My kids love Minecraft – the block-based simulated world game where characters mine for materials and making things they need for survival. My 4-year-old doesn’t even play the game yet, but he knows all about the Endermans and Herobrine from watching over his older brother’s shoulder. Although I’m often fighting against the screens and limiting my kids’ time on theirs, I actually like Minecraft. It allows a player’s imagination to drive the game and in low-stress creative mode is just about building things.
When I started seeing Minecraft toys – like a foam diamond sword, building blocks and character figurines -- I thought, that’s great! The kids can enjoy the game in real-D, interacting with each other instead of the screen. Then I decided to go the next step and take the play outside. Here’s what we did, and even the “big” kids (tweens) got a kick out of it:
We made a “Herobrine mask” out of cardboard. This was my little guy’s idea. Taking the diamond sword outside was my idea.
Then we painted rocks gold with tempura paint. When they dried, the younger kids helped me bury the “gold” in an empty flower bed.
Let the mining begin! Now it's time to dig for gold.
*TIP FOR WINTER PLAY: SNOW MAKES GREAT MINING SOUNDS when hit with a plastic bat or toy golf club.