With its choose-your-own-adventure format and creative controls, Minecraft has become a must-have game for kids. And with many games other games designed for kids, that means you’ll need to look into the platform to see if it’s suitable for your child. The good news is that the open-ended gameplay within Minecraft makes it a great choice for kids. And with the help of this parent guide to Minecraft, you can learn everything you need to know to ensure your child is safe as they play.
Parent Guide to Minecraft
If your child is asking to play Minecraft and you have little to no gaming experience, this guide will explain the basics of game play, offer safety tips, and explain some of the ways kids can learn using Minecraft. Our kids love watching others play games to learn tips and tricks. So, I’ve also included links to some great Youtubers who offer family friendly Minecraft channels. So let’s dive in and learn about this game that our kids love!
What is Minecraft?
If you’re unfamiliar with the game, you’re probably wondering what Minecraft is all about. Minecraft is known as a sandbox adventure game because it gives players a creative landscape to play with no set goals or a storyline to follow. That means you child can learn to play as they explore and experiment within the game. The game features blocky, Lego-like characters and scenery, creating a kid-friendly environment in which to play.
How Do You Play Minecraft?
The beauty of this creative game is that there is no set way to play. The first thing your child will need to do is create their own world and give it a name. After that, they can start exploring and building. Players use the items they find around them, like wood from a tree or ore from mining, to build structures and weapons that will help them survive.
While they’re exploring, they may come across other objects and animals. Some are out to do them harm, like spiders, zombies, and endermen. Others can help you along the way, like pigs and sheep.
Minecraft gameplay offers three different modes of play:
- Adventure. This is a mode designed for players to play on downloadable games created by other players. Within the world, you must try to survive while fighting against enemies.
- Survival. Similar to adventure mode, survival mode allows players to play in a game of survival. The difference between this mode and adventure mode is the map. When playing in survival mode, your child can create their own Minecraft world. And in adventure mode, the worlds are created by other players.
- Creative. When playing in creative mode, your child will have free reign to build and destroy freely. In this mode, players do not have a health or hunger bar and characters can not take damage or die. That makes this mode great for kids who are just learning the game.
In addition to different game modes, players can also choose a difficulty level for their game. Choosing between peaceful, easy, normal, and hard will give your child a chance to decide how difficult they want their gameplay to be.
Minecraft can be played alone or with other players online. Like many other online games, Minecraft can be played in two different ways:
- Single player. In single player mode, your child will play the game alone, without interacting with others online. Players can play single-player games in any of the game modes available in Minecraft.
- Multiplayer. The game also allows players to play together online. To play online with others, gamers must join Minecraft servers that host online gameplay. There are several family-friendly Minecraft servers available to players playing the PC version, which ensures that your child can play safely with others. Players who are using the console version can also join realms, which are invitation-only worlds for up to 10 players.
Flexibility of play modes is really the beauty of Minecraft. The game grows with your child. It’s why you’ll see younger kids playing Minecraft and adults enjoying it as well. Minecraft is truly a game the entire family can enjoy. If you’ve never gamed before but want to enjoy gaming with your child, my hope is this Parent Guide to Minecraft will give you the information and encouragement to join them!
Minecraft is available in so many options:
Minecraft is available on a variety of gaming platforms, which means you’re sure to find an option that works best for your kids. There are three basic versions of Minecraft to choose from:
- PC version. The most popular and most adaptable version of Minecraft is the PC version. On this version of the game, your child can not only play in the different gaming modes, but they can also play on servers with other players and use their coding skills to make their own Minecraft worlds and characters.
- Mobile version. Minecraft is also available on Apple and Android devices. While the mobile game offers fewer features to its players, gamers are still able to play all the single-player modes, as well as multiplayer games.
- Console version. The game is available on a variety of gaming consoles, including Xbox, PlayStation, and the Switch. The console version offers both single- and multiplayer modes, allowing your child to play alone or online with their friends.
Does your child love Fortnite? Be sure to check out my Parent Guide to Fortnite
Parent Guide to Minecraft Safety
Playing games online can lead to a host of issues if you and child aren’t careful. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to help make online gaming much safer for your child. These Minecraft safety tips can help you make playing Minecraft safe for your kid.
- Minecraft servers. Playing online on Minecraft will require your child to access Minecraft servers or user-created realms. Your child can play with their friends in a realm their friends create or by creating their own realm and inviting their friends. Or your child can access a Minecraft server to play with other players. Finding kid-friendly Minecraft servers is the best way to ensure your child is playing safely online because these servers are highly monitored.
- Chat options. One of the biggest threats your child will face while playing Minecraft is interacting with strangers online. If your child plays online with people they don’t know, it’s a good idea to consider turning off the chat option. To disable chat, visit the options screen, select the chat option, then toggle the switch to hidden.
- Malware and viruses. Since the game offers downloadable content, both from the manufacturer and other players who create their own game modifications, you must beware of viruses or malware. It’s a good idea to help your child download mods, giving you a chance to vet the website and ensure the correct download button is selected to prevent viruses on your computer.
- Violent gameplay. Minecraft can be a violent game in some modes, but it doesn’t have to be. When playing in Creative mode, your child can play freely without worrying about being attacked. And when playing in other modes, your child may encounter aggressive and scary villains, but the blocky, cartoonish graphics mean that the violence never looks realistic.
Parent Guide to Minecraft As An Educational Tool
When you think about video games like Minecraft, you don’t often consider the educational benefits. But there are a variety of different skills your child can learn as they play. These educational benefits of Minecraft are some great reasons to let your child access the game:
- Your child can learn to code. One of the best aspects of this fun game is that your child can create their own Mods using the PC version, which requires them to code. Learning video game design principals and coding can help your child learn a valuable skill that they can take with them later in life. And they’ll be having fun while they learn.
- Minecraft requires creative thinking. Whether your child is play in creative mode or competing against other players, the entire game is centered around creative thinking. Players can use the resources available to them to create anything they can imagine, which means your child will be forced to think creatively the entire time they play.
- The game helps improve problem solving skills. In addition to thinking creatively, your child will also be tasked with problem solving as they play Minecraft. In survival and adventure modes, players must think on their toes to use the resources around them to build a shelter, get food, make weapons, and survive in battles with their enemies.
- Minecraft requires self-direction. Since there are no set rules or a storyline to follow in Minecraft, players must come up with their own adventure. That means they’ll need to self-direct in order to work their way through the game. They get to decide what activity they’ll do next or figure out what strategies they need to use to advance their skills in the game.
Kid-Friendly Minecraft YouTubers
Watching YouTube videos of other people playing Minecraft is a great way for your kid to learn how to play the game. But not all YouTubers offer kid-friendly videos that are appropriate for little ones to watch. These family-friendly Minecraft YouTubers are a great place for your child to learn more about the game and have fun watching other games play Minecraft.
- DanTDM. More than 24 million people tune in to watch Dan TDM play Minecraft on a regular basis. This fun-loving gamer offers Minecraft gaming tricks, along with playing other popular video games among kids like Fortnite.
- StampyLonghead. Your kids will love watching this happy-go-lucky gamer play Minecraft! In addition to helping your gamer learn how to play, Stampy also creates his own Minecraft worlds for players to check out.
- PopularMMOs. Kids love watching hosts Pat and Jen play Minecraft together so much that their channel has even spawned a line of Minecraft kid’s books! This couple offers kid-friendly Minecraft tutorials and streaming gameplay to help your child learn more about the game.
- BalisticSquid. With gameplay videos and compilations with other popular gamers, like Stampy, BalisticSquid is another great YouTuber for your kid to watch. They’ll love learning more about gameplay and watching the various challenges this YouTuber takes part in.
Don’t be surprised if your kids ask to play Minecraft. This game is still incredibly popular. The variety of game play and the safety features make Minecraft a great gaming choice for kids. I hope this parent guide to Minecraft, you feel confident you know the basics so you can be ensure your child is safe as they play.
Are you a parent who plays Minecraft with your kids? What tips would you share with parents who are just learning about Minecraft?