We are going to go into survival mode (one of 3 main ways to play Minecraft®) and teach about the importance of being prepared using Minecraft as a learning tool.
Here are the steps we will take to prepare for our adventure.
- Choose a destination.
- Find and Pack your supplies for the trip.
- Plan for emergencies.
- Enjoy the adventure.
Let’s set the stage. You start a new survival world and enter it for the first time. The first thing you see is a huge mountain and a spruce tree. This place is perfect for a hike or maybe even rock climbing! But first, you and your fellow pioneers need to set up camp. Before you go camping, hiking, rock climbing, or any other activity, you pack a backpack (or other bag) with the tools you will need for the trip.
(Give your kids a choice between a couple of destinations which are in the immediate area of your Minecraft realm.)
Ask your children, “What items do you think we will need to go on that adventure together?” After listening to their answers (if you have younger kids, you might get some of the cutest but silliest answers you have ever heard), help them flesh out their ideas as necessary. Decide ahead of time whether you are going to make your own suggestions, or let them learn the hard way. Some people learn better from their own mistakes while others just love to listen to the more experienced.
I chose to start making a basic exploring pack so that I could go and explore the surrounding area for a good place to build my house. My checklist looked something like this:
~ Crafting Table
~ Wooden Tools (pick, axe, hoe, shovel, and sword)
~ Stone Tools (priority axe and pick)
~ A home base (preferably under ground or in the mountain side)
I decided to investigate the tree off to my right, hoping to find an oak tree nearby. I found an oak tree on the other side of the spruce tree and cut it down, making sure to plant the saplings (seedling trees) that fell as I did so. With the wood I collected from the tree, I made planks which I used to make a crafting table and some sticks. Next came the set of wooden tools.
Once I had those ready I found a spot on the nearby mountain side and made a 3x3x2 cave with my wooden pick. Why not just go straight from cutting the tree to making a cave? If I hadn’t made a wooden pick first, I wouldn’t have been able to collect the stone blocks. By using a pick, I was able to get 18 stone blocks, which I used to make the stove and a few stone tools. Now I am ready for my next adventure: finding a place for my new house.
Add-on activities for your crafting adventure:
Keep an eye out for food as you go, it is useful for any crafting adventure.
If your kids want to go swimming or deep sea diving I suggest a boat (which takes 5 wooden planks) and those who plan on diving should let their friends hold their gear in case someone stays under too long.
Planning on fighting mobs? Extra swords, a good place to hide, and none of the other tools would be suggested. That way you have nothing to lose.
If you end up going caving, I would suggest extra stone picks for everyone. Grab the first coal you see to make torches so that you can all see the coolness of the cave.
Practice Being Prepared in Real Life:
By asking your kids what they need to take with them in this activity you are letting them “pack the backpack” and plan the activity. Once they have figured out the basics, put each of your children in charge of an outing, letting them each practice excellent preparation. Help your child pick a destination for an outdoor activity, pack appropriate supplies, plan for emergencies, and then enjoy the adventure together in real life.
Possible destinations: the park, the playground, a train station, a pond, or a trail nearby.
Possible supplies: trail mix, snack food, picnic food, walking sticks, boots, ear plugs, or fishing gear.
Possible emergency supplies: band-aids, water bottles, granola bars, first aid kits, cell phones, etc.
Use Our Free Minecraft Printables for Extension Activities
Have your child write out his plan on our Minecraft notebooking pages.
Have your children write the story of their crafting adventure OR in-real-life adventure on our Minecraft notebooking pages.
Have your children use the drawing pages included in our Minecraft notebooking pages to draw something they saw during your adventure.
Have your children use our Minecraft Book Report Forms to write a report on any of the books about being prepared.
Books About Being Prepared
The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney
How and Why Animals Prepare for Winter by Elaine Pascoe
How to be Prepared for Emergencies by Joy Berry
The Boys Book of Survival (How to Survive Anything, Anywhere) by Scholastic
The Boys Book of Outdoor Survival by Chris McNab
Want more Minecraft ideas for your homeschool? Check out our 31 Day series!
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