DIY

Common Sense Media says

Maker community celebrates skill building and creativity.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

If kids create a profile, an adult must approve their membership. DIY says it's for kids age 7-16, but there is nothing stopping someone younger or older from signing up. There's potential for kids to reveal personally identifiable information when posting photos or videos of their projects. All submitted projects fall under terms of Creative Commons that allow other users (and DIY) to copy, distribute, and transmit the work and adapt it for commercial uses as long as it’s attributed.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • defining problems
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions
  • making new creations

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • initiative
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Positive peer pressure attracts kids to the site: "If they can do it, I can, too!" Attractive badges for completed skills motivate kids to earn as many as possible. It's a snap to find, view, and share projects.

Learning Approach

DIY's challenges prompt kids to use scientific inquiry to build, design, or code their way through a challenge. They're empowered as they try new things, observe, troubleshoot, and revise their ideas.

Support

Kids get little help besides what's posted by other users, ranging from a single photo to a "how-to" video. The ability to share projects and comment or ask questions introduces kids to the concept of a scientific community.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • defining problems
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions
  • making new creations

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • initiative
  • work to achieve goals

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michelle Kitt

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Genre:Creating
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of DIY was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byZeptometer September 3, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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 more necessary in today's world. Unfortunately, thanks to the sheltered existence many children have and the education trend de jour, much of our youth go underexposed to learning experiences as basic as making pancakes or drawing something they imagine. DIY is a great way to introduce kids to things that they CAN do if they want to. The self guided aspect allows them to move themselves forward and gain drive and appreciation for the skills they develop, and as they grow older, ideally they will seek other skills to practice. Nervousness about the self-guided nature of the website is to be expected, but DIY is quite transparent, and you can keep up with what your children are posting through your own account. Consumerism is noted because DIY does make and sell badges, which can be very tempting for your maker. On their own they are not particularly expensive, but they can accumulate, and your children might pester you for them. Explain to your children that they can get the badge once they've earned it (either through the site's tracker or your own standard) All in all, DIY.org is something I wish I had been able to use when I was a more appropriate age for it. The site is geared towards 10 through 12 year olds, but an open-minded teenager who doesn't think it's lame because it isn't edgy will do just fine. Speaking of which, all posts must be cleared by the staff before they are published to the site, so while there is nothing stopping an adult from posing as a child, both DIY and you are able to moderate interactions with others. Essentially, if you keep up with your kid's activities, everything will be fine. It's a fantastic experience for your children, and a great opportunity to do something together.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much consumerism
Parent of an infant year old Written byClassicEducationMama June 14, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

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 through this very safe and secure site. Parents can log on and follow all of their child's activity on DIY. The merit badges are super unique and full of fun challenges varying from an Astronomer Badge (Make a Sundial or Build a Model Solar System) to a Medic Badge (Assemble a First-Aid Kit or Make a Stethoscope) to a Puppeteer Badge (Perform a Shadow Puppet Show or Make a Movie with Your Puppets)! New badges and challenges are developed all the time. I say 7 and up because I feel there is nothing inappropriate for that age group on the site. Parent involvement would probably be helpful for some of the challenges depending on the age of the child. (WEAPON ALERT: For parents concerned about violence there are a few badges that do include building various tools including a bow and arrow for the Pioneer Badge and building an air cannon (to shoot marshmallows) for the Rocketeer Badge.) These projects can be easily avoided if they are of any concern.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old October 14, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

the div

it's great and has recipes and has fun chllanges

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