So, by now, either your kids are totally obsessed with Minecraft or they aren’t- and if you are in the camp that I am in, you are being asked day in and day out if it’s “tablet time” so they can play. While I do set limits on how often they can play (especially on a school day) Minecraft is one of those games that when I do say “yes” to playing, that I feel fairly good about it. If you are not aware, Minecraft is what they call a “sandbox” game, which means there are no real rules on how to play- the player decides on how they will play. This means that can get extra creative. There are other benefits to playing this game too and here are ten that I have noticed with my own kids:
1. It allows for maximum creativity
In Minecraft, kids are only limited by their imagination. They can build whatever they dream- it really is neat to see what they can create!!
2. It allows teamwork to thrive
I am always shocked at how WELL my kids get along while they are playing Minecraft. “Can I have some TNT?” “Sure, can I have some emeralds?” “Here ya go.” WHAAT?! IRL (in real life) my kids don’t want to share anything- so even if they’ll only play nice in the game, I’ll take it! What I like is how they can connect on our wifi so they can pool their supplies and build together to create cities, towns and buildings.
3. It promotes “real world” survival skills
Sure, I don’t think my kids will need to learn how to cut down a tree or to craft a sword out of wood, but it does teach them some basic idea of logical skills- when they start the game, they are in a world with nothing, and they have to forage and search for materials so they can build a shelter and the craft weapons to keep themselves safe. Playing the game shows them how to decide what to do first, second, third and how to prioritize their tasks.
4. It promotes architecture ideas
This goes along with the creativity aspect. When they are building their massive structures, they need to be sure to use a stronger material to build with and how to stack their blocks to make as big of a structure as they dream.
5. It increases vocabulary
If you don’t believe me, ask my barely 5 year old how to read big words like diamond, emerald, cobblestone, or obsidian. Then you’ll know!
6. It promotes complex thoughts and deep focus
Not only can Minecraft have a superglue-like hold over a your kid’s attention, it’s a game where all of that intense focus is fostered and rewarded. When they play, they have to successfully keep track of several tasks at once and all the different things that are going on around them and its a pretty complex skill to develop. It really is remarkable to watch how your kids can spend many hours on end for days/weeks/months at a time building and planning and working on their many self-initiated Minecraft projects.
7. It teaches them computer skills
Whether your child plays on the computer, Xbox, or on their iPads, they are learning how to control and manipulate the files, folders and controls so they can fill their inventories so they have access to the materials they need, which is great in this modern era.
8. It can improve their academics
While playing Minecraft, your child will develop and improve their visuospatial reasoning skills (also known as their visual perception of objects). As the basis for abstract thinking and problem solving, these essential skills will help your child answer science and math equations in the most effective way they can and it can also cut down the time it takes them to solve problems, which means more time to play!
9. It can help to build their confidence
Even the youngest of players can start and finish a task on Minecraft, allowing even the timidest of kids the ability to build massive and beautiful structures. No matter what their social or academic abilities are, all kids can be successful and thrive in Minecraft- and while a video game is no substitute for real world interactions or problem solving, it can provide kids a good base of confidence so they can thrive more in the real world.
10. They’ll have fun!
Yup, it’s a fun game. They have fun and you’ll have some quiet- it’s a win-win.