Programming education is in fashion: there are many methods, tools, books and apps to teach children programming. is gives rise to the question of how to teach programming. Do we teach the concepts with or without the use of a computer, also called plugged and unplugged respectively? is paper aims to measure what method is more eective to start with: plugged or unplugged rst. Specically, we are interested in examining which method is beer in terms of (1) facilitating understanding of programming concepts, (2) motivating and supporting the students’ sense of self-ecacy in programming tasks, and (3) motivating the students to explore and use programming constructs in their assignments. To this end we conduct a controlled study with 35 elementary school children, in which half of the children receive four plugged lessons and the other half receives four unplugged lessons. Aer this, both groups receive four weeks of Scratch lessons. e results show that aer eight weeks there was no dierence between the two groups in their mastering of programming concepts. However, the group that started with unplugged lessons was more condent of their ability to understand the concepts, i.e. demonstrated beer self-ecacy beliefs. Furthermore, the children in the unplugged rst group used a wider selection of Scratch blocks.