ScratchJr teaches kids as young as 5 to code

It's never too soon (or late) to learn to code

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ScratchJr is, well, the junior version of acclaimed learn-to-program tool Scratch, from MIT. Now available for free on the iPad, it teaches programming basics for the youngest of kids--maybe even before they're accomplished readers.

ScratchJr

Not only does ScratchJr carry over the LEGO-like drag-and-drop environment, it also sports a simplified, touch-friendly environment. You might not get as many coding options as the full Scratch (for desktop and on the web), but for little kids, it may be enough.

I've explored with my 8-year old daughter many iPad programming apps, and ScratchJr seems to offer a great balance between control and options and usability . For example, customizing objects colors and design is part of the app--crucially important to youngs kids--but the controls are very tap-friendly.

Honestly, you might want to play with it yourself!

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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