On 8th November 2023, Flip Computing released ‘24 Days of Scratch Coding’. This activity book gives young people (and the grown ups around them) 24 winter themed Scratch activities that could be used as an advent calendar in the lead up to Christmas.

Each day, young people add new Sprites or new ways to interact with their wintery scene. Some activities are focused more on coding, others are focused on using the Scratch paint editor tool to personalise their own creations. The final scene can be shared with friends and family to showcase all of the magical interactions that they have built.

Why 24 Days of Scratch Coding?

Liz, Rebecca and Tracy are the co-founders of Flip Computing and the authors of this book. They are laser focused on providing excellent computing experiences for all young people. The lead up to Christmas in the UK is often marked through a traditional advent calendar. Advent calendars come in a variety of forms from simple card doors that reveal a picture to a luxury calendar that gives a beauty product every day 😱! There is also the more recent tradition in the UK of ‘Elf on the shelf’ and calendars that give young people an activity, such as a book to read or a LEGOⓇ scene to build.

Flip Computing wanted to create a sustainable solution to advent that could be used in a variety of contexts, such as schools, libraries, clubs and homes. The activities give young people the chance to see all the wonderful things that the Scratch programming language has to offer in a supportive, fun and interactive way.

But what about pedagogy?

You can guarantee that anything that Flip Computing produces is research-informed with an inclusion-first approach. Pedagogy is really important. We believe that to reach underestimated groups in computing, you need to pick the right pedagogy at the right time. There is a time and a place for teaching sequence, selection and iteration and this is not it.

We know from research that underestimated groups benefit from:

  • Creative activities

  • Collaboration

  • Sharing and showcasing

  • Scaffolding

  • Culturally responsive activities

24 days of Scratch Coding’ does all of these things. Activities can be personalised, allowing young people to make choices about what they are making. They foster collaboration as activities could be completed with a sibling, partner in a coding club or a family member. Young people can share their final creations with friends and family giving themselves an opportunity to feel proud about their achievements and celebrate them with those around them. The activities are carefully scaffolded with video tutorials for some of the more complex elements available for free on the Flip Computing website.

The 24 Days of Scratch Coding Book next to a young girl who looks very excited to be using her new book.

The UK and many countries around the world celebrate Christmas as part of a cultural tradition and/or a religious festival. We are aware that individuals approach Christmas in different ways, and many people do not observe the traditions at all. The activities have been designed with that in mind. There are no references to Santa Claus and sleighs or specific religious artefacts, such as elements of the Christmas story. ‘24 days of Scratch Coding’ can be used as a culturally responsive activity for those that celebrate but also as a seasonal, winter activity for those that don’t.

What about equity of access?

Flip Computing is a business with a social impact focus. We need to fund our work in order to continue making free, inclusive resources for the makers that use our resources on our website. Proceeds from the book will help us to continue providing free resources. We have also provided three free sample days for young people to use at home or for club leaders to print for a winter themed session. If you are a company that would like to arrange a donation of books to a club or individual that might benefit from these activities then please get in touch.

It’s just a bit of fun!

Ultimately, ‘24 days of Scratch Coding’ is just a bit of fun for family and friends to enjoy together this holiday season. If you enjoy our book then please let us know and share any pictures that you have with us. We love to see what our Flippers have created!

Get your copy now from Amazon.

The front cover of the '24 Days of Scratch Coding' book.