Tablets, Apps Computers, Laptops, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo DS (to name a but a few!) are all a part of our children’s everyday life now. As parents we want them to enjoy the advances in technology but it can feel a bit alien to us. We find ourselves forever in a time constraint battle as to just how much ‘screen time’ or ‘game time’ your child should have.
If only they could put their love of gaming and computers to some good use!
Well the good news is that they can!
For anyone who has children aged 9-10 (Year 5) at school you may have already come across Scratch or heard your child talking about it from their I.T. lessons at school. Yes, computer programming is now on the National Curriculum and has been since 2014.
Scratch is a free programming language and online community used in many schools, where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. It’s aimed at 8-16 year olds. You can easily set up a free account for home use here: https://scratch.mit.edu/
A little overview of scratch can be seen in this video:
Our now 9 year old Son started using it just under a year ago, before they had started it in school. So he had a great confidence boost because he already knew how to do a lot of what they’ve been taught and, has been able to advance his skills. His school project even had him doing extra curricular activity at home which was praised by his teacher. He get’s enormous pleasure out of creating his own games that he can then share with friends.
We started with this book which i have to say is excellent and gives something to refer back to. The book also moves on to the more complex Python code.
There are plenty of online videos that can be found on You Tube and other websites with projects too.
Coding has now taken over from playing games on the Xbox and i am happy for him to be in front of the computer if he is doing something useful with it!
Here is the game that our Son made for his project at school. Why not let your child have a go at playing the game and let us know how you get on!
Just click on the image below to have a go!
Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog if you have a Minecraft crazy kid!