Following on from the previous post in the ‘Alternatives to Scratch’ series I thought I would share Blockly Games, I was first introduced to this by Julian Wood, who is an amazing teacher CAS Master Teacher and speaker who’s constantly sharing new and exciting ideas for the classroom. Blockly Games is a Block based programming software that is available online and simple to use and exciting for children.
Puzzle: This is a fun game that serves as a quick introduction to Blocks, users need to sort the pictures of the animals and insects using the blockly bricks. Once the traits and pictures are properly entered players click check answers and the pictures will sort themselves and tell players they have been successful.
Bird: Bird starts to involve more Complex Conditionals as well as angles and Coordinates. The game involves a bird which is taken worms to its nest. Before long, this builds to using coordinates and else, if, and if else statements and it really gets difficult quickly.
Turtle: For anyone who has used Floor Turtles, Roamers, Beebots or Logo based programmes it can be really exciting and challenging to design and draw shapes. Blockly Games can do this just like others programs and just like the other games on this website there are 10 levels that progress steadily and still provide a challenge.
There are some other features to Blockly Games but at the moment with my class I haven’t gone onto those yet. The other games available are:
- Pond Tutor
Finally, I would say varying the programs that children code with can have advantages it keeps engagement and enjoyment. Also, by changing the format that children are using their programming skills it could help their understanding of these principles. I think this as when learners do similar things on different programs for the same outcome it demonstrates that they really understand how to do it. I would like to add that Blockly Games is not as open as Scratch where you can experiment introducing your own media.