Why Minecraft is Beneficial for Children

For some time now I have heard a lot about the educational benefits of playing “Minecraft” but I didn’t introduce it to G1 because I have also heard a lot about how addictive it is to play and I didn’t want him spending any more time on the iPad than he already was. I decided that I would hold back until he discovered it and decided that he wanted to play it himself. Well, he finally discovered it – through a friend at school so here we are…

About Minecraft

Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.

It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It’s pretty. Brave players battle terrible things in The Nether, which is more scary than pretty. You can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds more like your cup of tea.

More about Minecraft.

Minecraft is available for:

The Story of Minecraft

The origins of the game is actually pretty interesting. You can read about it or watch the video:

The Educational Benefits of Playing Minecraft

  • Reading – there is a whole series of handbooks and online wikis that children will be inspired to read so they can take their gaming to the next level.
  • Writing – within the game.
  • Arithmetic – children are required to calculate their material requirements to construct their world.
  • Geometry and Spatial Reasoning – as children build their worlds, they are creating a 3-dimensional world on a 2-dimensional screen. They need to orientate themselves as they create their structures.
  • Music – the game contains “note blocks” that can teach children about notes, octaves and chords.
  • Teamwork – children can interact with other players and work together to build, explore and learn. To provide a safe environment for children, parents can set up private servers so children can play cooperatively.
  • Basic Technology Science – Redstone circuitry provides an interactive environment to build basic logic circuits and combine them for more sophisticated purposes. Feedback is immediate, and the mistakes don’t destroy expensive electrical components.
  • Creativity – What could be more creative than building a world from your imagination?
  • Basic Survival Skills – Children learn how to gather food and raw materials, build shelters and hideouts to stay safe from monsters, and they do this all in the safe environment of a game.
  • Problem Solving Skills

A study on playing video games also showed the positive effects:

The Journal of Adolescent Research published a study comparing kids that played video games to those that didn’t. “Video game players, regardless of gender, reported higher levels of family closeness, activity involvement, attachment to school and positive mental health,” authors Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby concluded. “Video game players also had less risky friendship networks and a more favorable self-concept.” – 2 Machines

More educational benefits:

Programming with Minecraft

If you want your kids to learn to code with Minecraft, try the following programs…

CodaKid Mod Creation Essentials

Minecraft Programming Course

  • Teaches kids Java coding by programming Minecraft Mods for Mac or PC.
  • Designed for kids ages 7 and up, this course is the perfect Minecraft gift for beginners.
  • It is a self-paced, online course can be taken at any time – on your child’s schedule.
  • There is live mentor assistance when they need it with more than 15 hours of interactive lessons.

Simply Coding for Kids

With this course, kids aged 12 and above can learn to program games, websites, apps and Minecraft mods.

Books on Minecraft Programming

There are also a series of guides and handbooks with helpful tips and information from the original creators and fans that will help you enrich your game play. The complete box set contains:

Minecraft handbooks

You can also follow these suggestions from other educators on how they have implemented Minecraft into their curriculum

Going Off-line

If you are concerned about your child’s screen time, you can also take their obsession offline with these:

Papercraft

Create your off-line world with Minecraft origami…

Minecraft origami

Lego

If your child loves Lego as well, then Lego Minecraft is the perfect amalgamation…

Minecraft Lego

Stories

There are a whole host of Minecraft stories that are available for young and old alike…

Minecraft books

Love it or hate it, Minecraft offers some pretty amazing benefits for the children who play it. If they are already going to play with a screen, why not make it educational?

Related

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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