Minecraft’s vast scope an open-ended gameplay make it a great platform for learning. For children with ADHD, the game can be particularly helpful in teaching key cognitive skills like Planning, Focus and Organization. By setting some simple gameplay goals and challenges, parents and educators can shift the parameters of play, turning the game into a powerful tool for developing thinking skills which children with ADHD commonly struggle.
To get things started, we’ll briefly introduce the Organization thinking skill, then cite specific examples of how it is used in the game. We’ll conclude with an in-game project that challenges kids to exercise and identify the use of the Organization thinking skill in-game. Players who have not completed the Gameplay Goals in the Play Together section of our Minecraft Playbook may wish to do so before continuing with this article.
How is Organization Used in the Game?
Organization is the thinking skill that helps a child take a systematic approach to problem-solving by creating order out of disorder. This skill becomes very important after spending some time with Minecraft, as the player must manage a large and growing inventory. It also emerges in many circumstances throughout the game. If the player uses their organization skills effectively, they will not only reduce their amount of ‘wasted time’ within the game, but will also have a neater, less frustrating experience.
The most obvious use of organization to the player will come with managing their own inventories. Decisions of what items to have in the quick access bar and which to keep off-hand are some of the most common and simple organization practices the player will encounter. When the player learns how to craft a chest the number of places to store items increases and makes the organization process a little more complex. After playing Minecraft for some time and collecting many items, this once simple process can become a much more intensive duty.
When building a complex structure such as a town or castle, organization plays a large role in gathering and making sure that you have all appropriate materials for the project, and that you also have easy access to aid materials while building. The player will face many impediments if he has not prepared himself with the necessary materials beforehand. For example, while building a tower, it can be very frustrating (not to mention dangerous) to climb down from it every time you run out of stone. Instead, use your organization skills to take a more unified approach by thinking of the materials you will need most and making them readily available in nearby chests.
Minecraft Projects for Kids: Setting Up Home Base
Perhaps the most effective way of organizing your Minecraft world is creating a “home base.” Building a central location to your gameplay will help you manage materials and generally make the game more accessible. To exercise your Organization skills in Minecraft, we suggest applying this strategy to your current game world. If you already have a home base, we suggest expanding on it. This project can involve crafting signs, light posts, defensive barricades, separate houses for storage, or any other techniques that you think will be effective in making your Minecraft gameplay neater and more convenient.
- Construct a “home base” that will be used as a central location for your adventure.
- Craft chests to store all unused inventory and label all chests with appropriate sign
- Organize all stored inventory by type and size, readiness of use, or any way that makes it more accessible for later use.
- Bonus: When your “home base” is finished try expanding it or adding defences
- Construct separate rooms or houses for different materials to be stored or activities to do (sleeping, enchanting, baking, etc.)
- Craft lights and place them around your base to ward off enemies.
Tip: While there is no time limit, you may want to complete basic shelter before nightfall. Then you can take your time to organize the ideal living space.
For more information on Organization or tips for improving thinking skills with Minecraft, check out the Organization thinking skill page and the Minecraft Playbook. And be sure to check back for more Minecraft projects for kids!