Bodies in motion between the real

and the virtual

Invent a game with Scratch using body movements

In this activity, on the border between the real and the digital, children become creators (and not only users) of a game that uses the body to design movements in the virtual world. This playful setting emphasizes an idea of the digital dimension that does not alienate, but favors and supports children’s research in relation to the world around them. This activity can be a continuation of Transforming the real with the digital, or it can be a starting point for other explorations or activities.

This activity was developed starting from the Scratch online platform designed by LifeLong Kindergarten at MIT Media Lab (Boston) , which scintillae has been in dialogue with since it opened.
For those unfamiliar with Scratch:

The continuous interaction and exchange created between the real and the virtual worlds emphasize an idea of the digital that is not alienating, but one which favors and supports the relationship between the child and the surrounding world. The interconnection between different fields of knowledge and school subjects becomes fundamental and generative in the creation of new knowledge and in promoting and supporting the research processes of children.


children aged 8 / 14


computer connected to the Internet, webcam, tablet or mobile phone (optional)


geography (cardinal points), spatial perception, math concepts

from designing to sharing


This section is a guide for adults to orient and support children’s and young people’s projects. The children’s hypotheses, starting from some initial questions, will be verified and deepened during the activity.

 Questions to start with:

 Can you play with movement?
What happened in the trailer you saw?
How do you think this happened in the trailer you saw?
What personal experience inspired you to design your game?
What is the purpose of your game?
What are the rules of your game?
What difficulties did you encounter? What strategies did you use to solve them?
How do the sprites’ actions change with respect to the movement perceived by the webcam?
How does the interaction with sprites change if you change their sensitivity?
What happens if you move away from the computer webcam?
What happens if you use an object to move the sprites?
How can you modify the sprites’ actions?
What is the relationship between the position of your body in real space and the position of the sprites in their virtual space?
How did the Scratch environment change your initial design?
What did sharing your experience with others add to your project?


In this project, we use some blocks from the Scratch < Video Sensing >. These blocks activate your computer’s webcam and allow you to use motion to activate and animate sprites in Scratch.

/ in the first case (post-it), you need to “touch” the sprite to activate it, always maintaining this connection in order to guide and move it in the Scratch space.
/ in the second case (leaf), you need to “touch” the sprite to activate it, but unlike the first sprite, it will move away as soon as it perceives a movement.



→ Starting from the trailer, ask your students to imagine a game, for one or more players, that creates a dialogue between the real and the virtual worlds through movement.


→ Ask your students to develop a project to realize all of the elements of their game (setting, characters, objective and rules).


→ Suggest the students to look for and choose materials and objects they can find around the house to realize their project (LEGO or other construction materials, fabric, buttons, leaves, yarn and thread, different kinds of paper, etc.)



→ If they don’t already have an account, ask them to create an account on Scratch.

Teachers can create and manage a class account:

Otherwise, each person – adult or child – must have their own account on the Scratch platform. It can be created here:


Share “Bodies in motion between the real and the virtual”, a Scratch project created by the scintillae team, that you can find here with your students.


→  Ask the students to click on the  < green flag > to try moving the sprite in the virtual environment and understand how the interaction takes place.


→  Introduce the codes assigned to each sprite to your students, by clicking on the button < See inside >.


→  In order to begin to create a new game starting from the scintillae team project, invite your students to use the < remix >, function to automatically create a copy in their Scratch account.


→  Ask your students to import all of the sprites for their game, to be remixed (as illustrated in the activity Transforming the real with the digital).


→  Suggest that your students follow the steps in the tutorial below to copy and paste the scintillae project code onto their sprites
> view the tutorial
> download the tutorial


→  Ask your students to continue to modify the project until the final result of the game satisfies their initial idea.


→ Collect your students’ projects in your Scratch Educator/Teacher account, or save them/ask the students to save them as images on the educational exchange platform already being used (ex. Google Classroom).

→ Invite the students to explore each other’s projects, either saved in the class account, or searching for them in the Scratch community.

how to continue the project

→ Invite the students to imagine a new game inspired by their favorite subject at school.

 Scratch allows students to collect their favorite elements also from other projects through the tool < Backpack > to use whenever they want, as many times as they want.

Ask the students to enrich their game with new possibilities that allow, for example, more children or younger children to play.

Suggest that your students to try other ways to make the sprites interact using movement perceived by the webcam (for example, use and test other blocks in addition to those already pre-set, change the variables we included or modify the sequence of the blocks to see how the program changes).

Remember that experimenting with the more technical aspects is not an end in itself, but can offer students new possibilities to imagine and generate new ideas.

Using Scratch, students will be able to continue working on their own projects, enriching them with drawings, photos or elements from other projects..

Through the exchange platform already being used (Google Classroom, Moodle, etc.), you will be able to add further comments, reflections or proposals.