ScratchJr

Scratch Foundation

Safe for Kids

Zift Advisory

This App Contains...
Chat
Commenting
Live Streaming
Videos can be shared
Location Tracking
Geotracking
Photo Sharing
Photo sending/receiving
Stranger Danger
Interacting with strangers
Mature Content
Adult Content/Themes

Parent Rating

N/AReview This App

ScratchJr is a programming app that teaches children coding basics through storytelling and games.  Rated for users four years of age and older, ScratchJr is free to download and play and does not feature any additional in-app advertisements or purchases.  It is available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store. This app is safe for kids.

About ScratchJr
  • Education
  • none
  • Everyone

What is ScratchJr?

ScratchJr is an introductory programming app that teaches children coding basics through storytelling and games.

 

Rated for users four years of age and older, ScratchJr is free to download and play and does not feature any additional in-app advertisements or purchases.  It is available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store.

 

But what does the ScratchJr app do? Coding concepts are all the rage, especially when teaching children at younger and younger ages. ScratchJr is designed to introduce young children to basic coding or computer programming concepts through the creation of fun, interactive games and stories.

 

ScratchJr brings Scratch coding (ages 8-16) to an even younger set of learners, allowing even preschoolers to learn programming basics. 

   

When users first open the app, they’ll see a rectangular box with a plus sign in the middle. Users will tap on the rectangle to start a new project.

 

If players are creating an interactive story, they may choose the text or “ABC” option at the top of the screen, which will open a text box for them to begin typing. Coders can change the font size and color directly from the text box options.

 

Once users have completed their project or if they need to leave the app before finishing, they may tap the yellow icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen to save their work, where they’ll be prompted to input a custom project name.

 

All of the commands users may use are shaped like puzzle pieces and are located at the bottom of the screen. To begin coding, users directly tap in the object, character or item they wish to code instructions for and start tapping on the directional puzzle pieces (each puzzle piece has an arrow or an action inset inside of it) and customizing the operations in the order programmers wish to move their item.

 

A reset button is located at the top of the screen for coders to navigate back to the beginning of their project easily.

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Is ScratchJr safe for my kids?

Those parents wondering how and why the ScratchJr app is free and doesn’t feature annoying ads throughout, should know that the app was created through a research and educations partnership.

Per the developer:

ScratchJr is a collaboration between the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab, the Developmental Technologies research group at Tufts University, and the Playful Invention Company. The ScratchJr project has received generous financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF DRL-1118664), Scratch Foundation, LEGO Foundation, and British Telecommunications.

As with any app, parents may be concerned with their child’s privacy when playing and how well their personal information is protected.

It’s important to note that ScratchJr does not collect any personal information that identifies the user. However, ScratchJr does collect non-identifying information such as the device the app on which it’s being used, as well as its operating system, but does not collect Mac ID or IP address information.

ScrathJr may ask about the location where the app is being accessed, such as school or home, but not the actual address or location.

Because ScratchJr can be a bit involved, it’s best for parents to work alongside younger users to illustrate how to get started and answer any questions along the way.

Younger users with short attention spans will likely not fully benefit from the ScratchJr app as it requires a modicum of patience to see it through.  That being said, this app is safe for kids.

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ScratchJr Parent Rating

N/A

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