Minecraft Activities For Kids
Welcome to the ‘Curious Little Monkeys Minecraft Activity Ideas’ post! All of the activities below are centred around the wonderful world of Minecraft. They will engage your children in hands-on fun whilst working on key skills from all the main subject areas. We hope they have a fun and busy couple of weeks! If you enjoy these ideas you will LOVE our cross-curricular Minecraft Activity Pack and our Maths for Minecrafters pack, ideal for ages 5-12!
These posts are created in collaboration with Laura from Curious Little Monkeys and Hannah from Adventure Travel Family. We are both long term home educators; Laura is also a qualified teacher and we love developing really fun and engaging educational activities for children. Our previous activities for children were a huge hit, especially our free STEM challenges digital download, and we hope you love this post!
Minecraft Story Animation Project (Literacy)
This is an awesome literacy and ICT project for your child to really get stuck into (without it feeling like a literacy project!). Explain that they are going to be creating a Minecraft animation.
a) Create a comic strip story plan.
The animation will need a storyline to follow. First, your child will need to come up with a setting, their characters and the plot. There are lots of different ways to plan this out. We love using a comic strip format to plan out a story, with or without words depending on your child.
Remember the key points for a story:
- Introduce characters and setting
- Develop characters and introduce a problem
- Resolve the problem
- The ending
If your child struggles with ideas, encourage them to think about their Minecraft game play (describe a world to me, tell me about three characters, what happens in the game?).
There’s a great comic strip template here. (If you haven’t got a Twinkl account you can get one for free at www.twinkl.co.uk with the code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS- just for clarity, we are not affiliated with Twinkl in any way).
This story map is really good for jotting down the main points, more able children can complete a more detailed plan.
b) Build your story
Next your child will need to make scenery (a large cardboard box is perfect for this) and their characters. Lego is ideal because it’s already block shaped. They might like to use nets to make characters and blocks, using the resources in the Minecraft maths section below.
They might like to make it outside, with mud and rocks and grass (try to make a real grass block!) If they have any other small Minecraft toys they may be suitable as well. They could even use a mixture of different items; whatever works for them.
c) Create a stop motion animation
This can be done using a phone or a tablet. We love using Kindles or iPads for jobs like this. There are lots of free stop-motion apps that are really easy to navigate. We used Stop Motion Studio on a Kindle.
Children should use their plan to help them stage the story, taking a picture after every movement of the characters or props. Challenge them to try and add some sound effects, an opening title and credits at the end. It’s wonderful to watch how quickly they get the hang of all the features.
It might be helpful to explain that the movement of their characters should be slight between each picture as it will create a smoother animation. However, after a first attempt, this was something our children figured out themselves. They then had a second go which was so much better and they were thrilled with themselves.
If your child enjoyed the process of creating their animation, encourage them to create a further one another day. It’s a great project for them to get on with independently and great for organisation, planning, imagination and fine motor skills.
Minecraft Maths Activity (Numeracy)
a) Create 3D Minecraft Characters
Nets are a brilliant hands-on way to think about 3D shapes!
Your child can explore them by making these cool Minecraft characters. If they feel inspired, they might like to design their own, they’ll need to draw/colour it before sticking it together. There’s a blank template here.
Don’t forget to fold the edges to get a nice accurate cube/cuboid. They might also like to extend this activity by seeing what other 3D shapes they can make from printed nets.
b) Solve a Minecraft Mystery
Complete the addition (KS1) or multiplication & division (KS2) questions to reveal what colour each square needs to be. Once they are all coloured you should have a fabulous Minecraft picture. If your child finds working sums out tricky then you could provide them with a number line, hundred square or counters to help.
Sometimes a mini white board can be useful for them to jot things down on without the fear of getting it wrong (things are easily changed/rubbed off on a whiteboard). To extend this challenge, children might like to create their own version with bigger numbers, which forms a different Minecraft character.
c) Play ‘Battle Creepers‘
This is a great twist on the classic game of battleships, it’s fabulous for learning or reinforcing how coordinates work. Simply use squared paper to create four grids (two for each player) label them with letters along the bottom and numbers up the side.
More able children can do this themselves. Once the grids are ready, both players will need to colour a Creeper, a Cobblestone block and a Redstone block on one of their grids without letting their opponent see. They need to take turns calling out coordinates and giving hit or miss replies. They should record these on their blank grid.
If it is a hit, they should tell their opponent the colour of the hit so they can think strategically about where the other hits may be. To extend this challenge use a grid with four quadrants.
Minecraft Block Stampers Art Activity
This is a really fun activity if you don’t mind a little washing up afterwards (or give your child a bowl of warm soapy water and let them do it!) Ask your child to gather together a selection of Lego bricks or similar alternative. They will need a selection of paints too.
Paper plates are ideal to use as dipping stations. Then simply take a Lego brick (we like to make little handles with other bricks, so they are easier to hold) and press it into the paint. Encourage your child to experiment with different shaped bricks and colours – see what they can come up with using these little block stampers.
Minecraft Lego Challenge (STEM)
With a little prep work a good Lego challenge can keep children occupied for hours. It adds a great element of authenticity to make the characters (in this case the villagers) and introduce them to the children when you explain the challenge.
“The Village has been Pillaged!
The villagers and the End Slayer were all living happily in Minecraft Village. Until that is, the Pillagers raided the village and destroyed all of the houses!
Now the villagers have nowhere to live and the village is in ruins. The people of Minecraft Village urgently need the help of the Lego Masters to design and build some new houses for them.
They have been through a very traumatic experience so the houses should be awesome enough to cheer them up. Perhaps they might have secret rooms, trap doors or gardens?
It’s up to you to save Minecraft Village Lego Masters – good luck!“
These challenges provide great opportunities for building self-esteem, developing critical thinking and gently encouraging resilience through kind, constructive feedback. Children could even use the houses they create as scenery in their stop motion videos!
Biomes Project (Biology & Geography)
Minecraft divides its Overworld into a variety of ‘biomes’ which are interconnected areas with different ecosystems, features, weather patterns and resources. Some of the biomes lend themselves to making a great topic for a study project. The biomes that would be suitable are: Plains, Forest, Jungle, Mountains, Desert, Taiga, Snowy Tundra, Swamp, Savannah, Badlands, Beach, River, Hills and Ocean.
Encourage your child to pick one of these biomes to explore. You might begin by helping them find an age appropriate documentary to watch.
They may be able to do some online/book-based research to find out about the aspects mentioned above or perhaps the wildlife that can be found in their chosen biome. They may be taken by a particular creature and focus on that with a detailed diagram, a fact file and some habitat information. They may like to explore how difficult it would be to live in that environment; what adaptions or special equipment would they need to live in their biome?
It could be really interesting for them to choose a couple of different biomes and find out about the similarities and differences between the two. The direction their project takes really doesn’t matter as long as they are interested and eager to do it. Perhaps children could cut pictures from magazines to make a collage, make a mini newspaper about their biome, collect different pieces of information for a scrapbook or create different types of art based on their biome.
Once they have completed their research it would be wonderful for them to create the biome in the game and see what they recognise from their research!
Minecraft Geology! (Science)
This is a cool experiment to recreate the effect the freezing and thawing process has on rocks. It will need to be done over several days.
Explain to your child that various things break down rocks including wind, rain, rivers, and rockslides. They are also broken apart by freezing and thawing. When water freezes, it expands. Water that has seeped into a rock will expand when frozen, causing cracks in the rock. After it freezes and thaws several times, bits of rock will begin to split off entirely.
You can do this experiment at home to see how it works and find out what kinds of rocks break down the most when frozen.
What You Need:
- Several different kinds of rocks, such as granite, sandstone, chalk, charcoal or slate (see what your child can find around the garden or on your next walk)
- Plastic bottle or container
Encourage your child to look at each rock carefully. Which do they think will break down the most when they freeze and thaw them several times? Why? They might like to record their prediction.
Cut the bottle in half, then place the rocks inside and cover them with water. Put the bottle in the freezer. When the water is frozen take it out and let it thaw. After the water melts, put the bottle back in the freezer. Repeat the process 3 times.
Ask your child to feel the rock samples and look at them carefully again. Which one has changed the most? Do they see any places where small particles have been split off the rock by the freezing water? Were their predictions correct? Did they know that over time whole mountains can be worn down by this freezing/thawing process!
There are even more science challenges in our ultimate Minecraft activity bundle (over 40+ pages of printable activities and fun!)!
Catch a Creeper! (STEM)
It would be a good idea to collect a few larger boxes and recyclables together before giving your child this challenge. We love to reuse things, so STEM challenges using the recycling are ideal; it can all go back into the recycling bin afterwards! Children will need some basic items such as tape, string and scissors too.
Explain to your child that they have been selected for their excellent Minecrafting skills to design and build a Creeper trap! They will need to think about two things- firstly how the trap is going to work (maybe a trip wire, snare style, a stick prop, covered pit?) and secondly how they will capture the Creeper – what will keep the Creeper from escaping once it has triggered the trap?
Create a Realm! (ICT)
Creating a realm in Minecraft is a great way for your child to socialise with their friends without the worries that come from other online platforms. A realm costs about £6 a month to host (you can get a free 30 day trial) and is in our opinion worth every penny.
Once you have created your realm, you control who can access it by sending them an invite code. No one else can access the realm and it’s therefore safe for the children who are part of it.
We set up a realm for a small group of 6 and it works brilliantly. They play Minecraft together in the realm and if you turn on the messaging feature they can type ‘texts’ back and forth to each other. They absolutely love this and of course reading and writing are happening!
You can also use command blocks within the realm (depending on which settings you choose) which are a fabulous introduction to coding.
The children in our realm have had a great time building each other houses, going on camping trips, creating shops and setting up businesses…the possibilities really are endless!
Explore a Digital World!
Minecraft have added some great ‘educational content’ which is free to download from the marketplace. With these mods children can do some amazing things. We loved the tour of the international space station, exploring the inside of a human eye, becoming a marine biologist and learning about renewable energy!
The entire list of content can be found here and it’s all FREE.
Mindful Minecraft (Art & Mindfulness)
We’ve created this exclusive Minecraft Mindfulness colouring! You can download it here for free:
Mindfulness colouring is a great way to create a sense of calm for children and adults. It’s a great activity to enjoy together. We love to put on some soothing music in the background.
It can also provide a great opportunity for children to discuss with you their thoughts and feelings without it feeling too intense (eyes are on the colouring, not on them). It’s a good chance for a check in.
If you loved this free Minecraft activity ideas pack, you may wish to grab our Ultimate Minecraft Activity Pack, a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD with 40+ printable pages of exclusive printables, games, activities and more!
The pack contains:
- 5 literacy activities
- 7 numeracy activities
- 3 science investigations
- 2 art activities
- 3 epic Lego challenges
- 2 STEM challenges
- A game-designing template incorporating literacy and numeracy
- A Geography and Biology based project
- A mindfulness colouring sheet
- Templates for planning and recording
- Helpful learning tools for literacy and numeracy
- Notes for parents including suggestions for additional digital activities
It has been written for children, so they can read through it themselves and get on independently (as is age appropriate). It doesn’t require you to print off any additional worksheets or resources – they are all INCLUDED! You can either buy it here below (£4.99) or visit our shop for more resources.