This paper introduces Quetzal, a tangible programming language for children to use in educational settings. Quetzal features inexpensive, durable parts with no embedded electronics or power supplies. Children create programs in offline settings-on their desks or on the floor-and carry their programs to a scanning station when they are ready to compile. We argue that a language like Quetzal could offer an appealing and practical alternative to conventional languages for introducing programming concepts in the classroom. This paper discusses the motivations for the Quetzal project and describes the design and implementation of the language. We also outline several key questions that are guiding our research with Quetzal.