DIY

Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
DIY Website Poster Image
Maker community celebrates skill building and creativity.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to use everyday materials, resourcefulness, and knowledge to solve problems. The approach requires scientific thinking; as they build, design, and code kids also predict, follow a procedure, observe, and refine. Certain challenges teach useful skills for survival and safety in the real world, e.g., make pizza dough or bandage an injury. Commenting tools teach kids to be accountable if they’re asked "How did you do that?" DIY motivates kids to tackle a wide range of problems with independent and scientific thinking.

Positive Messages

Kids learn and build confidence when they complete a challenge. Kids who earn patches for certain skills are viewed as experts in that skill.

Violence
Sex
Language

The site filters all comments and posts for inappropriate language and bullying before they are published to the site. 

Consumerism

There are links to third-party sites where ads may be prevalent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DIY encourages kids to complete skill-based, hands-on challenges that often (but not always) require materials and outside help. The challenge descriptions are deliberately brief, so check out the posts by successful DIYers or some of the third party videos for more help. For each skill area, DIY lists a few materials to have on hand but doesn’t specify when to use them. Kids may need adult support to help choose appropriate challenges, find materials, locate a work space, and supervise their progress and safety. However, DIY encourages parents to take a back seat and let kids lead. A parent dashboard tracks and sends alerts about kids’ activities on the site.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant year old Written byClassicEducationMama June 14, 2013

Best site for kids I've seen yet!

This is just an incredible site! Kids work on hands on projects to earn merit badges. In my community, kids ages 7-17 all enjoy working on individual projects t... Continue reading
Adult Written byjessicaezra June 28, 2015

'Camp' and 'Counselor' are Misnomers for DIY camps

My son is doing one of DIY's camps, but the folks who run this place don't really do much, other than provide access to assignments that participants... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byZeptometer September 3, 2013

I wish I had this before I was a teenager

I give this website high marks. The idea of trying to get kids to explore and find their passions early is something highly commendable, and frankly more and mo... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 14, 2013

the div

it's great and has recipes and has fun chllanges

What's it about?

The homepage lists popular challenges, features a particular challenge, and shares news about who’s earned a new badge. Kids can explore topics there or go to the Skills page and browse 50 different categories of challenges. Kids have to create a profile and avatar to upload photos or videos as proof for completing challenges. If they complete three in a skill area, they earn a patch that displays online. Kids can follow other DIYers and interact with comments or by asking and answering questions.

Is it any good?

Grown up boy and girl scouts will remember doing specific tasks to earn merit badges. DIY is an online form of the same thing, made more accessible and inclusive by its large assortment of skills challenges. It engages kids with varied interests -- technology, art, comedy, the outdoors, the indoors, bugs, computers -- there’s even a Front End Dev skill for kids who like bugs in computers. Skills have a mix of challenges kids can do independently (Minecraft challenges or build an indoor fort) and others that require help from an adult (repair a bicycle tube) or a professional (use a soldering iron). In those cases, success depends on the level of involvement kids can get from adults. Still, DIY rewards any completed challenge regardless of difficulty or time to complete and kids walk away with confidence, new skills, and a nifty online patch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about appropriate ways to ask questions or make suggestions on others' projects and avoid hurt feelings. How should you respond to questions or suggestions from others? What are some examples of positive interactions? Which behaviors should you avoid?

  • Ensure kids know how to be safe interacting online with people they don’t know. Check out our advice for elementary, middle, and high schoolers.

Website details

  • Subjects: Science: engineering
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: defining problems, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically
    Creativity: brainstorming, developing novel solutions, making new creations
    Self-Direction: achieving goals, initiative, work to achieve goals
  • Genre: Creating
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free

For kids who love to create

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