A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Instructables is a slick DIY and how-to share site intended for adults but with lots of useful and offbeat ideas and projects tweens and teens could do with supervision. If kids stick entirely to the Instructables listed in categories, they will avoid most sophisticated content ("How to Make an Arc Welder" or "How to Put on a Condom"). To create a brand new Instructable, users must register with username, email, and password, or via Facebook. To keep the app from collecting usage statistics users can uncheck a box in the About section.
What's it about?
The INSTRUCTABLES app opens in Explore mode with large photo-based panels in eight categories. The main menu includes a search function, contests, followed contributors, and a profile page ("You"). Users can vote for contest entries, comment on Instructables, or create their own Instructable if they're registered. Users tap on Instructable panels (title, photo, and contributor) to bring up step-by-step instructions and photo illustrations.
Is it any good?
Instructables is super easy to use and sports unique creative content that'll keep tweens and teens coming back for more. Large fonts, icons, the ability to take photos in-app, and easy edit and delete functions make it very user friendly. Topics range from a giant sun jar made with a clear glass cookie jar, solar lights, LEDs, and frosting spray to maple bacon cheddar garlic biscuits to a homemade arc welder. While some, like the arc welder, are not appropriate for anyone without proper background knowledge and equipment, many, like "Tulle Circle Skirt" and "Paracord Wetsuit Hanger" are quite doable for parent-kid weekend projects. Video links don't always work and contest instructions display nonsense symbols. While Instructables content is ostensibly user generated, some — to be expected for a newly launched share site — appears to be seeded or reused from other share sites.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, presenting to others, reading comprehension, writing, writing clearly
Science: engineering, electricity
Hobbies: building, cooking, fashion
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, hypothesis-testing, part-whole relationships, thinking critically
Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination, innovation, making new creations
Emotional Development: moving beyond obstacles, persevering
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: March 20, 2013
- Category: Lifestyle
- Size: 4.30 MB
- Publisher: Autodesk Inc.
- Version: Android 1.0.4; iOS 1.1.0
- Minimum software requirements: Android 2.1 and up; iOS 5.0 or later
For kids who love to create
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.