like to download Sparky and this basic code for the Windows desktop program, click here to download a scratchjr.sqllite file. You will need to replace the same file in Documents\ScratchJR. But be warned: this will delete any previous work you have done in ScratchJr!

Well there you have it – a quick intro to ScratchJr. Let us know in the comments if you try this out, we’d love to hear about the stories you create! This activity is based on the book If: Ball, Then: Catch.

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