A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this online version of Make Magazine encourages people to take on a wide variety of interesting projects, from creating homemade musical instruments to building toys to customizing and modifying common electronics. Most of the projects require a certain amount of technical skills and a grasp of basic electronics, and are better suited for older teens. A 'Kids and Family' section highlights a handful of kid-friendly projects. The site promotes the magazine, and the DIY subculture.
What's it about?
MAKE:ONLINE is for the people who take apart their toys to see how they work, who enjoy fixing things, and always want to see if they can get their gadgets to do something more. This website, the online counterpart of the popular hobbyist publication Make Magazine, is packed with do-it-yourself projects ranging from easy arts and crafts to innovative hacks for common electronics. Want to build your own paper mache maracas? What about turning a cell phone into a guitar, or tweaking a Wii game controller to send instructions to a remote control dinosaur toy? The site provides detailed instructions for all of those activities, and many more, often with accompanying video guides.
Is it any good?
People who enjoy tinkering will find plenty of inspiration here, and the broad range of subjects and difficulty levels means there's something for just about anyone. The projects range from reasonably simple to pretty advanced, but the in-depth instructions can help users learn new tasks and may prompt people to branch out into new and entertaining areas. Be advised that this site seems aimed more at the skilled hobbyist; young kids may find many of these projects appealing, but will probably need adult help.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about do-it-yourself projects. Does this site inspire you to take on a new project? Or does the idea of tinkering with home electronics or building a gadget from scratch seem too intimidating? Can the detailed guides help you feel more confident about such a job?
What is your first instinct when a toy breaks -- to try to fix it or to throw it away and get a new one? Do you think today's culture of disposability makes people less inclined to create something from used materials?
- Subjects: Hobbies: building
Science: astronomy, biology, physics
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, respecting other viewpoints
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, investigation, problem solving
Creativity: developing novel solutions, innovation, making new creations
- Genre: Creating
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
For kids who love creating
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