Here at A Grade Ahead, we’re proud to provide your child with educational enrichment that can push their skills to new heights. While our programs can help students excel, there are other fantastic sources of learning hiding in places you wouldn’t expect that can help kids develop useful skills. Unconventional education sources can be fun, exciting ways of learning that flex brain muscles and expand minds in new directions. One such source: the blocky sandbox game Minecraft!
If you are unfamiliar, Minecraft is a smash hit video game that was originally released in 2011. Since then, it has become a worldwide success, with millions of players across the globe. The primary goal of the game is simple: you forge for materials, craft tools, build houses, and try to survive against the monsters that lurk in the night. So, how can a game made of cubes help in the educational journey of a child? Turns out, there is a whole minecart full of ways!
The Benefits of Minecraft!
The first and most obvious way Minecraft can be beneficial for a student’s education is simply known as Minecraft Education! Minecraft Education is a special version of the game built specifically with learning in mind. Within this blocky educational world are prebuilt lessons and curriculum, challenges, and more right at the click of a button. The game is created to take advantage of STEM program ideals, with lessons on coding, problem solving, and computer science. Current programs even include building a replica of the Artemis rocket to blast off to the moon! This special version of Minecraft is available for both teachers and parents to explore with their child, and it can really help a student invest in fun and learning.
Crafting and Creativity
Even if you aren’t looking for an entire curriculum for your child, Minecraft can still be an incredible source of learning. Of course, there are the challenges of surviving against hordes of zombies and Creepers, but that’s really just scratching the surface. Minecraft has a special mode the game can be put in called “Creative Mode.” In this version, monsters do not spawn, you can fly around the map, and any item in the game is immediately available. With this in mind, Minecraft can become an incredibly interactive 3D art creator for your child. Maybe they need to create a project for art, or they are having trouble in math and want to visualize a problem with blocks. It could be that they even want to build a recreation of a historical monument. Whatever it is, Minecraft has you covered!
Still looking for more ways Minecraft can engage your child? Don’t worry, there’s a special substance in the game called Redstone that will entertain them for hours. Redstone is, simply put, an item in Minecraft that allows wiring and coding to function in game. When combined with other Redstone machines including pressure plates, levers, lights, and pistons, Minecraft can be used to create some truly amazing inventions. Almost any basic circuit can be created within the game, which opens ways to teach children the simple properties of electrical wiring and coding. As a result of this range of creative ability, your student can utilize Minecraft to invent simple machines covered in physical science, such elevators and conveyor belts. All of this within a game made of blocks!
How to Get Started?
So, do you think your child might like to jump into a blocky world full of creative learning potential? Maybe you’d even like to play together online! Check out Minecraft’s official website for all the information on how to get started, or look into Minecraft Education for all the potential lessons that await you there. Playing a game that allows your child to practice and apply the skills they learn in school and at A Grade Ahead can be an incredible source of enrichment that expands your child’s mind!
Minecraft is just another in a line of unconventional places full of learning opportunities! Have any other ideas of places where unconventional learning can be found? Let us know below! We love to find ways to raise students to new heights on their educational journey.
Author: Jackie Aukerman, Content Creator at A Grade Ahead