Does your child enjoy playing Minecraft with friends? This popular game is a favorite of my kids; I love seeing the educational benefits that come from playing Minecraft, along with the skills they cultivate as they play and learn together.
The last year has been incredibly hard on a lot of people, but no one has felt the severity of the situation more than our children, who have lost a significant chunk of their developmental years to Covid-19. With activities being cancelled or parents just not feeling comfortable sending their kids outside the house, kids may lose out on a lot of the social development that comes with being around other people.
Although there is a stigma around video games, they can provide a great way for children to develop social skills. Games like Minecraft perfectly expose children’s strengths and weaknesses while also allowing them to have fun. This post will discuss the social benefits of Minecraft as a game, along with how it may even support emotional learning in your homeschool.
… RELATED POST …
Fun Video Games You Can Play As A Family
Minecraft is a video game developed by Markus Persson, aka Notch. Initially published by Mojang in 2011, the game allows players to mine materials and then use those materials to build whatever they please in the form of textured blocks, almost like Lego. Primarily, activities consist of explorations, gathering resources, crafting items, and building structures. You can play alone, or play Minecraft with friends. Now, Microsoft owns Minecraft, and it is the most sold single game of all time.
Social Benefits of Minecraft with Friends
These are some social benefits of using Minecraft as a learning tool as per Kieran Bailey’s findings with his students. Kieran is a Digital Technologies and Humanities and Social Sciences teacher and discussed some of the social benefits of the game over on the Minecraft: Education Edition blog.
Minecraft is easily accessible
One of the main benefits of using Minecraft as a means of social interaction is that most kids have some experience with the game. Even if they haven’t, it is a very easily accessible medium, being on most platforms and simple enough to pick up quickly.
There is a great opportunity for older siblings or friends to teach younger kids how to play (which gives them more responsibility), and kids learn essential skills in working together, problem solving, and following leadership.
Playing Minecraft with friends builds relationships
Too many children are missing out on what should be their developmental years when it comes to their social skills. Minecraft can act as a shared interest where students can interact and form friend groups surrounding the game. This is further extrapolated by team-building exercises, which better cement relationships between friends.
Collaboration and conflict resolution in Minecraft
Collaboration is one of the most important skills for anyone to learn in this day and age. Minecraft houses this skill perfectly, as there just isn’t enough time for one person to do everything. Depending on each other is key to survival and success. There are bound to be disagreements between students and creative conflict, but there are ways around this. Pre-planning and assigning a manager can offer great success without hurting the student’s creativity. If anything, debate and disagreement are entirely healthy! Just don’t let it get out of hand.
Minecraft encourages leadership
When playing Minecraft with friends, kids have the opportunity to establish leadership roles in the game through decisions they are making. A one-on-one basis seems to work wonders when trying to strengthen a child who is new to Minecraft or boost confidence in the teaching abilities of someone who knows a lot about it. One-on-one interactions make the responsibility and leadership for kids a lot easier to handle.
Minecraft boosts confidence
Finally, get involved in your child’s Minecraft experience! Share successes, celebrate achievements, and encourage positive changes. Not only does this further spread awareness of the positive implications of game-based learning, but your kids will have a sense of pride and accomplishment when it means something to others.
Setting up Minecraft for your children
If you want to get started on setting up a Minecraft world or community for you and your children, check out Apex Hosting and their awesome plans for servers here. With 24/7 support, they’re sure to handle all the technical aspects of setup to get everyone straight into the fun without all the stress.