Hopscotch -- Programming made easy! Make games, stories, animations and more!

 

Learning(i)

Easy-to-use visual tool makes programming fun for kids.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids simply drag and drop to create programs, but there's not much how-to given. Kids are left to explore and figure it out after a brief example.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Players are not required to submit any personal information, but there's no privacy policy to explain what, if any, data is collected. Kids can share their programs with the community. Programs are uploaded instantly with no moderation. Kids are instructed not to use their real names when uploading.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hopscotch -- Programming made easy! Make games, stories, animations and more!​ is a drag-and-drop programming app for kids to write their own programs. Kids need to be independent readers to follow the instructions and commands and "write" their code, but there is no objectionable content. Kids are empowered to create programs that control characters and can add text to their programs. Although Hopscotch will appeal to all kids, the character-based design may be especially appealing to girls (or boys) who may not be as drawn to the industrial-looking designs of programming apps such as Cargo-Bot. Kids can view programs created by other kids or upload their own programs to the community, but they're instructed not to use their real names. Postings appear immediately with no moderation.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The characters and colors are fun and vibrant, and the app empowers kids to create open-ended options.  

Learning Approach

Hopscotch HD is a good example of scaffolded learning. Kids get the support they need to create programs and build confidence before they encounter the intricacies of coding.

Support

More tutorials or sample programs would help kids grasp the concepts more quickly, but the interface is intuitive, and each control is defined in the help section.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn and practice the fundamentals of computer programming on a mobile device. Using visual blocks that represent programming concepts, kids create their program -- whatever they want -- with games, animations, and fun messages. Kids are exposed to the ideas they'll use in programming with more sophisticated languages without worrying about the minute details just yet. They'll think like programmers, from coming up with their own idea to implementing it and troubleshooting it. Hopscotch HD is a great tool for budding programmers.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Kids say

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What's it about?

Kids create games and animations with HOPSCOTCH -- PROGRAMMING MADE EASY! MAKE GAMES, STORIES, ANIMATIONS AND MORE! by dragging and dropping commands and instructions into a script. Kids choose characters -- colorful monsters or animals -- and customize commands to make the characters move where they want or do what they want. Kids are empowered to determine specifics, such as how far their character moves and the color and size of trail it leaves. They also can create a line or shape and change its size and costume. Kids can share their programs with others via a link or on the Hopscotch community board in-app.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hopscotch -- Programming made easy! Make games, stories, animations and more! is a great introduction to hands-on visual programming. Kids don't have to worry about missing intricate details such as a closing parenthesis just yet, but they can see how each command is carried out and the importance of each step and its placement. Unlike the few other early programming apps currently available, Hopscotch is open-ended, so kids can create what they want rather than writing the code to make a character do specific things. This option may be paralyzing to some kids at first, but they'll just need some encouragement to take some risks and have some fun. The app only offers one tutorial example, though, and then kids have to create the actions on their own. More examples or even some step-by-step guided programs that kids could copy would enrich the learning value. The community features some great examples of what kids can create, along with some not-so-stellar examples, as everything uploaded appears instantly with no moderation. Many posts feature kids begging for "stars," the way to show appreciation for a program. At the time of review, there was was no objectionable content in the programs, but it's certainly a possibility in an unmoderated community.

Families can talk about...

  • Once kids have mastered Hopscotch, steer them to MIT's online application development tool, Scratch.

  • Talk to kids about the growing STEM fields and the evolution of computers, programming, and mobile devices. As digital natives, they are often unaware of just how new mobile technology is.

  • Start kids off with step-by-step logic apps such as Kodable Pro or Tynker and then move them to Hopscotch to create their own programs.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:April 16, 2013
Category:Education
Size:12.60 MB
Publisher:Hopscotch Technologies
Version:2.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of Hopscotch -- Programming made easy! Make games, stories, animations and more! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 3, 9, and 9 year old Written bykimc2 January 19, 2015
age 10+
 
LEARNING

My kids love it but I'm concerned

Overall this is a great app. My kids love making projects on it. The concern I have is with the ability to post pages for other users to "sign". My daughter has mentioned that she has communicated back & forth w some users in this way. Doesn't seem very safe. We are trying to be vigilant but if it becomes problematic, this app will have to go.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns

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