A school I know is interested in getting their kids programming by making objects in the real world do things. Budget is an issue. Age group is 5 - 12 year olds
- Tried and tested method for getting kids excited about programming. I started programming with Arduinos when I was 9, and I've taught the basics to kids as young as 5. It's programmed in C++, but it's very easy to learn, with lots of good libraries available.
- Unlike Scratch, Construct actually features a lot of things that kids are going to see when they get into the real programming world. Objects, physics, events, methods and properties for each element. It is also more customizable than Scratch. It's fast to get started with, and students can make their very first game within minutes!
- How to Design Programs is an amazing online book that uses a version of Scheme, a simple, small beautiful programming language designed specifically for cheating. The books takes you slowly in the path of learning real computer science with some pictures thrown in the middle to make it beautiful.
- For your age group, I'd suggest this adventure: https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj... I started a programming club for middle schoolers in my town, (modeled like their AI League) and I've found AI Adventures to be helpful and easy to run through with my students. It's written like a script so you can walk through it and while at the same time the students are working off a blank notebook, programming and engaging in computational thinking... I'm a fan. We got a free year of the wolfram programming lab (extended capabilities over free version??), and a couple copies of a neat book to learn the language.