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.
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.