MineCrafter Challenges

The kids I work with LOVE MineCraft!  I can’t say that I ‘get’ how to play it, but the level of creative genius is amazing when I watch them work together on a challenge or free build.  For the most part, I keep the level in Creative Mode, as my focus is on the creative aspect of the game…they can play the other modes on their own time. I have included a few of the challenges I have created for them.  The kids work in small teams, collaborating and building on skills they have. I have included non computer tasks, as I don’t have enough computers for everyone.  I have also done other challenges, smaller and individual based, for when I have a computer lab that let’s us do MineCraft.  I use YouTube and Google searches to find these challenges, as there is a wealth of options by those that are MineCrafters!

Here are the group challenges:

Underwater Challenge

The Story: The land has become inhabitable so you are challenged to create your environment underwater. You will be given the 1st week to plan and gather supplies, as well as build the main structure of your environment. Week 2 will be spent underwater, in your environment, using the supplies you gathered to finish as many challenges as your team is able. You will not be able to use cheats that help gain supplies, or use the creative inventory on week #2.

Mine Craft Tasks for Week 1: Creative Mode/Peaceful

  1. Create an air bubble and build a structure under water.
  2. Gather supplies for Week 2

Mine Craft Challenges for Week 2 : Survival Mode

  1.  Create a functioning farm.
  2. Create a proper forest.
  3. Create living spaces for sleep and recreation.
  4. Create a Waterfall.
  5. Enclose your base in a glass dome.
  6.  Create a maze or labyrinth.
  7. Create an indoor underwater pool.
  8. Catch a fish from underwater!
  9. Have fun.

Non-Computer Challenges:

  1. Plan and design your environment using Legos or on graph paper
  2.  Write a story about the days before having to build underwater
  3. Write a story about life underwater
  4. Create MineCraft items from Perler Beads

Rules

  1. Start this challenge in a new world
  2. You are allowed to use tools that you made before going underwater.
  3. You are not allowed to build above water, but you can build to the surface.
  4. The Nether is not allowed.
  5. Spawn mob limit on any item is 10.
  6.  All members must have a say in the design and choices made in this challenge.

 The TARDIS Challenge

The Story: The land has become inhabitable so you are challenged to create your environment in the TARDIS.   You will be given the 1st week to plan and gather supplies, as well as build the main structure of your environment. Week 2 will be spent in the TARDIS, in your environment, using the supplies you gathered to finish as many challenges as your team is able. You will not be able to use cheats that help gain supplies, or use the creative inventory on week #2.

Mine Craft Tasks for Week 1: Creative Mode/Peaceful

  1. Create a TARDIS style building, add plenty of widows on sides & back for light
  2. Gather supplies for Week 2

 

Mine Craft Challenges for Week 2 : Survival Mode

  1. Create a floor/room that has a functioning farm.
  2. Create a floor/room that has a proper forest.
  3. Create a floor/room that has living spaces for sleep and recreation.
  4. Create a floor/room that has a Waterfall & pool.
  5. Create a floor/room that has an epic library.
  6. Create a floor/room that has a pixel art museum.
  7. Create a maze or labyrinth.
  8. Have fun.

Non-Computer Challenges:

  1. Plan and design your environment using Legos or on graph paper
  2. Write a story about the days before having to build the TARDIS
  3. Write a story about traveling in the TARDIS
  4. Create MineCraft items from Perler Beads

Rules

  1. Start this challenge in a new world
  2. You are allowed to use tools that you made before going underwater.
  3. You are not allowed to build outside of the TARDIS in Week 2
  4. The Nether is not allowed.
  5. Spawn mob limit on any item is 10.
  6. All members must have a say in the design and choices made in this challenge.

 

The Tree House  Challenge

The Story: The land has become inhabitable so you are challenged to create your environment in the trees, a gigantic tree house. You will be given the 1st week to plan & gather supplies, as well as build the main structure of your environment. Week 2 will be spent in the tree, in your environment, using supplies you gathered to finish as many challenges as your team is able. You will not be able to use cheats that help gain supplies, or use the creative inventory on week #2.

Mine Craft Tasks for Week 1: Creative Mode/Peaceful

  1. Create a giant tree using jungle trees
  2. Gather supplies for Week 2

Mine Craft Challenges for Week 2 : Survival Mode

  1. Create a functioning farm in the tree.
  2. Create a proper forest in the tree.
  3. Create living spaces for sleep and recreation in the tree.
  4. Create a Waterfall & pool in the tree.
  5. Create an epic library in the tree.
  6. Create a spiral staircase to get to your different spaces.
  7.  Create a maze or labyrinth.
  8. Have fun.

Non-Computer Challenges:

  1. Plan and design your environment using Legos or on graph paper
  2. Write a story about the days before having to build the tree house
  3. Write a story about living in the tree house.
  4. Create MineCraft items from Perler Beads

Rules

  1. Start this challenge in a new world
  2. You are allowed to use tools that you made before going into the tree.
  3. You cannot leave the tree in Week 2
  4.  The Nether is not allowed.
  5. Spawn mob limit on any item is 10.
  6. All members must have a say in the design and choices made in this challenge.

 Your MineCrafters Team Sheet

There will be 4 Teams during this Mine Crafters Challenge. The teams do not have to be equal in numbers, however, all members must participate in the challenge. Choose wisely!

Write you team members’ names below as well as your Team Name. Also decide which MineCrafter challenge you are accepting.

You will be given a designated computer during this time for MineCraft purposes only.

Team Members

Team Name

MineCrafters Challenge

 

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Lego Challenges

My kids LOVE legos!  If it were up to some of them, the room would look like a Lego Store and they would have free reign of building all day.  I balance free building with Lego Challenges, not only to keep it interesting, but for them to showcase their mad Lego skills!

The BEST link I found was on Pinterest, there are 51 different challenges and photos of what others created.

http://legoquestkids.blogspot.ca/2012/10/final-challenge-quest-52.html

Another great link is from Frugal Fun 4 Boys, http://frugalfun4boys.com/category/lego/

For Lego Club:

Each day will have a quick build from the Lego Challenges, sharing creations, as well as time for free building.  Due to amount of Legos, creations will have to be dismantled…take photos!

Mini Golf

If you have the room, this is a super fun activity!

The joy of a mini golf game in the middle of a Minnesota winter…blissful!  I decided to rearrange the room to allow my group to create a mini-mini golf course.  To help keep them on task, I had them come up with a theme for the holes and had them work in groups.  We used what we had on hand…lots of wooden building blocks, cardboard to build ramps or curves,even PVC pipes to build the borders.  I showed the group several examples of real and DYI mini golf courses to help them come up with their own ideas.  The brainstormed and drew their ideas on paper before committing to pulling out the materials.  The building process took several days, so you do need space for them to be able to leave it out.  I encouraged them to add art/design elements to incorporate the theme.  After the holes were created, we made golf clubs (dowels, cardboard, duct tape, etc) and tested our design and determined what the par would be by averaging several attempts at the hole.  Mind you, this isn’t the PGA by any sorts, but the kids had fun and it filled our week by working together and using elements of math and engineering.

For the Mini Golf Club:

Brainstorm ideas for themes and break into groups.  In your group you are responsible for designing, on paper, a golf hole that follows the theme in some way.  Use the examples to find interesting angles or traps, but make sure it’s not too difficult.  Use the supplies available to build your hole and add design/art elements to show the theme.  When done, test out your hole and decide what the theme is.

Clay

 

The link above has many ideas for clay, including the pinchpot creatures featured here.

Clay has been a highly requested activity for the kids I work with.  Having access to the school’s kiln and a positive relationship to the art teacher has given me the opportunity to provide clay activities.

One of my favorite clay activities is creating pinch pot creatures or big mouth monsters.  We start out creating a pinch pot with a nice wide, even rim. Squash it a little and the pinch pot becomes the mouth. Add eyes, ears, feet, tails, teeth, etc (remember to score smash and smooth).  Allow to dry and bisque fire.  I finish the creatures by either watercoloring them or using oil pastels and either a watercolor or tempera paint wash.  The results are unlimited and are super cute!

You can also use the pinch pot and turn it upside down to create the body.

For the Clay Club:

Day 1: Show ideas and practice pinch pot and scoring techniques. Check for even walls instead of crumbly thin edges. Allow kids to create. Unfinished projects should be placed in ziplock baggies for next day

Days 2-4: Continue creating creatures, review scoring techniques. Allow projects to dry before firing.

Since drying and firing brings this project beyond the 1 week club, I usually have this as one of several ideas for clay building.  See my Pinterest Board for more ideas.  If I have prefired, unpainted clay tiles for kids to paint when done.  Playdough or other homemade dough are other options.

Teeny Town

Above is a link to several ideas for Tiny Town and Teeny Town

This activity has transformed into many different things.  It started when a coworker offered this as a summer week-long club  called Tiny Town and TONS of kids chose it! She definitely had a way to sell anything to get kids to join her club, but this one topped them all!  From there I tweaked it to my tastes and add elements from a book I found (Creat-a-Town Simulation by Teacher Created Resources).  Then, I saw an activity some kids from another group was making on their own, creating Teeny Town.

Tiny Town Basics

Tiny Town is similar to Sims or other similar simulation games in that you run a town as a group by making a home and family, a business, and making transactions between each other for day to day needs and such. Buildings are made out of paper, markers, tape, and the like. Roads, parks, lakes, etc can be added.  I’ve done it anywhere from, just placing the buildings onto a table freestyle to creating a designated space and making it look like a model train set up kind of thing.  I’ve made strips of roads from felt, used green ‘artificial truf’ paper I found at a Re-Use Center, and even added fake snow in the winter.  One year, we made a space station, using an activity I had found on Pinterest!  The houses were 2-5 inches in height and either made by hand or printed off from the book mentioned above.  The activity took up space…a luxury I had at the site I worked at.

Students were given a starting salary to purchase supplies (housing materials, plots of land, etc). Students also brainstormed ideas for businesses and services their town needed and then decided their business.  As for family structure, I’ve done it where they chose their family to rolling one dice and the number that appeared was their family size.  Kids kept themselves occupied with building homes and businesses, advertising their business, making inventory, and balancing their budget.

Next came selling and buying! Daily, students had to feed their families 3 meals, provide entertainment, and balance their budget.  They received a general PayDay amount from me as well as earning more from selling their goods.  Chance Cards were also added that contained good and bad fortunes, with some of the cards designed by the students to benefit their business.   There was also some sort of natural disaster in which they had to work through.  Other events included Tax Days, random audits, the lottery, a town celebration, elections, and more.

At the end of the day, we’d all gather to reflect on the day, bring up questions or concerns, and make other tweaks or decisions. At the end of the club, there might be an auction to sell off inventory and then tally up what their net worth was and compare.

The morphing into Teeny Town

Space and materials were the biggest obstacles of Tiny Town, as well as the prep it took on my part.  So, Teeny Town was born!  Like I said, there was a group of kids in another group that were making their own little version of Tiny Town.  Their town fit on  a couple of pieces of large construction paper! The houses and building were made from paper they found in the recycling bin and they used a ruler to make a grid to make 5 sided cubes (no bottoms needed, as the buildings were taped to the construction paper.  Most houses were 1x1x1 and details were drawn in with marker before assembling.  There is also a FANTABULOUS link on my Pinterest board on how to make a teeny house. Super cute and a LOT less of a space hog!

Absolutely NO room for Tiny or Teeny Town?

Go 2D and create a town on a bulletin board or large wall!

For Teeny Town Club

Individual towns will be created by the kids. A communal town, one where a home and a business for each member will be housed will also be created. In the communal town, transactions will happen like in Tiny Town.  The individual towns will be on display and a variety of awards can be given for design elements and such.

ZenTangles

Above is a link to many fantabulous ZenTangle ideas and projects.

What is ZenTangles? In a word, a doodle. A structured, contained doodle with lots of lines, shapes, and patterns that repeat to create a complex design.

from  tanglepatterns.com:

Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art created in a very structured method from an ensemble of repetitive patterns on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. They are not only exquisitely beautiful, they are fun and relaxing to create.

The process of creating a Zentangle® is a form of “artistic meditation” as one becomes completely engrossed in making each pattern, deliberately focusing on “one stroke at a time”®. The creativity options and pattern combinations are boundless. And anyone can do it!

The Zentangle method “increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.”

The best way to demonstrate HOW to draw a ZenTangle is to direct you to the Zentangle website (www.zentangle.com)  The patterns are easy to do, I have had kindergarteners pick up the easier ones.

For my ZenTangle Club

Each day begins with learning several different patterns from the tanglepatterns website. ( http://tanglepatterns.com/zentangles)  Each student will have scratch paper to go step by step through the pattern as well as practice it before adding it to a handmade book of patterns that they will be able to keep at the end of the club week.  After learning the patterns, students will create a small ZenTangle using the new patterns. Afterwards, they may work on a larger piece or one of the projects available.(see Pinterest board link at top for ideas)

Club Ideas

Clubs are a designated time where a special interest activity is offered. Staff offer choices and children then choose among those choices. A win-win all around.  Kids get to choose an activity, staff offer something they have an interest in, and the group have a common interest (no sour pusses-usually). This is an ongoing list with a short description. Look for these activities elsewhere on this site with details! Starred (*) Clubs indicate that I have added more details on another entry!  Click on the title to go to that page!

Artists’ Workshop

Let your creative juices flow with paint, collage, drawing, and other art materials.

Comic Book Arts

Go beyond just reading your favorite comics and learn what it takes to make a great comic.  Story lines, character building, and sequencing are among some of the things your will learn.

*Clay

Create pinchpot creatures, paint a tile, and make a free form piece this week.  We will fire them next week, so you can paint them durning morning Choice Time when they are ready.

Create a Pinball Game

Work together to design, test and create a simple pinball game.  Learn how to use science skills to test and tweak your game.

*Egg Babies

Create your very own creature/baby out of a blown egg and design a habitat for it to live in!  Test your Egg Baby’s skills with a number of fun and challenging activities!

Game Room Tourney

Get your game face on! Play fooseball, pingpong, pool, and XBox 360 in a round robin style tournament. Board and card games will be offered between rounds.

Lawn & Blacktop Games

Let’s go play!  Bocceball, Hula Hoop Golf, Badminton and more will be offered outside!  We will learn the traditional way of playing the game and then make them our own by adding some fun twists…anyone for a game of Boceballl Minigolf?

*Lego Masters

You know who you are!  Come one, come all! Master builders and casual tinkerers alike are invited to show off their Lego building skills.  We will combine mini challenges with longer build challenges to make you an ever better builder.

*Mad Scientists

Do you crave bubbling potions, slimy ooze and ghoulish glowing objects? It’s time to break out the lab coat and do (mad) science!

Melt It Shrink It Fold It

A week of fuse beads, shrinky dinks, and origami!  Find new ways to create with your favorite craft supplies!  Each day we will work together on a small project before offering design time on your own.

Mind Games

Chess, Othello, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit.  Come challenge your brain in a week filled with mind and strategy games!

MineCrafter Challenges

Calling all MineCrafters!  Working in teams or as individuals, you will be challenged to show off your epic MineCrafting skills.

*Mini Golf

Fore! Design, build, and test your mini golf skills!  See just how many hole-in-ones, pars, or birdies you can get during this week’s Mini Golf Club.

*A New Twist on Old Bored Games

Find new life in the games on your shelves!  Play classic games like Sorry, Jenga, and Uno with a new twist.

Rubber Band Cars

Build a car that goes really far, really fast. Oh, by the way, your power source is a rubber band, and your car can only have two wheels. This and more will challenge your design skills and think outside the box.

*Teeny Town

Tiny Town has been scaled back a bit- in size that is! Become a city design planner and create your very own town!  Create homes, businesses, parks, and other features that make your town award winning!  We will also make a collaborative town where you will live and conduct business with other town members.

Water Play

Bring your suit! Wear your water shoes!  We’re getting wet!  Play in the sprinklers and play a variety of water games.

Weave It Bead It Sew It

The trifecta of creative jewelry and fiber crafts!  Kumihimo Friendship Bracelets, pony bead buddies, and felt sewing all in one!

*ZenTangles

Do you love to doodle?  Zentangles is a repetitive style doodling that is relaxing and the results are amazing. Each day we will learn several different patterns that will be added to your very own Zentangle journal as well as explore different ways to use this fun style of art.