A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
In PBS KIDS SCRATCHJR kids can start with a blank screen or choose a story starter. From the blank screen, they choose characters and backdrops or create their own and then click together commands to direct each character to jump, move, turn, look, and more. They can record custom sounds, too, to make their characters speak. The story starters have characters and backgrounds chosen along with preset commands, but kids can make changes to customize it. Projects are automatically saved.
Is it any good?
Favorite characters from familiar kids' shows work alongside kid-friendly block-programming language to introduce kids to coding. Kids will easily pick up on how to use the blocks to direct the characters, and the backdrops and story starters give them a jump start in creating their own programs. The options for creating custom scenes and characters extend the fun and educational opportunities beyond PBS Kids characters. The interface is a bit busier than other block-programming apps, so it may be overwhelming to some kids to be faced with so many choices. Also, if you're looking for coding instruction or training modules, you won't find it here; instead, it's more about the creative process and having fun. Parents who want their kids to focus on the programming aspects may want to guide kids to focus on the code blocks rather than simply moving characters with their fingers, which is possible (and fun) but does not reinforce learning to code.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic
Creativity: imagination, making new creations
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 2, 2015
- Category: Education
- Topics: Superheroes, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Wild Animals
- Size: 48.20 MB
- Publisher: PBS KIDS
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
Themes & Topics
For kids who love coding and STEM
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.