- Update date: 06 May 2020
- Size: 25M
- Compatibility: 4.2 and up
- Author: Scratch FoundationSize
- Content rating: Everyone
- Package name: org.scratchjr.android
ScratchJr is a visual coding drag-and-drop environment based on the Scratch system. The app is designed for children from 5 to 7 years old. You can download ScratchJr on the App Store, Google Play, and it is also available on Amazon and Chrome Web Store.
The main app’s purpose is to enable young children to create their own interactive games and stories using Scratch programming language. As kids interact with the app, they learn how to express themselves with the coding, design projects, and develop problem-solving skills. Such activities prepare children for further academic success, help to develop early-childhood numeracy and literacy. You can find here a lot of different challenges, save progress, projects and stay motivated.
ScratchJr app has an excellent interface and graphics. The developers choose the cartoon style to make it more attractive for children. It is very easy to navigate through the tabs along the bottom of the screen. The main background is creamy-colored with the colorful and bright elements on it. There are no big text pieces; they were replaced with the icons. The app was designed to help children interact with the characters in the paint editor, add their own features and then use the programming language to make their designed characters come to life.
The ScratchJr latest version has pretty good usability. Every element and learning process was designed to be understandable even for young children. It is significantly easy to pick up and play to learn; every icon and possible actions are explained in the tutorial video.
After an attentive and detailed ScratchJr review, we noticed that the developers redesigned the interface and programming language. Commonly, Scratch is used by millions of young people ages 8 and up, but this app is for children ages 5. Therefore, a lot of elements and designing features were changed to match younger children’s personal, social, cognitive and emotional development.
Children choose the characters and background. For example, it can be an underwater world, forest or urban. Then, they have to drag and drop some pieces of programming scripts to make it possible for characters to perform actions like jumping, moving, disappearing, and so on. Along the way, kids can customize colors, create sounds, and revise their programs through the built-in editor. Every action is the piece of a whole story.
Cross-platform use 5/5
ScratchJr android version is well-designed for the mobile phones and tablets, which supports 4.2 version or up. At the same time, ScratchJr iOS runs on both iPhones and iPads. It requires iOS 8.0 or later. In March 2016 the developers released the version for Chromebooks, and now they are planning to release the web version. Also, ScratchJr is available at Amazon. So, the app runs on all major platforms, but there is no information about the synchronization through them.
ScratchJr app is free of charge. There are no additional purchases or premium versions. ScratchJr was developed with educational purposes and was the result of the collaboration between the Developmental Technologies group at Tufts University, the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and the Playful Invention Company. It has received donations from the National Science Foundation Scratch Foundation, LEGO Foundation, British Telecommunications, and Adobe Systems. Moreover, every person can support the app’s development.
The Bottom Line
ScratchJr is a great app for young children to help them develop cognitive and programming skills in an interactive and engaging way. Kids can create and customize their own stories. The app is designed in the cartoon style, which makes it more attractive for children. There are versions for iOS, Android; also ScratchJr is available at Amazon and Chrome Web Store. It is fully free of charge and was developed with educational purposes.
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