Bec's Blog

Giveaway Winners, Hour of Code and 1.11 Update

4 December, 2016

Hi everyone!

First up a big congratulations to Janice and Rebecca, the winners of the Minecraft Exploded Builds: Medieval Fortress giveaway. Here are their winning tips:

My hint/tip is if you have lots of smelting to do, use chests, hoppers and a furnace. Place a hopper under the chest on top of the furnace, the furnace should be on a hopper attached to another chest. You put your items in top chest, hopper automatically sends them to furnace and when their done it puts them Into the other chest. -- Rebecca

My favorite tip in Minecraft relates to how parents and kids can play together 'harmoniously.'  When you play together, it's pretty common that everyone will have a skill they're really good at. Divide and conquer! For example, I love to mine and I'm really fast at it. My son, who's 10, is a master builder and can literally build circles around me. But, getting materials to build with in survival mode can be a drag! So, I go out and get him the raw materials...he builds us shelters and houses in no time at all. By doing this, kids don't get frustrated with parents, and parents have a task that leverages what we usually know about efficiency and strategic acquisition. -- Janice

Congratulations to you both, I hope you enjoy the book. And thanks to everybody who entered, I had a fun time reading through all the tips (I'll share them all in an upcoming blog post).

Hour of Code

This is something you'll want to check out if you've got young Minecraft fans! The awesome people at Code.org have put together some introductory coding tutorials using Minecraft. The idea behind Hour of Code is to spend an hour learning programming. All of the tutorials on the site are fun and engaging for kids, and the two new Minecraft ones look great. Check them out at code.org/minecraft.

1.11 Update

The 1.11 update has been released! As mentioned earlier it has a bunch of fun new stuff, including the Woodland Mansion building and a new type of Villager. And look, there are llamas! Launch Minecraft now to get the update, or check out the full list of additions

Minecraft Gift Ideas

Have fun over the holiday season! If you're still hunting for gift ideas, make sure you check out my latest gift guide Even More Minecraft Gift Ideas.

~ Bec

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Pumpkins, Llamas and Add-Ons

28 October 2016

Happy almost-Halloween everyone!

Minecraft is a perfect game for this time of year, there are pumpkins and spider webs and spooky things galore. You could even go trick or treating with the villagers, although I'm not sure you'd reap much candy.

Mojang have just released a Spooky Bundle for the console edition, which has the Halloween Battle Map, texture pack and skin pack. It looks pretty awesome, check out the trailer above (available in the usual console stores for around USD$6.99).

Or if you're looking for a fun offline activity, try weaving a paper Minecraft pumpkin. It's fun, cheap and easy!

1.11 Update - Llamas!

It looks like the 1.11 update will be landing soon. It brings a bunch of fun new stuff, like a Woodland Mansion with a new type of Villager and a little flying mob called a Vex. But also, llamas! And they spit! Check out the full list of additions.

Add-Ons

If you play on Pocket Edition or Windows 10, check out the new Add-Ons feature which allows you to modify the game without needing to use mods. Now you can have access to the image and text files that control the way mobs look and behave (blocks and items will be added later). There's a dedicated Add-Ons page with more info and videos of some pretty cool examples.

I haven't checked them out yet because I don't play PE much, but I love the idea of being able to more easily change up the game. So many people struggle to install mods, hopefully this is going to make all of that a lot more fun and open it up beyond the realm of just the computer version. Plus unlike mods, Add-Ons are officially supported by Mojang.

Have fun!
~ Bec

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Mods with inappropriate stuff

25 October 2016

Hey everyone! I've been getting a lot of emails from parents who have been hearing rumors about a Minecraft sex mod, and are understandably worried. So I've written an article to help sort out the facts, so please make sure you check it out if you're concerned.

Does Minecraft Have A Sex Mod?

~ Bec

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Minecraft Ideas For Spring

28 March, 2015

Looking for something to amuse the kids this spring/autumn/Easter break? Why not try dying your own spawn eggs! 

Check out How To Make Real Life Spawn Eggs for more pics and instructions. Disclaimer: These are purely decorative and will not spawn actual mobs.

And there are ideas for other Minecraft Easter Activities too, like making pixel art or creating an easter egg hunt in the game.

Have fun everybody!
~ Bec

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News Roundup

27 February, 2015

Hey guys!

Wow, moving house sure does suck. But it's over now and I'm back to updating things around here. First up, some interesting Minecrafty-type things have been happening lately that you might want to know about:

Minecraft update

The latest release is now 1.8.3, but you won't notice a lot of changes in this update since it was mostly fixing bugs and stuff like that. You don't have to do anything to get the latest version by the way, Minecraft will automatically update itself every time you start it up (if you're connected to the internet).

MineCon

Mojang announced that this year's MineCon (the annual Minecraft fan convention) will be held in London from July 4-5. So if you're a UK reader or just a really big fan, you might want to keep a heads up for ticket sales which should be happening any day now.

Changing player names

Players can now change their user name if they want (previously you were stuck with the name you signed up with). Just log in to your Mojang account to make the change - there are more details in the announcement if you want the ins and outs about what you can and can't change it to.

YouTube for kids

This one isn't specifically about Minecraft, but I know it's an issue a lot of parents are concerned about. Google have released a new app called YouTube Kids, which will curate kid-friendly content (Stampy is supposed to be launching a channel there soon) and make it easier to disable search and limit screen time. It has both good things (like no comments) and annoying things (like ads). In short, it won't suit every family and it definitely doesn't solve all the problems of kids watching stuff on youTube, but if you have little ones then it's probably worth checking out.

~ Bec

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Merry New Year Everyone!

3 January, 2015

MineMum and all the assorted MineKids have been busily moving house. So if you've emailed me, I haven't abandoned you and will reply soon! Your call is important to us... oops sorry, I've spent far too much time on hold with the internet company this week :)

~ Bec

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Blockopedia Giveaway Winners!

13 December, 2014

Thanks to everyone who entered the Blockopedia giveaway, I've had a great time looking through all the cool creations you guys sent in. Let me show you some of them!

Crocheted Creeper by Kate
"I love crochet and one of the best parts of my craft is making things my kids love."

 

Sailing Ship and Plane by Peter & Charlie
"This is in a survival PE world we have all been contributing to, as a family."

 

Ultra-Sword Kirby by Charlotte
"This is Ultra-sword Kirby from Kirby's Return to Dreamland."

 

Lava Cake by Rebecca
"The children delighted in sinking Steve into the lava and mining for chocolate."

 

The Titanic by Kyan
"The interior has a staircase like the one in the ship"

 

The Godzilla Skeleton by Nathan
"It has insane defence and insane knock back on its bow + insane damage."

 

Timed Piston Door by Octavio
"When you press the button the door opens then diamond blocks spring up, making players not able to press the button in a changeable amount of seconds."

 

Mother's Day Surprise by Vanessa, Xander and Ethan
"It was a giant monument with a moat full of lily pads and a row of cakes, and a large crowd of tamed dogs and cats sitting patiently in the flower garden below."

 

Creeper Costume by Rachel
"We made these ourselves...with lots of cutting, glue and laminating!"

 

After much deliberation, the winning entries are:

  • Kate for her crocheted creeper
  • Rebecca for her lava cake
  • Vanessa, Xander and Ethan for their Mother's Day surprise monument

Congratulations everyone! You each win a copy of Minecraft Blockopedia, so check your email for details.

And I also have to say a hearty 'well done' to all the other honourable mentions.

Nice job, everyone!

 

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Last Call For The Blockopedia Giveaway!

11 December, 2014

Hey peoples! Today's the last day to get your entries in for the Blockopedia giveaway!

I've really been enjoying all the cool pics you guys have sent in. Can't wait to share some of them with you tomorrow!

It's not too late to enter so if you'd like a chance to win a copy of Blockopedia, send me a photo of a Minecraft creation that you or your kids have made. But make it snappy, the giveaway closes on Thursday!

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