6 Great Ways Minecraft Can Help You Bond with Your Child
Minecraft has taken the world by storm and shows no signs of slowing down. While games like Pokemon Go have been on the decline since Nintendo’s decision to remove player tracking, Minecraft has displayed a stickiness that has defied the predictions of naysayers, while slowly establishing itself as the greatest game of our generation.
Parents who don’t wade into the Minecraft universe risk losing a tremendous opportunity to bond with their children as well as steer their children’s interest in Minecraft towards productive and educational experiences.
Here are 6 great ways Minecraft can help you bond with your child.
The first of 6 great ways Minecraft can help you bond with your child is actually very fun and intellectually stimulating for parents. One of Mojang’s most brilliant decisions was to allow programmers to access the source code of Minecraft and program modifications or “mods” that make the game new and different. Minecraft coding or “modding” is an excellent way to teach coding for kids, as the reward of creating a custom mod provides them with the incentive to learn Java coding concepts. There are many ways in which you can actively participate in Minecraft coding courses with your child. If you have an engineering background, you may consider some of the free resources on YouTube that teach how to use the Eclipse text editor and the Minecraft Forge API to create custom mods. For those who are not as tech savvy or that would like a comprehensive course designed specifically for children ages 7 to 15, you might try CodaKid’s Minecraft Coding course (Mod Creation 1) as a fun project you could work on with your child. The self-paced, online course is designed for kids, is guided by a fun coder/YouTube personality named Marshall Cannon, and is supported by screenshare and messaging with CodaKid’s online instructional team.
#2 Minecraft Creative Mode
A second of 6 great ways Minecraft can help you bond with your child is by facilitating construction projects together. With Minecraft version 1.8 and later, you and your child can work on different computers while building incredible construction projects within the same world together in Creative Mode.
Try Peaceful Mode which removes all enemies that can interrupt your project and kill your character, and focus on building something fun and exciting with your child, like a castle, fort, urban setting, or intricate dungeon. See the Sphynx landscape above as one fun idea.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take in order to set this up a cooperative environment in which you and your child can work on the same project using two computers:
- Start Minecraft on two computers on the same network. You will need two separate activated Minecraft accounts. To purchase another account, you can visit the Minecraft store.
- One player needs to enter single player mode. At this point, he or she can enter an existing world or start a new one.
- The lead player should then pause the game and selects”Open to LAN” from the pause menu.
- The second player needs to click Multiplayer from the main menu.
- If Minecraft requests access through the firewall, allow it.
- Now, at the bottom of the server list the other player’s world should appear.
(Source: Minecraft Realms)
#3 Minecraft Server Time
A third great way Minecraft can help you bond with your child involves server time. If you’d like to play Minecraft with your child, her friends, and other parents, you can set up a private server that is by invitation only. There are many excellent tutorials on YouTube that provide detailed instructions on how to do this.
Alternatively, you can sign up for virtual hosting system Minecraft Realms which will allow you and up to 10 friends to play on the same virtual server. Minecraft Realms costs $9.99 per month and there is a free 30 day trial for new users.
Minecraft server gaming can be a ton of fun and you and your child can initiate a variety of different map types, including Player versus Player maps, Player versus Enemy maps, Spleef maps, and more.
#4 Minecraft Let’s Plays
A fourth of 6 great ways Minecraft can help you bond with your child is to take your child down the first steps towards YouTube stardom!
If your child hasn’t done so already, it is likely that before long he or she will begin watching popular YouTubers like DanTDM or CaptainSparklz who have amassed millions of followers with their fun and amusing Let’s Play videos. Perhaps you might find out if your child has her own aspirations to become a YouTube personality and set up his or her own channel.
Setting up a YouTube channel can be a lot of fun, and your child needs very little in order to do Minecraft Let’s Plays, mod reviews or other product reviews.
This could be a fun project that you could do together and would involve planning, filming, editing, post-production, and promotion. All of these are fantastic 21st century, project-based skills that can benefit your child for a lifetime.
#5 Minecraft Events
Many parents take their kids to Disney resorts, but have you ever considered a trip to Minecon?
The annual Minecon convention attracts tens of thousands of attendees who gather to see the latest and greatest in the Minecraft universe. There are celebrity appearances, comedians, surprise reveals, incredible costumes, gaming tournaments, talks, panel discussions, and more.
You can track upcoming Minecon dates online, and give your child an experience that she will never forget.
(Courtesy of Kara’s Party Ideas)
#6 Minecraft Birthdays
Minecraft birthday parties are a great way to bond with your child and her friends.
At the most basic level, you can simply order some Minecraft decorations, Steve/Creeper box heads, swag, and a themed cake.
If you’d like to take it to another level, you can look for a local coding academy that hosts birthdays and can provide modding code-a-thons or server based Minecraft gaming. At CodaKid’s academy, we have a ton of fun putting on birthday parties for students, and some parents take decoration to new heights.
Minecraft provides parents with a ton of fun opportunities to bond with their children. Many parents who are not gamers have found that with a little effort, Minecraft is incredibly easy to learn and quite fun to play.
Participating in activities that your children are passionate about is considered a best practice by many child experts, and we hope that you’ll find these suggestions helpful in bringing you closer with your son or daughter.
If you have any other Minecraft bonding tips, we’d love it if you could reach out to us as we’ll be revisiting this article in the coming months. Happy parenting!