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)
Next weekend, Home Depot is hosting DIY Playoffs in three of their South Bay stores. DIY Playoffs are special events where players flex their skills and compete to solve a challenge. Playoffs can happen anywhere, and be hosted by anyone. Here are the rules of thumb:
Playoffs happen in the real world - backyard, gymnasium or empty parking lot.
Each Playoff starts with a create challenge that require kids to come up with their own solution.
Organizers should make their own awesome awards for the kids that solve the challenge.
Playoffs are for kids. Adults can help organize, but they’ll need to leave the making up to the kids.
Don’t have kids but want to take part at DIY.org? Help start a club in your area!
A DIY club is a group that works together to practice skills, do creative projects and take epic adventures together. The kinds of DIY clubs are infinite – it could be a punk band, robotics club, newspaper staff, film crew or just a bunch of friends hacking on random projects.
Clubs need planning, logistics, and organization - that’s where you come in! Help gather materials for your club, plan events, and get the momentum going so that kids can lead themselves. For more info, check out our DIY Club Guides and be sure to register your club here. Happy making!
What the Fork?!: Introducing Our Most Popular Forking Project
Forking at DIY only started a few weeks ago, but in that short of a time it has taken off from the Piano in 3D to one of the most know forks on DIY: Wolf Turtle.
It may sound a bit odd, but the basic concept of Wolf Turtle is to portray a wolf standing on the shell of a turtle. We don’t know why exactly DIYers made this the top forked subject, but whatever the reason, it’s awesome. The whole fork started from user Gentle Hunt, who made a drawing of a wolf standing proudly on a turtle’s shell and a description calling for all users to fork. Since then we’ve had recreations in minecraft, claymation, cartoon, with ninja turtles and more. This is exciting because one subject ties all the users together, but also lets them express their individuality.
We’re incredibly proud that forking has inspired such a creative mind in DIYers and can’t wait to see future forks, new and wolf turtle.
Saxon and Rabinovitch have created a whole new set of avatars for all you DIYers!
We liked the animals we drew before, but the time came to expand and create a new set of avatars that reflected our diverse and growing community! But, if you really like your current animal, and you are an existing member, you are granted special access to the original Animal Avatars, just check your settings.
Special shout-out to Stalk Jimbo who designed the minecraft moose.
EASTER EGG: one of these is in 3D (with anaglyph glasses). Can you tell which one and where it’s from?
Get Skills at LA Makerspace this Sunday, July 21. The Los Hackers DIY Club will be working with duct tape to make wallets, bags, and accessories. Complete all three challenges, and you can get the embroidered Tape Ninja patch. That’s right, I’ll be there with physical patches for DIY members to stitch on, and be proud.
This Tape Ninja meet-up is free to the public, but make sure you RSVP here.
Watch DIY TV for handpicked videos we think you’ll love. They’re the most entertaining, inspirational, quirky and hilarious videos on the web, and the DIY community helped us find them. We’re adding new videos everyday - check it out on the DIY App!
I’m excited to announce that a group of users have banded together to bring you DIY’s first ever user-curated newsletter, The DIY Times. Want to know more about our upcoming skills? The DIY market place? The new Minecraft server? We’ve given the DIY Newsletter crew the inside scoop of what’s to come - check it out!
You can now search for your favorite projects on DIY. Simply enter a keyword in ‘Search’ on the Explore page and discover projects that others in the community have done. Click below for some of our favorite search terms:
The DIY Team spent the past week hanging out in Bolinas, CA where we built and raced box car derbies, discussed plans for the new DIY Headquarters, explored the beautiful hiking trails along the coast of California, and generally relaxed and enjoyed being off the grid (ok, not totally ;) ). It’s been a great week and we’re now back in the office as wide-eyed as ever and ready to build out our plans for the future of DIY.