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DIY.org – Creative Challenges

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
DIY.org – Creative Challenges App Poster Image
How-to videos ignite curiosity and nurture key skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Watching the various how-to videos and engaging in the collection of hands-on projects will have kids exploring a wide variety of ideas and skills. Kids will practice listening and following multi-step directions and will explore creative, science, engineering, cooking, coding, and tech concepts. They'll also have the opportunity to share their projects with the on-line learning community, giving them the opportunity to practice presenting. Some projects encourage collaboration through the learning community. 

Ease of Play

Intro videos get kids ready, and then each challenge is composed of a how-to video and a prompt for kids to try the experience for themselves. The challenge section doesn't include how-to videos, but follows the same format, providing a challenge prompt, gallery, and space to post and share, and they're labeled with level of difficulty. Depending on the project, kids may need help from a grown-up when actually working with materials.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The community guidelines encourage kids to stay age-appropriate and warn that posts may not include suggestive content and appropriate clothing must be worn when documenting projects. 

Language

The community guidelines encourage kids to keep language clean and warn that post with profanity will be removed. 

Consumerism

Monthly subscription is required after the 14-day free trial in order to enjoy the app's content and engage with the learning community. Some projects may require purchases for supplies.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Community Guidelines encourage kids to stay age-appropriate and warn that posts may not include use of drugs or alcohol. 

What parents need to know

Parent need to know that DIY.org – Creative Challenges is an educational app and learning community where kids can access a collection of project ideas and how-to videos. There are several categories for kids to choose from: They'll have the opportunity to explore drawing, photography, animation, cooking, building with Legos, designing and creating simple machines, slime, sewing, music, Minecraft, coding, and conducting a range of science experiments. Each course follows a similar format, providing an introductory video, a series of how-to videos, and a challenge prompt that directs kids to try the hand-on activity on their own. In addition to the collection of project ideas and video tutorials, the app has an internal social media component that allows kids to interact with others using the app. It's designed to be a kids-only environment and birthdate is used to verify age. Grown-ups steering the ship are kept in the loop regarding app updates and their kid's activity through emails and a separate link that allows them to manage the account. The app offers a 14-day free trial followed by monthly subscription. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

DIY.ORG – CREATIVE CHALLENGES is an onscreen tool that promotes off-screen, hands-on exploration and creativity. The app provides families with a collection of courses geared towards inspiring kids to develop or refine skills. Courses include a series of topics for kids to explore. Each topic includes how-to videos and challenges, or targeted project ideas, that encourage kids to try things out on their own. Challenges are marked with level of difficulty, popularity amongst users, the amount of time the project will take, and the number of points kids will earn toward a particular badge. Badges are earned and collected as kids complete challenges and learn new skills. They'll be able to rack up mechanical engineering badges, drawing badges, and cooking badges -- just to name a few. The app also serves as a learning community where kids can interact with other DIYers by browsing through galleries of their peers' creations and liking or commenting on their work. The platform encourages kids to share their work and learn from others. The Profile tab compiles all personal posts, followers, likes, and skills achieves through challenges. The TV tab streams DIYers sharing their projects and presenting their work to the community. The app's community guidelines emphasize respect, supporting others, privacy, staying age appropriate, and pursuing achievement rather than attention. If someone violates those guidelines, there's an option to report posts. Though someone could enter a false birthdate to sign up, there are no private messages and there's human oversight of the social features. The parent dashboard is sent via separate link to the email associated with the account. Through the dashboard, parents can add up to four kids per subscription and manage the account. 

Is it any good?

The wide variety of how-to videos and project ideas guarantees that all kids will find something that peeks their interest, ignites their curiosity, and empower them to bring onscreen ideas to life. DIY.org – Creative Challenges has a rich collection of courses and challenges, ensuring that there's something for everyone. Whether kids are into the arts, building things, plants, or science experiments, the app is sure to offer hands-on challenges that will keep them engaged. The how-to videos are high-quality, entertaining, and easy-to-follow. Depending on the challenge, kids may need a helping hand from a grown-up, especially when working with materials such as hydrogen peroxide or working in the kitchen. The app itself is straightforward and easy to navigate. The on-screen tool promotes offscreen learning and motivates kids to acquire or refine skills. Through the activities they'll explore key art and science concepts and they'll also practice thinking, reasoning, and creativity skills that can be applied in other situations. Although many of the challenges can be enjoyed independently, there are also plenty of project ideas that can be enjoyed as a family. 

Families will love the fact that the DIY.org – Creative Challenges is a kids-only learning community. The safeguards and precautions taken by the developers will give parents peace of mind, especially since there's a social media component to the app. Of course, no platform is perfect, so it's still best to talk to kids about what's OK to post and what to do if someone's mean, but human moderators and the lack of private messages keeps it generally safe and positive. Kids will reap the benefits of interacting with other DIYers, learning from peers, feeling inspired, and sharing their own work, while parents enjoy the assurance of community guidelines and human oversight aimed at keeping kids safe and creating a respectful and age-appropriate platform. The only drawback is that $19.99 a month -- and the potential cost of materials -- will make this app inaccessible to many families. A tiered subscription model would help more families be able to use it.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to use social media responsibly when enjoying DIY.org – Creative Challenges. The app provides detailed community guidelines which parents can use to facilitate a conversation around social media, privacy, respect, and interacting with others on digital platforms. What personal information do we avoid posting online? Why?

  • As kids collect badges, parents will be able to see what they are passionate about or what has peeked their interest. What subjects and projects are the best? What offscreen activities involve those subjects? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, presenting to others, writing
    Math: patterns, shapes
    Science: animals, engineering, biology, chemistry, ecosystems and the environment, electricity, energy, geology, gravity, measurement, momentum, motion, physics, plants, rocks and minerals, substance properties, weather
    Arts: dance, drawing, film, improvising and music analysis, movement, music, painting, photography, rhythm, singing
    Hobbies: building, collecting, cooking, fashion, gardening, pets
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information, collecting data, decision-making, defining problems, hypothesis-testing, investigation, logic, making conclusions, part-whole relationships, prediction, problem solving, spatial reasoning, thinking critically
    Creativity: brainstorming, combining knowledge, imagination, innovation, making new creations
    Self-Direction: effort, goal-setting, initiative, motivation, personal growth, work to achieve goals
    Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening, multiple forms of expression, presenting, speaking
    Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
    Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, honoring the community, integrity, respect for others
    Tech Skills: coding, digital creation, social media, using and applying technology
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (14-day free trial then $19.99/mo.)
  • Release date: August 7, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Cooking and Baking, STEM, Arts and Dance, Music and Sing-Along, Science and Nature
  • Size: 94.10 MB
  • Publisher: DIY, Co
  • Version: 5.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 22, 2019

Themes & Topics

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