If you’ve been wanting to teach your child to program, but found Scratch too complicated for your 5-year-old, there is a new option: ScratchJr.
On the ScratchJr – About page, the developers say
What is ScratchJr?
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves—then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.
ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.
ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app. We expect to release an Android version later in 2014 and a web-based version in 2015.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a review of the program, as I don’t have an iPad to check it out on (nor do I have easy access to 5-year-olds, now that my son has grown up). They did a great job on Scratch, though, so I would hope that ScratchJr has extended the concepts to a lower age group appropriately.