So many kids play “Minecraft.” In fact, they are so crazy about it that they can spend hours upon hours building, mining and running away from monsters that come out at night.
Minecraft was launched by Mojang in November of 2011. It is a sandbox-style building game that comes in two modes: adventure and creative. It allows players to build anything and everything they want and encourages them to be as creative as they can be. Ever since the game has been made available to various platforms and a multiplayer mode was introduced, it has challenged kids' imagination and visual skills.
Games experience a lot of backlashes, but what people might not remember is that they have been used as effective tools to effectively teach children. Educational games were a staple in most schools, with some even reserving special computer time for students.
According to Child Development Info, though games may be extremely different now, the only thing that's really changed is the way they look and the way they are marketed. So how can a fun and an extremely enjoyable game be beneficial to kids? Well, it actually teaches kids various concepts.
Simple Programming and Machines
There is a structure called the Redstone circuit in “Minecraft” that can be built to control mechanisms. When children experiment with the Redstone circuit, they can learn and understand ideas such as how electricity works, as well as come up with simple machines and think of how they can create them. They will understand the importance of timing and will be forced to come up with solutions to get their desired results. In “Minecraft,” redstone circuits can be used to create railways, lighting that can be activated at night and automated doors.
Sense of Direction
“Minecraft” is also a great way to help kids develop their sense of direction. In the game, it is important that they recognize their location based on the landmarks available. It can also help kids come up with ways to count the distance from one point to another, allowing them to calculate and estimate how many blocks they would need to build a bridge, a house, etc.
Significance of Planning Ahead
Children about to play Minecraft without a plan may get overwhelmed easily or find themselves spending a lot of time thinking about what to build. This teaches them the importance of determining what their goals are and what they need to get there. They will be able to carry this concept as they grow older and apply them in real-life situations. And plans need not be elaborate at this point. Drawing or sketching what they want to build and simply having a general idea of what they want to achieve is already teaching them the significance of planning ahead. You can also decide to set time limits so children can better understand the importance of having a plan, especially when under time pressure.
Endurance and Problem-Solving
Minecraft encourages children to come up with solutions to the problems they will encounter. There are problems such as zombie attacks and scarcity of food that children will have to deal with.
Minecraft is a great way to help children develop their math skills. The game is comparable to a large grid. When children want to build a structure that is 8 squares wide and 10 squares long, they would have to calculate the total number of blocks they need to complete their project.
These are just a few of the concepts which Minecraft teaches children. Life Hack also listed some benefits that children can get from the block game including enhanced creativity, teamwork and research management.
Just a week ago, Microsoft announced the new education edition, which can be used to teach children more in-depth topics such as historical landmarks, molecular structures and provide them with visual but fun explanations of concepts such as area, mass and volume.