A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Make It Ruby offers more than 100 creative crafts that tween girls will enjoy doing at home (and more are added weekly). Its back-to-basics philosophy encourages kids to find items around their homes and “reuse, renew, and repurpose.” Projects are presented in three simple steps, and though they are simple enough for tweens, the crafts may not be sophisticated enough to interest older girls. Monthly contests enable kids to submit photos of their projects and compete to win branded Make It Ruby products such as T-shirts, notebooks, and journals. A party-planning section serves up fun ideas for throwing a themed party, and a parents’ corner encourages parents to create with their kids. Anyone can visit the site and look at some of the crafts, but registration is required to enter contests, see the project gallery, and view the archive of older projects.
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Is it any good?
If your tween tends to gather paper-towel rolls and bottle caps and whip them into some cool craft, she’ll enjoy a stop at MAKE IT RUBY. It’s a good place to pick up ideas and simple instructions for a variety of DIY projects using items found around the house. The girl-centric graphics and animated guide (Ruby, herself) will appeal to young tweens, and the simple craft projects will inspire some do-it-yourself creativity. Registered users can find simple, step-by-step instructions for an assortment of projects that are categorized by theme (fashion, gifts, etc.) and definitely tailored to girls: a monogrammed compact mirror, ribbon bracelets, decorated water bottle, etc. Though there are a couple of games and activities offered on the site, they won’t hold media-savvy girls’ attention for long. It’s the craft projects that will draw girls to this site and inspire a bit of old-fashioned at-home creativity.
Online interaction: Members are encouraged to post pictures of themselves and their projects, but there’s no social interaction between members.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Internet can be a valuable tool for generating creative ideas to do at home. Do you get the same sense of satisfaction from creating projects offline -- with scissors -- as you do creating projects online with a mouse?
Families can also talk about other do-it-yourself items to create at home and how you can safely find more instruction and information online.
How can reusing items help preserve Earth’s resources? What cast-off items can be found around the house that can be repurposed?