Teach Minecraft Programming to Kids Using Minecraft Hour of Code

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Minecraft is probably the most popular game out there. Now with Minecraft Hour of Code, teaching basic programming to kids can be accomplished too. This basic programming lessons are for kids who are 6 years of age or more.

Minecraft is a 3D Sandbox game about placing blocks but there is no specific goal to accomplish. The players are free to choose how they want to play this game. There are different modes offered by this game like creative mode where you get unlimited resources to create your world and then there is the survival mode where you need to explore your world and also defend yourself.

Hour of Code is a initiative started by code.org which encourages students to complete short tutorials of programming over the duration of one hour.

Through a partnership between Minecraft and code.org, Minecraft Hour of Code was created. In this Hour of Code, kids 6 years and older learn basics of programming using the Minecraft platform.

There are four Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial for kids, these are:

  • Minecraft Adventurer
  • Minecraft Designer
  • Minecraft Voyager Aquatic
  • Minecraft Hero’s Journey

Out of the four, Minecraft Adventurer is available to be downloaded for offline playing as well. All these tutorials are pretty fun to learn basics of programming. In the tutorials you have to program a virtual character in the Minecraft world using Blockly, which is a JavaScript library. You will be using blocks of code to write a program. The blocks of code just have to be dragged and dropped.

Let’s look at this tutorial in detail.


The link to Minecraft Hour of Code is given at the end of this article. The home page of the website looks like the screenshot above. When you click on the start button of any tutorial you will be shown a small introduction video. After this video, you will be asked to select a character from Alex or Steve. This can be seen in the screenshot below.

After this selection the window will be divided into sections as shown in the below screenshot.

On the extreme left side is the Minecraft game space, this is where your programs run. On the top right side you will see a instructions box. This instructions box tells you what has to be done next. Below the instructions box is the code block on the left. Your workspace where you make programs is on the right. You will get instructions pop ups on what to do next, like the one shown in the screenshot below.

Start creating your program by dragging and dropping the code blocks in your workspace. Once you are done with the program, click the run button given on the left side. This will run your program. You can see the virtual character moving in the Minecraft game space. When you complete a puzzle you will be shown a pop up window like the one shown below.

You can replay this puzzle using the replay button, or move on to the next one using the continue button. You can also see the code that you wrote using the show code link.

The level of difficulty keeps on increasing with each puzzle that you complete. From simple code blocks you move on to repeating code blocks, if code blocks, etc. Going through all the lessons you will learn how to use these code blocks with ease and also make your character reach its goal in minimum blocks required.

At the end of the tutorial you will be given a certificate of completion which you can personalize and save on your computer. Similarly, you can try out the other 3 tutorials as well.

Overview:

Minecraft Hour of Code is a fun way to learn basic programming for kids. The programming is made so easy using the Minecraft game space, that it can easily be used in classrooms by teachers or you can try individually at home. I think this hour of code works equally well for kids or for anybody who is interested in coding. I have to admit that I enjoyed completing this tutorial a lot. So regardless of age, you should definitely give it a try.

Check out Minecraft Hour of Code here.

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