Recommended for ages 8-12
Scratch is one of the best programs to start kids out on their coding education. Using block programming, kids can drag and drop chunks of code that interlock to run all sorts of operations. Coding Projects in Scratch is a step-by-step, fully illustrated guide to creating projects that use movement and sound.
The best part about Scratch is that it’s free. Go to the Scratch site, create a free account, and have this book next to you. I sat at my desk and was able to create a dinosaur dance party, a cat that changed sizes and colors, and I even got some sound effects into my animations. You can download Scratch if you want to work online, but – and the book will remind you throughout – save your work!
The book is split into several parts: an explanation of coding, resources to get you started, art projects, games, simulations, music and sound, mindbenders, and a What Next? section that takes you beyond Scratch into other programming fun. Callout boxes throughout the book offer extra tips, information, and on-the-spot explanations of different terms and lingo. A glossary and an index complete the package to present a great resource for kids and adults who are ready to start coding, or maybe kids who got their first taste of coding through a program like Hour of Code and want to learn more.
All in all, there are 18 projects to explore here, including a birthday card, “tunnel of doom” multiplayer game, and a dinosaur dance party (with an optional ballerina). I’ve been pushing coding pretty heavily here at my library, and trying to get my mouse potato tween to get into coding so he can do something other than go on Warcraft raiding parties.
Add this book to your coding library, whether it’s a home, school, or institutional collection.