Hey - coders and families! Today, we’ll share some simple steps for getting started with Minecraft programming for kids. Plus we’ll reveal some of the best free Minecraft coding courses to begin with, as well as additional resources to get you and your coder on your way!
Learn how to code your own games when you join an award-winning virtual Minecraft coding class for kids, led live by an expert and designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Or join an award-winning virtual Minecraft engineering class for kids and learn how different power sources such as Redstone blocks, torches, and switches can be used to power blocks around them in different ways in Minecraft.
Learn Minecraft Programming for Kids
Planning out a good approach for your student to learn more about coding and modding can be daunting with all the different tools and options that are out there. We’re here to help with that! You can follow these simple steps to learn Minecraft coding.
1. Setup/install - what tools are needed
Each option for lessons and tutorials will have their own preferred software. But making sure that they are downloaded and set up ahead of time saves a lot of time and energy down the road.
More likely than not, it’s a good idea to have Minecraft installed onto your computer! You will need to go through the instructions laid out on the launcher to set up an account. Another commonly used tool is Minecraft Education Edition. This version of Minecraft has free educational content with demos and an Hour of Code activity to try out.
2. Pick your child’s preferred learning style
Minecraft coding lessons can come in many different forms! For those that are looking for something a little more self-guided, there are some great YouTube channels that can walk students through the basics of coding, of Minecraft, and of coding with Minecraft! Embassy Education has some great playlists for Minecraft modding and a bunch of other coding options as well.
If you’re looking for more of a group setting, live classes online or in-person are another great way to get introduced to these topics! Learning with others and having a teacher there to guide your student through the lessons is both effective in ingraining these complex topics and in having fun.
3. Match your kid's age to available options
Make sure whatever tool you pick makes sense for your child’s age and experience! You don’t want the child to start with a lesson or activity that is too complex or challenging, but you also don’t want it to be too easy or unstimulating.
For example, our live online Minecraft courses led by an expert, have suggested grades to give an idea of how hard the content is and how quickly we’ll move through the material (see Minecraft Modding Quest - Grades 2-5, Minecraft Redstone - Grades 2-5, and Minecraft Code to Mod - Grades 5-9). Most other tools will give an idea about appropriate age-range. But you can decide what’s best for them.
4. Help your child give Minecraft coding a try
With the tutorials, courses, and books listed below, test it out with them and see how they like it. Go through a few of Code.org’s Minecraft lessons with them, or maybe read through and test out some of the tips found in the Minecraft for Beginners Handbook to increase familiarity with Minecraft! Whatever it is that you pick, doing something together always makes for some good positive reinforcement in having your child want to learn more.
Minecraft Programming for Kids Tutorials
From here, we will cover a few tutorials and articles that would be great for you and your coder to try out!
Discover different commands that you can run in Minecraft to spawn blocks, message certain players, and even teleport around the Minecraft world. If you are interested in coding and learning different commands that you can run in Minecraft, definitely check this one out!
One of the commands that you can use in Minecraft can teleport you anywhere in the world! This post covers how you can find out your own coordinates in the world, and how you can then use your understanding of coordinates to teleport to where you want to go. Instantaneous teleportation certainly has its perks!
Find out a variety of fun ways to apply your coding knowledge to Minecraft! These include Code.org’s Minecraft Hour of Code tutorials where you can go through different challenges and activities using code, Code Kingdoms where you can create mods and eventually branch into learning Java, and Skindex where you can make unique character skins.
Exploring all the different options and commands Minecraft has to offer is always more fun with friends! In this post, we cover different ways to make a server in Minecraft so you can connect with your friends and play together. We also give a rundown of how Minecraft Realms works, which is a great tool to make custom worlds that you and your friends can connect to at any time.
Have you always wanted your version of Steve to look like Chewbacca from Star Wars? Now, you can make that dream a reality! In this post, we cover how to make skins in Minecraft to change your character however you want. We also give an overview of MinecraftSkins and how you can use the app to the fullest.
Try Minecraft Programming Courses for Kids
Explore the best Minecraft coding classes for kids!
This fun class for students in grades 2-5 covers the fundamentals of coding through Minecraft: Education Edition. The class begins by covering how coding is simply combining a series of specific instructions that the computer can follow and how we can chain these instructions together to see real effects in Minecraft. From there, students are introduced to more tools, such as loops, conditionals, and functions to increase the complexity of their code and of the corresponding results. Eventually, your student will be making their own mini-games from scratch! This curriculum by Create & Learn has also been featured by Minecraft Education.
This class, intended for grades 5-9, will help students use LearnToMod, an educational program that allows students to create mods through a block-based coding language, and then immediately upload them into Minecraft to see the results! The live online class starts out in the first level covering the basics, and having students implement functions, variables, and conditionals into their code. By level two, they will learn about user input, arrays and strings, and by level 3, they will be making their very own Fortnite-style game! This is definitely a great class for a student that has a little experience in coding and is willing to see their code come alive in Minecraft.
This class will help students learn how to build amazing features in their Minecraft games including creating lights, opening doors, building devices that lift stones, raise bridges, or even more water! Harness the basics of Minecraft Redstone, one of the more advanced elements in Minecraft. Students can obtain it either by mining a block of Redstone ore or by acquiring it from mob/dungeon loot.
Join Minecraft Free Online Courses
If you want to try out some other courses for free to test the waters, here are a few great options to take a look at.
If you were interested in some of the Create & Learn class mentioned earlier, you should check out the free class offered as well! These classes taught by expert teachers give an introduction to what students will be doing in the classes with fun activities to familiarize students with the software with some quick mods and puzzles to solve.
In this fun online class, students will solve and create fun puzzles, identify rare power sources in Minecraft, and utilize those power sources to engineer their own unique creations. This beginner-friendly lesson led live by an expert, teaches students how to make levers, stone buttons, and redstone torches in a supportive and fun environment. This is a great way to give online computer science learning a try, because your child does not need to have any prior coding experience.
Code.org has a variety of wonderful free tools for students looking to increase their familiarity and experience with coding, and that extends to coding with Minecraft as well! This includes tutorials that can be run both in-browser and with Minecraft: Education Edition. These tutorials cover a variety of topics, with some focusing on exploration and puzzle-solving, and others covering AI! There is also information about free student workshops hosted by Minecraft for different Hour of Code activities and additional access to more computer science resources.
Explore Minecraft Programming for Kids Books
If you are looking for a little more information about Minecraft as a game and building tool, here are some of the best Minecraft books for kids to check out!
Written in easy-to-understand language, this book provides an in-depth look at getting started in Minecraft. It covers the Minecraft basics, such as how to control your character and how to explore the map. After that, it helps guide you through your first day, all the way through how to survive your first night, and beyond.
Learn how to survive in Minecraft! In this updated version of the Exploration guide, users get a revised introduction to Minecraft, with information about game updates and different Minecraft versions (Java, Bedrock, etc.). This guide is packed with hints and tips that will make exploring fun and less stressful than going it alone.
Learn how to do everything from basic builds to advanced projects. This fully-illustrated, official guide will walk readers through every step of building structures from reinforced walls to massive castles to sprawling cities. It’s a very helpful guide for those who want to play creatively.
Start Minecraft Programming for Kids
Those are the steps to have your coder start to learn about programming with Minecraft! Everything listed here is a great resource that is tried and trusted by many teachers, parents, and students. Happy modding!
Up next, learn how to build Minecraft houses.
Written by Create & Learn instructor Jonah Zimmermann. Jonah has focused on creating and teaching computer science, coding, and STEM curricula for elementary and middle school students. In his free time, he enjoys video games and a good Dungeons and Dragons session with friends!