Scratch – programming environment

Scratch is a multi-platform, open source, easy, interactive, collaborative programming environment designed for creating interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and sharing these on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop modern learning skills.

When developing Scratch projects, students learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

Scratch is a graphical programming environment implemented in Squeak that works in a very Lego-like fashion. Testament to the popularity of Scratch, there are nearly 3 million projects that have been created with this programming environment.

Features include:

  • Limited hardware / operating system access which helps make Scratch a safe programming language to learn.
  • Build programs by snapping together colorful blocks of code.
  • Turing complete.
  • Visual Graphical User Interface.
  • Basic programming constructs are supported and grouped into different block categories:
    • Motion.
    • Looks.
    • Sound.
    • Pen.
    • Control.
    • Sensing.
    • Operators.
    • Variables.
  • Variables and lists for data storage, and arrays can be replicated.
  • Floating point scalars and strings are supported.
  • Primarily event-driven.
  • Many simplified casting rules.
  • Small stage / Full stage / Presentation Mode.
  • Compress sounds.
  • Compress images.
  • Upload programs to the Scratch Web site.

Developer: Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab
License: GNU GPL v2 OR Scratch Source Code License


Scratch is written in JavaScript. Learn JavaScript with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Programming Tools for Kids Home Page | Return to Great Ways for Kids to Learn the Art of Coding

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.