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10 Reasons Why Minecraft Is Beneficial for Your Kids

10 Reasons Why Minecraft Is Beneficial for Your Kids

When it comes to children and screen time, many parents take a cautionary approach. After all, many there are many digital outlets that vie for kids’ attention, including TVs, tablets, computers, and smartphones that they can access at home or in school. And of course, parents also have to worry about lifestyle balance when it comes to sedentary and active recreation—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that over a third of children in the U.S. are considered either “overweight or obese.”

At the same time, children must become fluent in current technologies in order to function in an increasingly digital world. Parents can help direct their children’s attention to positive and healthy online communities, such as the world of Minecraft, an open-world building-block game for PC and console. Researchers at Radboud University believe that certain video games provide significant benefits to children, helping them regulate emotions, build strong social ties, and improve other cognitive abilities. The following list explores why Minecraft can be a valuable addition to your children’s playtime.

1. Easy Access

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    Both children and adults are easily captivated by the world of Minecraft. It’s like discovering a limitless container of Lego blocks. The open sandbox format of this game makes absolutely anything possible. Avatars can collect resources by punching trees and digging up dirt. Eventually, these resources can be used in formulas to create other tools. Tools can start simple—hammers, axes, and shovels, but players gain enough resources, they can build complex tools—circuits, trains, and even houses. MinecraftEdu, an academic organization comprised of educators and programmers, recommends the game to teachers because it is “easily adaptable to curriculum” with “sandbox play [that] allows for ANY kind of experience.”

    2. Inspiring Confident Exploration

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      Contrary to other video games that have strict rules and linear event progressions, Minecraft is an open environment that doesn’t come built-in with structured quests. This means that youngsters can roam through this world and explore without an urgent set of tasks. However, they are still challenged by loose survival requirements, such as feeding their avatars, building shelter, or warding off enemies (giant spiders or green “Creepers”). Children are free to make mistake and succeed in the world of Minecraft. Wired notes that video games have the power to help players “overcome the fear of failure IRL” (In Real Life).

      3. Increased Creativity

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        There’s no denying that Minecraft provides children with unprecedented opportunities for creativity. Some will explore extensive cave systems underground while other players might build lavish houses. Or who knows? Perhaps your child will reveal their architectural genius and create astonishing block cities and structures inspired by real or fictional locations.

        4. Teamwork

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          Your children can play for long hours on solo missions. But families can also set up personal servers, so that other friends and family members can join in on the fun. Parents can also download custom Minecraft maps, such as multiplayer adventures. Psychologists have been researching video games as a way to build social skills, since children get to engage with one another to overcome obstacles and achieve success. In an American Psychological Association (APA) article, Dr. Isabela Granic describes studies that reveal “People who play video games…that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively.”

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          5. Problem Solving

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            Children must discover new resources and experiment with different recipe combinations to create tools in Minecraft. They must figure out how to build a shelter before night falls and feed their avatar. Research conducted by S.R.I. International reveals that video game play might be responsible in measurable problem-solving and memory improvements.

            6. Parents Can Play Too

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              Due to the game’s extremely accessible entry point, scale-able levels of complexity, and group-play features, parents can also get in on the Minecraft action. Your building and survival experiences in Minecraft can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

              7. It Teaches Resource Management

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                Once children become thoroughly engrossed in Minecraft, they begin to start calculating the costs of their resources. For example, wood can be acquired by hand, but it’s faster to use an axe. However, all of these tools will eventually wear out, necessitating even more resources. Your child will soon be weighing the economics of labor and resources as they seek to craft the thousands of recipes used in this game.

                8. Geometry Skills

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                  There’s no doubt that your children will get to exercise their spatial awareness and geometry skills while building structures with these blocks. Children will quickly learn what’s possible with the six faces of a cube, and how to stack blocks in a way that is structurally sound.

                  9. Community Engagement

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                    One of the coolest things about Minecraft is that other players are constantly sharing their custom-made modifications, quest maps, impressive artwork, and wiki entries. This culture encourages young people to explore their own ideas and contribute too. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to explore special public servers, forums, and wiki guides together and see how other players customize their games.

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                    10. Age-Appropriate Content

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                      Finally, Minecraft can be played by children of many ages. It has been rated for people ages seven and up by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) and ages four and up for the iOS version. Yes, there is some use of weapons against enemies in the game; however the interactions are not graphic at all. And parents can always set the game to “Peaceful” mode, so that children don’t encounter monsters at all.

                      So what are you waiting for? Pick up Minecraft for PC or console to start exploring some of the advantages video games have in store for your children!

                      Featured photo credit: Anthony Harden via flickr.com

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                      Larry Alton

                      Business Consultant

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                      Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                      18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

                      No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                      If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                      But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

                      Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

                      Let’s dive straight into the list.

                      1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

                        If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

                        RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                          If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                          This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                            This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                            Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                              Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                              Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                                There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                                  Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                                  Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                                    Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                                    This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                                    Available on iOS and Desktop

                                    8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                                      This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                                      This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                                        Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                                        MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                          1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                          Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                          11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                            When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                              This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                              Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                              13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                                This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                                Available on desktop (macOS)

                                                14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                                  Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                                  The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                                  15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                                    Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                    16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                                      Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                      17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                                        This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                        Available on iOS and Android

                                                        18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                          Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                          So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                          More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                          Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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