Be a Scratch Pro: Motion Blocks Tips and Tricks

scratch pro

If you are using Scratch to learn to code, you are probably using the motion blocks. Here are 10 ways to make the most of these coding blocks and overcome common issues.

1. I Want More

If a motion block has an arrow, this means the block provides more choices. For example, go to random position is also go to mouse pointer, and go to sprite.

scratch block

2. Steppin’ Out

Did you know? There are 480 steps from the left side of the stage to the right. Use this as a guide when choosing a number in the move x steps block.

Scratch workspace

3. Too Fast to See

If things are happening too fast and you can’t see the action, add a wait block after or before a Motion block. Set the number of seconds to create a pause.

scratch wait block

4. All Turned Around

If you turn a sprite too much, you can return it to upright by using the Directions in the Sprite pane or the point in direction 90 block.

Scratch rotation

5. Still Turned Around

Is your sprite moving upside down? In the Sprites pane, change the Direction to Left/Right, instead of All Around (which is the default).

scratch direction

6. Move from Here to There

If the sprite seems to bolt from one place to another, use a glide block to smooth the action.

scratch glide block
Scratch glide block xy

7. Set Start and End Points

To create the start or end point of a sprite, first drag the sprite where you want it on the stage, THEN grab the go to block. It will have the correct X and Y coordinates already placed in the block.

Scratch go to X Y block -240 150

8. Be the Mouse Pointer

You can use the go to mouse-pointer block to turn a sprite into the cursor. This is an excellent way to control game play. However, if you try to edit a script it may be difficult because the cursor is now the sprite. If this happens, click the STOP button. Now you can edit the code. If you find this issue continues to happen, temporarily detach the go to mouse-pointer block.

Scratch blocks move to pointer

9. Back It Up

A sprite can move backwards using a negative number. Use this to move a sprite back a number of steps.

Scratch move backwards block

10. Carry a Sprite

If you want the action to look like a sprite picked up an object, use the go to sprite block. This will make the two sprites join.

Scratch go to sprite block

Motion Blocks and a Whole Lot More!

scratch coding lessons

Would you like to become a Scratch pro? Learn tips and tricks like these, and a lot more in TechnoArcade. In this project, students become game developers. They make a variety of fun arcade games using Scratch – Jumble Tumble, Let’s Jam, Mystery Island, and Lost Treasure. Discover how to use Control, Looks, Sound, and Events blocks, and more. Explore loops, if-then logic, and variables. TechnoArcade includes a digital Teacher Guide and Student Workbook with easy to follow instructions. Check it out here!


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

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