Have your kids discovered Minecraft yet ? Mine certainly have- all three of them love it! They started with the pocket (iPad) edition and soon graduated to the computer and XBox versions.
When they first started playing Minecraft I was skeptical about the game’s benefits – the graphics are very basic and it looks like a simplified version of digital Lego. Over time I’ve come to appreciate there is much more to the game than meets the eye, and it is both more complex and more educational than I initially thought. In Creative Mode you can build some truly amazing structures and in this way it resembles a digital version of Lego but with unlimited building blocks. However, unlike Lego where a blue block is always a blue block, in Minecraft you can combine different elements to create new things, which adds a whole other dimension to the game. In Survival Mode there is a lot of strategy involved and multiplayer games encourage co-operation and teamwork. One benefit that I hadn’t anticipated is how it can help kids socially, Minecraft is a common language on the school playground and discussing it can be a great way to get kids interacting with their peers. My twin eight year olds have made many friendships that started from a common love of Minecraft.
I have been impressed with the longevity of the game- my 3 kids have been playing for almost 3 years and still love it. The youngest was 6 when he started playing and the oldest is still playing at age 12. It doesn’t just appeal to boys either, my daughter loves it as much as her brothers. Because the game has a lot of hidden dimensions my kids love reading books, watching YouTube videos and talking to friends about Minecraft to learn new tips, tricks and techniques.
There was a lot of excitement in our household recently when my kids discovered the Connected Camp Summer of Minecraft online camps. The Summer of Minecraft runs for 5 weeks from June 27- August 5, and is designed for kids from age 8 -15. The camps are offered in small groups with a safe, dedicated online server with camp counselors to guide them, so you know they are learning and playing in a safe environment. The campers have access to a custom built multiplayer world and a library of Minecraft resources. Each week long camp includes 10 hours of instruction with experienced counselors. It also includes free membership of their online Minecraft Kid Club so your campers can enjoy Minecraft related activites on their safe secure server year around. Minecraft camp can be enjoyed from your own home, so you don’t have to live in a big city to be able to take part.
There are lots of different camps to choose from catering to a range of interests, skill levels and age ranges. Most of the camps are co-ed but there are also some girls only camps for girls who prefer an all female environment. Each of my 3 kids have different ways of playing Minecraft, different skill levels and interests, and there are camps to suit all of them.
My oldest son is interested in Engineering Camp, where players learn how to use Redstone to build everything from simple block moving machines to robots and even computers. They learn to build circuits, logic gates, and latches to combine, modify, and store signals to do a variety of tasks. His younger brother is all about Survival mode, and wants to take Survival camp. My daughter is more creative, and wants to take Architecture camp where players work together to build a Minecraft city whilst learning about architecture. Teams in Architecture camp develop their own district, and connect it to neighboring districts to form a Minecraft metropolis. Whilst building their city they learn about materials, styles, aesthetics and the use of natural spaces. But you don’t just have to learn about building in Minecraft Camp, there are also 3 levels of Minecraft coding camp on offer. Each of the camp courses is also offered for different age levels, so that campers are working with similar aged kids.
Camp Discount Coupon
The iMums readers can get 25% off a week of Connected Camps by signing up using the promo code: MUM25.
My kids are really looking forward to taking Minecraft Camp this summer. Even though they have been playing Minecraft for several years I know they will learn new and exciting skills that will bring a new dimension to their game playing, don’t be put off though if your kids are new to Minecraft as there are camps for beginners as well as for seasoned players.
To find out more about the camps and to sign up please follow this link.
N.B. This post was sponsored by Connected Camps but all opinions expressed are mine and are given honestly
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).