This week we had our second session of Minecraft in Real Life as part of our new Tinker Thinkers after school program. This brilliant program came from Angie over at Fat Girl Reading. If you are planning to do a program like this (and you totally should!) head over there first to get all the details. (I love her idea to add in parody videos, but I somehow haven’t managed to pull it off yet. Maybe next time!) I did a program very similar to what is described below this summer and it was CRAZY successful. We had several requests for another one like it, so I decided to add it as a Tinker Thinkers program. Why? Well, the game itself is technology, plus the paper craft demonstrates how you can make flat objects three dimensional and the crafting table activity requires sorting and replicating patterns.
For the first part of the program, we did these one piece mini papercraft characters. For the program I did this summer, we did Steve and a creeper. This time we did a zombie and a pig. I am SO glad that I chose the one piece characters. It really limited the amount of cutting and gluing, plus it cut down on the frustration level for the younger attendees.
Next came the item search portion of the program. The idea is for kids to complete a “real life” crafting table to receive a specific item of their choosing. For the summer program I used candy like Angie did (see link above) but I also added a bookmark option because I thought that these bookmarks were so darn cool. You know what? The kids were just as excited (if not more so) about the bookmarks than they were about the candy. So this time I just used the bookmarks. They had the option of crafting Steve, a creeper, Enderman, or a pig. The other four I offered as bonuses for various things (such as checking out a book!) They had a great time crafting and collecting the whole set.
To get the items for the crafting table, they searched through the library. At the summer program, I had a problem with some kids picking up more items than necessary, so this time I was sure to tell them only to get the items they needed for the particular bookmark they were making so that everyone was able to find the items they needed. It worked out really well, and we even had some to clean up from the shelves after the program was over.
After finding their items, they glued them onto a crafting table and gave it to me for the appropriate bookmark. Most repeated the process to complete the set of four. This was a really fun and easy way to incorporate Minecraft into our programming. Thanks again, Angie!