A Mum’s Guide to Minecraft 32

My house is filled with Minecraft and Loom bands!  I thought that Minecraft might be a flash in the pan, however, it hasn’t proven to be.  Both the boys and their friends love it.  So I extracted my boys and their friends away from the screen for a while and together we have made this Mum’s Guide to Minecraft.

minecraft a mums guide

What is minecraft?


It is an online sensation game designed by Notch (a.k.a. Markus Persson) founder of Mojang, the company that developed Minecraft.

The game is available on a variety of platforms (iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC although my boys play it on Xbox 360).

To put it very simply minecraft is like LEGO online, but without any blocks to get under your feet!

In Minecraft you play Steve and you build your world out of blocks.  Steve’s world can be a dangerous place, especially at night. That’s when the baddies come out. But, he also can encounter them at anytime underground. Animals roam the land, some friendly. Some can be tamed or even ridden. Neighboring villagers keep to themselves but are willing to make trades.

To survive, you must build yourself a shelter and begin to gather food. Everything around you can become a resource. Hacking at trees gets you wood, digging up the ground gets you stone, etc. Gathering plants or killing animals will give you food and other resources.

You can then use those resources to make building materials. With time and some effort, you can also craft objects by combining resources in a furnace or at a craft table. There are lot of recipes for making weapons, armor, food, etc. My boys use this Crafting Guide.

a parents guide to minecraft square

The Different Modes of Play in Minecraft


  • Creative Mode – In this mode, you can create your world, explore and enjoy building without the threat of zombies arriving. A player doesn’t need to be concerned about survival, finding food or building shelter.
  • Survival Mode – this is the game mode in Minecraft (where most players play, including the boys and their friends). The focus is survival and the player needs to build shelter, find food, fight enemies and collect resources that will help them survive long term. This mode can be played as a single or multi-player.
  • Hardcore Mode –  Similar to Survival mode, but more difficult.  The main difference is that you have only one life, and your entire world will be deleted when you die.
  • Adventure Mode – This also adds a layer of difficulty to Survival mode. The main difference is that you cannot break blocks unless you have the right tool.

Glossary of Minecraft terms for the Savvy Mum


Mods – They are things that change the game, add ons that change elements or add new elements to a minecraft world.

Skins – it changes the way things look

Mob – Can be hostile, docile, neutral or allied.  Hostile mobs are in very simple terms a baddie such as a creeper, zombie, skeleton, spider, Enderman and wither skelton.

The Ender Dragon – The hardest Mob and you have to destroy it at the End past the Nether

The Nether – is a world that has blazes, zombie pigmen, glowstone fire and the ender temple.

The End – a planet that you can dig through and it is the other way you can die on creative mode.

Butter – is gold and you make things with it

Emerald – is the hardest thing to mine, you make things with it.

a parents guide to minecraft

Minecraft goes offline

minecraft action figures

The Minecraft action figures as they were left on my fireplace!

The boys were sent Diamond Steve Action Figure (£7.99) and Minecraft Core Animal Mob (£19.99) to test and THEY LOVE THEM and you know what, so do I.  It encourages small world play, they can build minecraft worlds with their lego bricks and play with the action figures, which is great.

At £7.99 and £19.99 it bring them in to pocket money saving range and also the perfect price for birthday gifts.

Diamond Steve is 7cm tall and fully articulated.  He comes with diamond armour and a sword. Now for the minecraft speak Diamond armour is the most durable with an 8.33 defence point per diamond and can be repaired.

Now for the animals, I love the animals.  Again they are fully articulated and you get a  Cow, Chicken, Pig, Sheep, Tamed Wolf, Ocelot. For ages 6 years and over.

32 thoughts on “A Mum’s Guide to Minecraft

  • Bev Toogood

    Oooh! I could have done with this a few months ago, brilliant! Our boys are obsessed. And blimey don’t let them see those action figures… 😀

  • Michelle

    My boy got into Minecraft a couple years ago – he loves it! Thanks for the low-down on it, because it’s one thing I really didn’t have a clue about!! Those action figures are brilliant – and a great idea to use them in conjunction with lego!

  • Amanda

    I actually had no clue what it was, so I loved this post. So lovely to see you at Britmums. Hope you had an ace time! #stumbled

  • Kate Thompson

    Excellent guide – you should also add “Don’t be conned into buying any of the toys/trinkets to go with the game. The game might be cheap/good value but these are massively overpriced and bring in the revenue the game may not…” !

  • Kanchan@ The Intrepid Misadventurer

    I firmly believe I was dropped as a baby and I have a blind spot at that precise point that governs gaming needs! I have none, zilch! 🙂 I have to stop my husband from going over the top with Minecraft with the girls, one of who totally acts like a boy…I’m always out of the equation because it’s a language I don’t understand, Jen! Your post is truly a ‘Minecraft for Dummies’ manual which I shall be filing away for when the wretched things come out to play with their skins, armors and all that jazz ;P Thank you, Mummy now speaks Minecraft! x

  • Pinkoddy

    What a great explanation – I admit I tend to let mine get on with it. I do like it unites the boys despite the age gap – but guess that’s the Lego element. I can hear the survival being like the hunger games so that explains my year 6s interest in the 2.

  • Louisa

    Great intro to Minecraft. My eldest 3 and their friends are all keen players. I have just been reliably informed that you can also now get horses on the pc version 🙂

  • Linda Ewing

    It’s not the kids in my house its my partner (33) *monkey hiding eyes face* He has the figures hanging up around the living room and our 2 year old daughter will say ‘daddy’s mine craft, Don’t open it’ Because one day they’ll be worth something they aren’t allowed to be opened lol x

  • Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

    I think the same happened to me as happened to Kanchan! I can’t understand a thing about gaming but my 2 boys are addicted. They’ve both loved Minecraft though one has now moved on to older stuff. from what I can work out and from what I’ve read Minecraft is really a great game with many positive points. I wish my teenager would go back to such innocent stuff! You seem to have worked it out well, hats off to you!

  • Jenny @ The Brick Castle

    We’ve had Minecraft here for a good while now – 4 of the children have been through it and passed to the other side, but 1 of them has introduced the 5 year old to it, and I have to say he’s getting pretty good now 😀

  • Ricky Willis

    My 9yr old daughter keeps going on about Minecraft. I’m resisting at the moment but she is very persistent. Thanks for the guide – at least if I do give in I will at least be able to have a conversation with her about it.

    – Ricky

  • Viccy H

    Hi, my name is Viccy, I’m a 28 year old mum of 2…..and I’m addicted to Minecraft! lol! Well, watching YouTube videos of it, anyways! heehee
    I keep asking for a PC copy of Minecraft for my birthday….fingers crossed everyone please!

  • Keri-Anne

    My cousin LOVES minecraft. My eldest daughter, who is 5, has just started bringing home loom bands that her class friends have made and she is now asking for her own kit! EEK!

  • Aisha from expatlog

    Yes, we’ve got the loom bands here and I’ve been umming and ahhhing about getting Minecraft on the iPad after my eldest played it at a friend’s house and LOVED it. Might be time to take the plunge – Pandora’s Box and all that…

  • wendy

    I have 2 obsessed children that adore minecraft. If they are not playing it they are watching You tube videos of how to build certain structures. A useful post thanks

  • Rachel

    Finally some one explains what it is! Neither me or hubby are in to gaming and we only have little people so had no idea what the hype was about!

  • The Coffee Lady

    Those creepy pigs are available 3D now? It’s like an anxiety dream. (Littlest is obsessed with the pocket version which she plays on the Kindle Fire.)

  • Bex Smith

    Interesting post as I had heard all about Minecraft but had no real clue what it was..have a funny feeling my OH will probably get into it though!

  • Looking for Blue Sky

    I really don’t like video games, which is unfortunate as they are my boy’s only real interest! And a guide like this is great for Mums so it sounds as though we’re listening (when sometimes we’re actually not ooops)…

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