One mom uses her son’s favorite video game to create fun, teachable moments.
My son is excited to start kindergarten next fall. While we were going through some preparation lessons, I noticed he had a hard time concentrating on one task for a long time. However, he was able to concentrate on playing Minecraft for hours on his iPad. This made me start thinking about ways I could integrate my son’s favorite game into our summer learning plan. So, I created a Minecraft education plan with 10 prep lessons for kindergarteners.
There are many different math concepts that you can teach using your child’s favorite video game.
Addition and Subtraction – Teach your kindergartener addition and subtraction while they play video games. Sit with your child during playtime and ask questions like, “If your wall is two squares high and you add three more squares, how many squares high will it be?” This is a great way to teach beginning word problems that your gamer will actually understand.
Geometry – Kids are already building with 3D shapes when they are playing the game. Name the shapes your kids are using to build structures during playtime.
Multiplication – Kindergarten is a little early to learn multiplication, but you can give your kiddo a glimpse of future math lessons during play. Grab a piece of paper and ask your child to draw a “wall” from the Minecraft game. Then show your child how to use this chart to learn multiplication facts.
Engineering is a subject that can be helpful throughout your child’s time in school.
How to Make a 3D Model – This activity requires some supplies. Create 3D pieces inspired by shapes in the game and play real-world Minecraft at the table together. How? Find small wooden blocks or tissue boxes and paint them the color of the blocks in Minecraft!
How to Create a Diorama – Your child will create a lot of dioramas in school, get a head start project at home with a video game twist. Grab an old shoe box and gather small things that resemble the pieces used in Minecraft like pigs, carrots, speckled eggs. Or create the Minecraft pieces with play dough! Your Minecraft kid can create his or her DREAM world, and use the diorama to as room décor.
Blueprinting – Creating blueprints is a skill that will be great for school or professional futures. Distribute graphing paper and ask your child to draw a sketch of a structure from the game. After your child sketches the structure, he or she can build it in Minecraft.
While most people might not realize it, it is possible to teach your child a lot of great English skills with video games.
Creative Writing – Ask your child write a story about his or her video game world. “Imagine living in your Minecraft world, what kind of adventures would you have?” Let the story stop at the first page, and then add to the story each day before or after Minecraft playtime.
Communication – Children can learn how to communicate while playing together on Minecraft. This is very useful and helpful but, it’s recommended to monitor your child’s activity and know everyone that your child is friends with and playing with.
Hypothesis and Scientific Testing – Minecraft kids approach so many scenarios while playing. What if you added science lessons to playtime by writing down a hypothesis and testing it while playing. Let your gamer come up with his/her own thoughts about how different actions would affect the game; and then testing the hypothesis teaches them about the scientific testing process.
Computer Skills – Minecraft is one of the best games for children to learn basic computer programming skills. It’s also a great way to learn how to communicate effectively through electronic devices.
Naturally, parents get concerned when our kids spend hours playing video games. We would much rather they spend hours learning. So get creative! Use those endless hours of Minecraft play for fun learning!
Want more Minecraft education?
Check out the Learn to Mod Minecraft software that teaches kids how to code!
Amanda is an author, blogger, and mother of four from Central Illinois. She loves to play with her children and travel to new places.