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Is Scratch Code Free? Everything You Need to Know

Hey there! If you‘re wondering "is Scratch code free?" – I‘m here to provide a thorough answer for you.

The short answer is: Yes, Scratch is 100% free to use. You can access everything on Scratch at no cost.

As a coding educator for over 10 years, I‘ve seen Scratch become the #1 free platform for kids to learn programming. In this guide, I‘ll give you a deep dive into Scratch‘s pricing, options, and community.

A Quick Intro to Scratch

Scratch is a visual programming language that makes coding easy and fun to learn. It was created by researchers at MIT in 2007 as a tool to help young people learn creative thinking and problem-solving.

With Scratch, you simply snap together colorful code blocks to make interactive animations, games, music, and more. Everything is shared online in the Scratch community.

Some fast facts on Scratch:

  • Used by over 50 million people worldwide
  • Available in 75 different languages
  • Over 60 million projects shared
  • Mostly used by kids ages 8-16

It‘s become the most popular free gateway into coding for children globally. The hands-on, learn by doing approach makes programming accessible.

Now let‘s look at whether Scratch really is free or if there‘s a catch!

Is the Scratch Platform 100% Free?

Yes, absolutely! Here are all the things you can do on Scratch at no cost:

  • Access the Scratch website
  • Make a Scratch account
  • Use the online editor
  • Create projects and save them
  • Share projects on the community
  • Browse and download others‘ projects
  • Participate in forums and discussions

You never have to pay anything to code or learn on Scratch. I‘ve used it for years with students with no fees.

Scratch is free thanks to being developed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab. Funding comes from the National Science Foundation, corporate sponsors, and donations.

The team wants Scratch to be available for all kids, not just those who can afford it. That‘s why it‘s 100% free forever!

Paid Scratch Products (Nice Extras, Not Required)

While Scratch itself is free, there are some paid products available that give you bonus content and features:

Scratch Educator Guide

This 150-page guide provides lesson plans, activities, and advice on teaching coding with Scratch in schools and clubs.

Cost: $49.95 digital download

Custom Workshops

Bring in Scratch experts to run hands-on workshops tailored to your needs. Great for schools and events.

Cost: $5,000 – $12,000

Scratch Conference

An annual conference all about Scratch education and coding. Attend sessions and network with educators.

Cost: $75-$600 ticket depending on length

Scratch Educator Meetups

Local meetups to connect Scratch teachers and share best practices. Requires an event ticket.

Cost: $25 per meetup

These provide helpful resources, but are optional. You can use Scratch for free without them!

Can You Sell Scratch Projects?

Scratch‘s Terms of Use prevent users from selling Scratch projects or charging fees for downloads. Everything on the Scratch website must be free.

But Scratchers have some options to monetize their skills:

  • Teaching paid Scratch coding classes
  • Making free projects to promote paid apps created separately
  • Launching a YouTube channel with Scratch tutorials
  • Writing books about creating with Scratch
  • Selling artwork/merchandise related to popular projects

You just can‘t charge for the actual Scratch files hosted on the website. There are creative ways to leverage Scratch skills though!

Any Limits on Using Scratch?

Nope, no artificial limits or caps! Here are the only real constraints:

  • Max project file size: 100 MB
  • Community standards: Projects must be appropriate for all ages

Otherwise, go wild with Scratch for free! Some usage stats:

Scratch Usage Stats
Accounts created> 50 million
Projects shared> 60 million
Monthly website visitors> 40 million
Languages available75+

Scratch is designed to handle millions of users coding for free!

What About Scratch Jr?

ScratchJr is a free simplified intro version of Scratch aimed at kids 5-7 years old. It teaches coding basics with a limited block palette and interface.

Like the main Scratch platform, ScratchJr is completely free on iOS and Android. There are no ads or in-app purchases.

ScratchJr follows the same free access model – no surprise fees or paywalls for kids!

Should I Donate to Scratch?

Donations are hugely helpful for supporting Scratch! Contributions from supporters go towards things like:

  • Expanding the Scratch code base
  • Running the online community
  • Translating into new languages
  • Holding workshops and events
  • Research on coding education

Even $5 or $10 helps fund Scratch‘s continued improvement. Consider donating if you‘ve found Scratch beneficial!

Free Coding Sites Like Scratch

If you‘re looking for fully free coding tools similar to Scratch, check out:

  • Snap! – Visual programming from UC Berkeley
  • Alice – 3D programming to make animations
  • – Fun coding games and courses for kids
  • GameBlox – Browser drag and drop game creator

These all provide free access like Scratch. Great alternatives!

The Final Verdict on Scratch Pricing

After 10+ years of using Scratch myself and teaching kids coding, I can confidently say Scratch is 100% free.

You don‘t need to pay anything to access Scratch‘s full functionality. The MIT team has stayed committed to keeping Scratch free over its 15+ year history.

Optional paid products are available but not necessary. I hope this guide gave you clarity on what parts of Scratch are free! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy coding!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.