Building Planning with Minecraft – Minecart Madness

Building Planning with Minecraft - Minecart Madness

In this workshop, our expert Gamer Guides lead kids through fun Minecraft activities to improve their planning skills.

Today’s Activity: Minecart Madness

For this session your children will be practicing planning while creating their own Minecart roller coasters! We will start with the basics, what is planning? How can it be used? Then the basics of Minecarts and how to power and work with them.

We will then separate into groups and each child will be designated their own building area. Each child will be asked to make a plan before they start building. A plan for their coaster overall, their plan for building it etc.. Then its time for them to start building! Our gamer – guides will observe, help them and ask them questions to keep them thinking while they are building as well.

Once the time runs up and everyone is completed we will regroup and have everyone explain their Mine cart system. We will be asking questions like did everything go according to plan? What would you change next time? We will have each kid compliment and weigh in on each others build to get some communication rolling! We will wrap it up by explaining how planning their builds will help them get a better result and explain the value of planning how they can use it in everyday life.

For more information about Planning, visit the Planning Page at LearningWorks for Kids.

Have more Questions feel free to contact us at

Workshop Schedule

To join the live session, simply select the appropriate date and time below, then click on the Join Live Session button.  If this is your child’s first Minecraft session, please make sure to view and follow our setup instructions.

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Workshop Activities

The LW4K method to using video games as teaching tools relies on strategic teaching principles and our approach of “Detect, Reflect, and Connect.” The purpose of the Detect, Reflect, and Connect steps is to mold the child into an active learner who becomes aware of, engaged in, and contemplative of what she is learning. These steps can enhance motivation and concentration. They also assist in extending learning beyond a particular game or technology and connecting it to the real world.

  • Detect

    Detect or identify when and where they are using thinking skills in video game play.

    Before we start building the Learningworks For Kids gamer guides will make it clear that today’s session is about Planning. As we give out the basic materials we will bounce around and talk about everyones plan for their minecart railway and make sure they stick by their original plan.

  • Reflect

    Reflect or consider how the thinking skills used during gameplay helps them to achieve their goals.

    Once their minecart railway is built we will talk about how creating a plan in the beginning helped the build faster, with a goal and an overall more complete project rather then just placing random rails down.

  • Connect

    Connect or apply game-based thinking skills to real-world activities.

    Through out the session we will relate the planning your child is using in minecraft with tasks they must overcome on a daily basis. For example, talking about how planning their minecart railway is not too different then planning out an essay or art project.

Follow-Up Activities

Activity #1

Let’s Play Video – Planning in Minecraft

Watch this Let’s Play video about Planning in Minecraft:

Talk to your child about how making a plan (e.g. to finish homework or chores) is the same thing as making their plan to build a minecart track.
Watch and play with your child, asking them how they’ve planned their build and what steps come next.

Activity #2

Play Together – Creative Mode Minecart Madness

Recreate our session but with less limits and as much time as you’d like to give your child! This can be done by opening a new creative mode map in Minecraft and asking your child to create another Mine-cart system but bigger and better! Before your child starts building ask about what he or she learned from building the first mine cart system and how they can improve it this time around. Ask them what their plan is for this mine-cart track. How big will it be? What materials will it include? Make sure they have goals and a plan before they start building. Then let them start building! We encourage to set a time limit as unlimited screen time isn’t healthy and it will encourage them to stick to their plan. Once finished or throughout it, ask some questions, get involved! Did they stick to their plan? What changed in their original plan? How could they use these skills outside when playing?