What to do when kids get bored of Scratch? (part 1)

This question was asked a while ago on the coaches group. The response was enormous. That’s why we will now recap the answers in two newsletter posts so that those of you with the same question can find a quick solution here:

Play a game of Potato pirates

By Sandy Bernaerts
Potato Pirates is a card game that teaches fundamental computational thinking concepts without a computer.
It teaches variables, functions, while loops, nested loops, if-else, algorithms, sequential logic and bugs.
It is in English but during the kickstarter campaign they said that they would bring out other languages.
There was a translation done to Dutch but no more news if it would be for sale soon.
The card game is 25Euro (I don't know the shipping as I got mine via the kickstarter campaign)
They also sell additional learning ressources to make the link between the game and Scratch, Python or Java which might be interesting too.
I have the game at home but didn't test it with kids yet. I'm planning to bring it to our next CoderDojo4Divas event.
I should also have the Python learning ressource (but I can't seem to find it)
More information here :https://www.potatopirates.game/

Teach them Snap!

By Koen Vanhoof
Snap! (formerly BYOB) is an extended reimplementation of Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu) that allows you to Build Your Own Blocks.  It also features first class lists, first class procedures, first class sprites, first class costumes, first class sounds,and first class continuations.  These added capabilities make it suitable for a serious introduction to computer science for high school or college students."

The main advantage that I see is that it comes very close to a real programming language in terms of possibilities. You can make lists of everything (sprites, arrays, numbers, ...), you can do recursive programming, object oriented design with parent and child classes and a lot more. As the user interface is almost the same as Scratch, it seems to me a perfect environment to make more advanced things. There exists a tool which converts scratch projects to Snap!, which can be handy for coaches wanting to start from a known Scratch project.
Take a look at their website (https://snap.berkeley.edu/) and discover what is possible with Snap!
Some examples :

The only disadvantage that I see for the moment is that there is no online community in which you can exchange your projects.

Get to work with Bitsbox

By Karel Titeca
Bitsbox (www.bitsbox.com) is a framework around JavaScript. In the (online) Bitsbox-environment, every child is equipped with a virtual table for which he/she is developing apps. Bitsbox works with a simplified environment, but you do write code and you can expand your code with JavaScript.
There are a few disadvantages to working with Bitsbox. It is completely online and you still have a
simplified display of the reality. However, the major advantage is that you are writing real code and yet you can make a cool app just as fast as you could with Scratch. Contrary to for example Python or clean JavaScript, where you need to put a lot of work and effort in your code for you to have just one small graphical element with which you can interact.
In order for you to have a cat appearing on your screen and make it dance when you tap it, you just have to write these 2 lines of code:

  garfield = stamp('cat')
  garfield.tap = dance()

Bitsbox is free, but they make money out of selling booklets with exemplary code. I am planning on working together with the Bitsbox creators in Chicago to translate Bitsbox to Dutch.

Tune in next month for more ideas!