7 Skills Kids Learn with Minecraft
While many parents worry about how much time their kids spend playing video games, a healthy approach to gaming can bring great learning benefits!
Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world given the variety of options it offers users and the openness of the game world. Here are 7 things kids are learning with the help of Minecraft:
1. Building, navigating, and constructing in a 3D world
Minecraft allows users to build in 3D space. If you haven't worked on a computer in 3D space before, think about the difference between drawing on a piece of paper and carving out of clay. When you are working on creating structures in three dimensions, your mind is doing more calculations and you are forced to look at things from different angles to achieve your goals.
2. Wiring and logic circuits
Redstone and Redstone-related items in Minecraft can act as electrical inputs and outputs. With proper wiring, you can create mechanical movement or apply logic to an electrical system. You can create a circuit that acts as a lock for your door that can only be triggered from inside your house. You can create a "clock" circuit to repeatedly send a signal to a piston that is set as an obstacle in your parkour world. Throw the switch and open the secret door on the side of the mountain. People have even gone so far as to create gaming computers with Redstone.
3. Landscape design and planning
Substances like water in Minecraft add great flexibility to your ability to build functioning landscape systems in Minecraft. You can create a garden on a hill with solar irrigation so you can grow your crops efficiently. If you're looking for some natural camouflage, you can design a secret house on the side of a mountain. Roads, railroads, or streams can be used as routes between different communities in your world so you can travel and trade. The Redstone power lines underneath it all can act as an electrical grid to power the entire city.
4. Game design
The open nature of the Minecraft platform makes it easy to design several different types of games. You can create a game that tests your parkour skills in a world that has obstacles, enemies, and things to collect. You can design and build a storyline for an adventure game, add hidden clues, or program a Capture the Flag game and open them all up to friends. Switching between game modes can allow a designer to test their project with different variables and choose what works best in their game.
5. Using functions and commands
Running commands in Minecraft allows for many more options. It gives users the ability to use a wide range of built-in functions that affect the game. It can also serve as an introduction to using functions, variables, and language syntax similar to traditional coding. When combined with Redstone, the use of commands (via command blocks) can open up the world of Minecraft to even more possibilities.
6. Teamwork and social skills
Minecraft can be a fantastic way for users to collaborate on a variety of different projects. The multiplayer option allows you to play with your sibling in the same house or with a friend on the other side of the world. In survival mode, you and a friend can attack mobs, mine materials and build structures to live in. In creative mode, you can work together to build large complex designs or collaborate on a game idea.
7. Reading and comprehension
The world of Minecraft is huge. If you want to understand how things work or learn how to use the latest features, research is essential. The Wiki (along with hundreds of other sites) breaks down every detail of the game and provides insider knowledge into the intricacies of the game. If you prefer fiction to instructional material, there is also a large amount of fanfiction available about the world and characters of Minecraft. You can read stories about Notch or Steve and delve into the backstory of many other characters.
Minecraft is an excellent learning platform that engages children in learning while exploring their love for the world of Minecraft. And of course, we love it too - a healthy approach to play, learning opportunities and lots of fun. It's a great combination! That's why we've created a set of after-school learning activities where we use modern practices focused on STEM education to develop children's creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.
Currently, our activities consist of clubs, workshops and programing classes in Minecraft and Roblox. We are currently looking for more great colleagues to join our team. Take a look at our job postings listed in the careers section and let us know if any interest you.