DIY.org - A Parent’s Perspective
We’ve recently received a letter from a parent whose kids are some of our most prolific users on DIY. Altogether, they’ve completed close to 700 projects and have earned a total of 87 skills. We value the feedback we get from DIYers and are always interested about what the experience is like for adults whose kids use DIY. How do parents feel about their kids using social networks and what’s it like seeing their kids translate the DIY ethos into the form of real world clubs?
We weren’t disappointed and would like to say a huge thank you for the kind words. We’re feeling ridiculously proud.
One year ago I shared with a friend a project that my middle son had made. She suggested that we check out diy.org. I remember pulling up the site and thinking it looked interesting. The kids were in bed, so I showed it to them the next morning. They were intrigued and wanted to join diy.org. None of us had a clue about the journey we were about to embark on.
Each child selected an animal avatar and came up with a user name. The sign up process was very easy. They began to explore the website, so many avenues to take. They could check out what other kids have made and put their own spin on a similar project. They could complete challenges toward earning a specific skill. Or, they could share something original. The ideas were there, for those who wanted inspiration, but the choice was theirs
Not only were they creating their own path; their world just got a while lot bigger. DIY.org is fully of possibilities for kids to explore. Kids discover new materials to work with, skills to learn, and projects to try.
For example my middle son saw a challenge using duct tape to make a wallet that he wanted to try. The video instructions introduced him to using an x-acto knife to make custom stencils. He’s tweaked the process he originally saw and has made very detailed duct tape projects. He has also taken it across mediums and used a similar process for felt projects and T-shirt stenciling. DIY helps kids take skills to the next level and branch out to explore other areas.
In addition to having a larger stream of ideas, diy.org provides global connections through sharing projects and commenting on other’s projects. Gone are the days when kid’s projects are only displayed on the refrigerator. Kids are validated when someone likes what they’ve made. They also like to see and comment on what other kids are doing. It is rewarding when someone likes your idea so much that they remake it. DIY.org feeds their inner creativity and they want to make more. (Read more on Michele Warsaw’s blog)