We had 198 participants in our Zoom coding workshop today! For today’s workshop I walked everyone through a Code.org Hour of Code tutorial on video game design with activities based on the game Minecraft. Kids learned how to code creatures like sheep, chickens, cows, golems, creepers and zombies, to:

  • “spawn” either at daybreak or at nightfall
  • to execute repeated actions using forever loops
  • to make noises and random movements
  • to yield resources when touched by the player
  • to move toward or away from the player and/or attack the player

minecraft coding interface


The kids used Blockly code to accomplish these things, which is based on JavaScript. It’s also somewhat similar to the kinds of blocks you use in Scratch.

The tutorial on Code.org took us through 11 different puzzles and then the 12th and final puzzle was a chance to completely program every aspect of the game yourself with a blank canvas. Some puzzles also include videos with actual programmers who developed the real Minecraft game. These real-life developers explain concepts like spawning and forever loops in a way that’s easy for kids to understand.

Individual Games

The kids designed some cool and crazy games! Click on the images below to be taken to each child’s game and to play it for yourself!

shant's game
Shant made the sheep drop dirt instead of wool–and drop a LOT of it! I said it looked like the whole screen was filling up with sheep poop!


hazel's game
Hazel also made her cow drop dirt… at least I hope that’s just dirt… ewww 🙂



henry's game
Henry coded the sheep to follow the player around, just like Mary and her little lamb!



Adriana's game
Adriana coded tough enemies that come out at night and drop emeralds!


Floyd's game
Floyd coded zombies that spawn very quickly and take over before you can say Aaaaah!


Diego used a great combination of farm animals, monsters, and chickens that lay eggs prolifically!



(UPDATE 7/23/20)

I recorded the workshop because of how long it went and the difficulty for some kids to stay for the whole thing. But in the interests of protecting children’s privacy, I can’t post the recording here. If your child participated in the workshop or signed up for the workshop, and you would like the recording, please email me at akolakowski[at]cityofpasadena[dot]net. I will first verify if your child was signed up and then I will share the recording, if it is still available. Because of digital storage limitations, I cannot guarantee that the video won’t be deleted at some point. Thanks for understanding.


Summer Reading

Don’t forget to claim this activity as a badge for your Summer Reading Challenge and put this toward earning your next prize! You can say it was Coding, or Programming (in this case we mean attending a library program), or if you’re reading this, Blogging! Heck, you can use all three badges, it’s up to you! 🙂 Have fun!