• In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo, Aiden Crott, 7, center, helps Daniel Hernadez, 5, with his ScratchJr iPad program while Talia Levitt, 7, right, works with hers at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo, Aiden Crott, 7, center, helps Daniel Hernadez, 5, with his ScratchJr iPad program while Talia Levitt, 7, right, works with hers at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the ... app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo Talia Levitt, 7, left, and Charlotte Klingaman, 6, work with their ScratchJr programs on iPads at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo Talia Levitt, 7, left, and Charlotte Klingaman, 6, work with their ScratchJr programs on iPads at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the app that teaches basic computer ... programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo Talia Levitt, 7, left, and Charlotte Klingaman, 6, center, and Aiden Crott, 7, right, work with their ScratchJr programs on iPads at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 photo Talia Levitt, 7, left, and Charlotte Klingaman, 6, center, and Aiden Crott, 7, right, work with their ScratchJr programs on iPads at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford, Mass. Researchers created the ... app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) (The Associated Press)

App teaches kindergartners basic computer programming, lets them craft interactive stories

Features Associated Press

Researchers in Massachusetts have created an app that teaches basic computer programming to kindergartners.

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Children as young as 5 can use the app to craft their own interactive stories and games. They don't even have to know how to read.

In the free app ScratchJr, children can snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters and other elements move, jump, talk and change size.

The co-developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University say ScratchJr teaches kids to think creatively and helps them become confident in their skills in math, science and technology.

Kindergartner Talia Levitt has started using the app at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in Medford.

She says it has taught her to concentrate and use her imagination.