Creativity is as important as literacy!
Learn Scratch Programming and Build Games
Watching cartoons on television and playing video games are two recreational activities that attract children the most. They may forget to eat or sleep, but they will readily give any precious stone in return for cartoons and computer games. The easy-to-access games available in mobile phones in the form of user-friendly applications have made this all the way more engrossing. While this is all good as a pass time, the screen time children spend on gadgets, does have a downside which is more concerning.
We as parents and teachers have the duty to channel this attraction (addiction?) of the children in the right direction. How about we show the children, the ability to create their own games and animations? Instead of consuming content from other sources, why not allow them to harness their brains on building new stuff in computer? This is where teaching the children about software fits in. One of the most catchy and promising reforms put forth in the New Education Policy, is the initiation of coding skills right from the beginning of the middle-school education level, i.e., class 6th. The advancements in technology are flourishing and techniques like artificial intelligence have enveloped the world entirely. In such a scenario, the need of development of logical and analytical skills in the young minds has reached an all-time high.
At Saswath Academy, we teach children Scratch Coding. An easy-to-code technique that has been designed in such a way that developing an interest in coding and polishing logical abilities is no more a hard nut to crack. Scratch is very intuitive and tempts the kids to try their hand in it but also invokes their interest to develop the kind of games that they had been playing earlier. Children can develop simple story-telling animations to complex games.
Build Animation Projects With Scratch Coding
Animation projects generally involve a sequence of images of motion of objects that seem to be like a video. Scratch allows the user to create music videos, short movies and comical shorts through a variety of techniques. Occasionally, animations can be used as a tutorial to display the working of a scenario. A few animation ideas are as discussed below: –
- Lip Sync: Lip sync involves moving of mouth in coordination with the audio.
- Walk Cycle: Animation of motion of a character (sprite) is termed as walk cycle
- Animated Music Video: AMV (Animated Music Video) features the pivotal sprite interacting over the musical sound imported from a local device
- Sprite Animation: A regular kind of animation with an exception of using sprites built of pixel arts
- 3D Animation: A special kind of stop motion animation can be created by importing several frames of a 3D object. These can be made with a 3D creation application like Google Sketchup or Blender
- Animated Series: Animated Series is an amalgamation of multiple animations that each have their role to play in a certain plotline. This is widely used in television cartoons
Creation of animation is one of the most important applications of Scratch Coding and one can learn how it works easily. Scratch program is created with the Scratch Editor which is a development tool having several features that make coding easier for kids. It gives them a platform to learn the art of animation and building games, something which has always been catching up their attention.
Also Read : Robotics For Kids and Beginners
The Scratch Editor has a blank working area called working space in the centre with the code elements in the left pane of the window. For the purpose of animation. We can choose a character from the ones available in the pane on the right side. The character is called a sprite. There is a huge variety of sprites ranging from animal faces to caricatured bodies and from funky alphabet to numerical digits. It is up to us to select a sprite at a time so that we can specify the instructions for it.
The coding elements are nothing but the instructions that we want to give to our chosen sprite. To implement the same, firstly we need to select the conditions in which we want it to react (jump, move left or right, make sounds, etc.). The sample conditions can be left click of the mouse, pressing arrow keys on the keyboard and scrolling of the mouse. For this, we just need to pick the relevant instructions. Drag it to the workspace (the blank area in the editor) and drop it down. The above steps can be repeated as many times to make the sprite follow the instructions. For example, if we selected a cat from the sprite window. We pick the instruction “on left click” and then “move five steps forward,” the cat will move five steps in the forward direction as soon as the mouse is left clicked.
Learn Computer Programming From Scratch
The Scratch Editor provides the user with an option to select multiple sprites which may then be allowed to interact or compete as per the requirements of the plot of the animation. There is an extensive diversification of the instructions which can be used to create the animation. The sprite is, in technical terms, a computer graphic that can move independently of the backdrop. The location of the sprite can be indicated by adjusting the X and Y coordinates which indicate horizontal and vertical location respectively. The static or moving image called backdrop acts as the background of the animation.
Earlier, the children used to be oblivious about how the cartoon films and shows they watch were built but now with the modern techniques of education. They have begun to dwell deep as in how the cartoon came into existence and how it was created. Although there are many programming environments similar to Scratch Programming. It has been the most sought-after tool for teaching children due to its simplicity and at the same time possessing rich features.
Let’s get our children from being passive consumers to active creators of digital content!