Martha and Friends

Website review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Explore arts and crafts with young, animated Martha Stewart.

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to follow directions as they make crafts, recipes, toys, and other projects for parties, holidays, pets, or play. They can work independently on some projects like paper lanterns or a leaf alphabet, but projects like homemade dog biscuits and toy boats need help from an adult. Martha and Friends' project ideas will appeal to boys, girls, pet lovers, and budding chefs alike and teach how much fun it can be to make things yourself.

Positive Messages

The TV show segments on the website highlight 10-year-old Martha and her friends solving problems and creating projects together. It encourages kids to make their own fun through the activities such as trying new recipes and making homemade crafts.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There are links at the bottom of the page to other Martha Stewart sites, including MarthaStewart.com, as well as other AOL sites, such as Free Kids Games, Willow Smith, The Green Team, and Secret Millionaires Club. The Hallmark Channel's logo is here as well, promoting the Martha and Friends show related to this site. And, of course, this site is a brand-recognition builder for Martha Stewart.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this crafty site is based on the cartoon series Martha and Friends, featuring a 10-year-old Martha and her three creative friends. Watch segments of the Martha and Friends show (full episodes on Hallmark Channel), read bios about the main characters, get ideas for crafts and recipes, and play two simple games.

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What's it about?

Kids can find project ideas a few different ways. The Martha and Friends show segments feature a craft or two and give links to their directions at the end. Projects are also organized by category or the more free-spirited DIY-er can click the “surprise box” for a random project. The site could use a few more filters (projects kids can do on their own, projects that require tools, 30-minute projects, etc.) to help parents and kids locate the right idea when the creative mood strikes.

Is it any good?

Kids who like to make their own stuff at home -- like homemade dog biscuits, lemonade, or lip balm -- will love this site. The creators have done a good job including food and craft ideas that are much simpler than typical adult-Martha fare, and it's a nice stereotype-breaker to see a boy character as one of Martha's friends who is into crafting, too. The games could definitely be a bit more challenging, and it would be an improvement if kids could watch entire episodes of the cartoon from beginning to end on the site, since each one supposedly has a lesson to teach. With only partial episodes available here, kids don't get to find out the end results of Martha and her friends' creative teamwork efforts or the moral of the story unless they also watch the Hallmark Channel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Martha Stewart lends her name to a cartoon for kids Sure, she probably enjoys encouraging kids to craft and cook, but ask: What else does she gain here? Explain how brands build loyalty, even among future consumers of their products. Read Common Sense Media's Selling to Kids Tips.

  • Talk about why it can be more fun to make something like a pair of decorative flip-flops, a homemade greeting card, or a spa facial mask from scratch, rather than buying them pre-made.

Website details

For kids who love arts and crafts

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