Monday, January 22, 2018

5 Things Young Kids Can Learn From Minecraft

             Hey folks! I'm still trying to wean Myka off of her current Minecraft addiction. We are slowly making progress as I've gotten her to do some school stuff this week since our Arctic theme is full of fun art projects, science experiments, and other activities. Plus, she usually burns herself out on Minecraft after awhile and she's finally starting to reach that point. (Yes, I know I'm the parent, but when you're 8 months pregnant, also have a 2 year old that is into everything, and get tired or arguing and fighting all the time, you tend to do things you are less than proud of to regain some semblance of peace.)
             Anyways, I (begrudgingly) agree with John in that she does learn stuff from playing the game. I try to look on the bright side of things and jump on learning opportunities when I can, so I have come up with a short list of things even young kids (Myka is only 5) can learn/practice/be introduced to through playing Minecraft!

*Introduction to Recipes-Although Myka is usually in creative mode, she's been showing more of an interest lately in learning how to make things as opposed to “cheating” them in. She loves helping us cook and bake in real life as well, so it's provided a great opportunity to teach her about recipes, both on and off game. She's learning that you have to have certain items (ingredients) and they have to go in a specific order to make things. (Thank God for something that makes learning to follow directions more interesting and fun!)

*Counting-You can incorporate all kinds of counting in Minecraft. How many of each item do we need to make this recipe? How many animals do we have? (I'm OCD about having an even amount of animals to start off with. ;) ) How many blocks high and how many blocks long do you want your house? There are also certain aspects of the game where you need to know how many blocks away you are from something for things to work. For example, you need one block of water for every 4x4 area when growing plants. Also, if you do not have torches within so far of each other, more monsters are likely to spawn!

*Spelling-Since Myka is frequently in creative mode, she sometimes can't easily find what she's looking for in the giant inventory of items, so she asks me how to spell the items she is looking for. This helps with beginning to learn to spell certain words and work on letter sounds, not to mention...

*Letter Recognition-At the very least, I'm hoping all this is helping her remember some of the letters she has trouble remembering. Plus, I figure it will be beneficial knowing where they are at on the keyboard for later down the road when she learns to type properly.

*Visual/Forward Planning-Since building is half of the fun of Minecraft, there is a lot of visual planning involved. I was amazed the other day when I saw Myka working on the roof of her house in our new world. She was actually staggering it, making it even on both sides, and using stair blocks to make it more interesting!

Although if your kids play in creative mode as well, they can always go back and completely change their designs. But, I feel like they probably have some idea of what they want their buildings to look like ahead of time and what materials they would like to use, thus planning things out ahead of time.

Do you guys let your kids play Minecraft?
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  1. My boys are mad into Minecraft, especially my 6 year old. He is so much into it that he forgets to use the bathroom sometimes, so we've had to stop him playing for a while. Instead he started building things out of the wooden blocks he had NEVER looked at before, and the results are pretty impressive. So I agree with you that Minecraft can teach them a few things, although I find the addictive sidde of it difficult to deal with.

    1. Oh my goodness! Can we be friends? lol We have the EXACT same problems with our 5 year old. On top of that, she bugs us constantly to play with her. The more she asks, the more we don't want to. Plus, she tends to get burnt out quicker if we don't play with her. ;) It IS very frustrating!

  2. My boys all LOVE Minecraft and I do love checking out all their creations. It can be quite educational. #FabFridayPost

    1. I wondered if they played Minecraft or not since they like making and building things in real life so much. ;)

  3. Hi, Minecarft is so popular and can’t be a little addictive. That said as you have pointed it can have some educational benefits, so not all bad #FabFridayPost

  4. All 3 of my kids (and my husband) love playing Minecraft - they have made Hogwarts. Sarah #FabFridayPost