Scratch from MIT has been a favorite around Digital Diner for years. It is an engaging interactive programming environment that both of our kids had fun playing with and learning the programming skills that have allowed them to move on to more advanced projects. It is attractive to kids because it is so fun that you don't even know may not even realize that you are learning to program. Any of you adults who have been interested in how to program computers might want to give this a look as well. It doesn't take much to get started.
The folks from MIT have just announced Scratch 2.0. It allows anyone to start playing with Scratch from their web browser. There is no software to install. Just head over to their web page and follow the instructions to get started.
Scratch 2.0 also includes some new features that allow users to take their skills further and make it even easier to share your work with the community to show off all that you are learning. They have even included an interface to a webcam that lets you interact with your program by waving your arms around. Pretty fun!
It is a great way to learn and play. If you have any interest at all, I encourage you to head over and check it out.