This may be one of the greatest websites of all time. I’m very serious.
If you have kids, you are going to love this site. If your kids ever said “I’m bored” this summer, you are REALLY going to love this site. If you have a creative side at all, you are going to love this site because it’s not just for kids. If you’re into that whole ‘maker’ thing, oh dear – you’re going to need to sit down before you read this post. If you’re a teacher, well….take a deep breath, dive in, and just KNOW that you’re going to introduce this to your students during the first week of school and parents will hug your face on back to school night! If you are an over-the-top adventurous, innovative, awesomesauce teacher, you’ll have a class account set up before school even starts!
((((((( drum roll ))))))
The site is called diy.org. Yup, it’s that simple. That unpretentious. How did I not know about this before?
Here’s the gist of the site:
1) You look up stuff to do.
2) You do the stuff.
3) You post something about the stuff you did.
4) You earn a patch.
I have just completely oversimplified this amazing site, but I wanted you to feel like this is easy, and fun, and something you can start doing right now! I know you’re itching to get started, but please, please bear with me as I explain DIY.org in a little more detail.
1) You look up stuff to do: From hundreds and hundreds of ALL KINDS of activities. I’m not kidding when I say there is something for everyone here. Screenshot time – just look at the patches you can earn:
***I had absolutely NO intention of posting pix of EVERY single patch, but I couldn’t stop myself! I told you this site has something for everyone! (And they keep adding…these people at DIY.org are incredible!)
2) You do the stuff: Pick a patch that interests you and go for it! I like to bake, so I went for the baker patch. You’ll see in the photo below that the patch is in the 3rd spot. I need to do 3 challenges in this category to earn the DIY.org patch. But if you look a little lower in the photo, you’ll see that there are FIFTEEN options for challenges, and they really range in difficulty! Even better, for each option there are little videos submitted by other DIYers to instruct or motivate you!
3. You post something about the stuff you did: Many sites call this ‘submitting evidence’. When you’re done baking your bread, making a duct-tape wallet, starting a rock collection, scrapbooking, producing a radio interview, or hiking – just upload a photo or video to show that you actually did it! (Mom & Dad, you get an instant email whenever your child submits something. You can always edit it or delete it.)
4. You earn a patch! At first, your submission (evidence) is pending review by real humans, but then it gets approved, you get an email, and you’re on your way to earning a patch! Remember, you must do three challenges in any category before you’re patch-worthy.
Okay, so you’re sold. I knew you would be. You probably have your eye on about a half dozen of those beautiful patches, right? You’re already mentally pairing people you know with patches…I do that, too!
BUT before you go…..I have a few really valuable tips that you might want to read first:
- Is it safe? Well, they’ve thought of everything. Here’s what their site has to say: “DIY is a safe setting for your kids to try social media, get feedback, and be inspired by a community of peers. Every member’s privacy is carefully monitored by a staff of moderators. No real names or faces are shown without parental permission. Comments are allowed, but jerks and bullies are not.” Note from me: When I signed up for a kid account, it required an email be sent to a parent, and then even credit card info provided (NOT charged) as proof of actual adult-ness!
- Create a family/class account: Rather than having individual accounts, skip the competition between your kids and encourage the collaboration. Everybody can work together to be a part of the success! Create a shared account with a shared password. You’ll feel safer, it’s easier to manage, and it’s a great bonding thing!
- Skip the camps: You’ll see prompts that offer specialized camps for $10. I believe these are probably excellent based on the quality of this site, but there is SO MUCH FREE STUFF that I encourage you to live in & explore the DIY.org world before you start paying. Maybe next summer if little Johnny BEGS for that robotics camp…?
- Get the app: All the info is on the app, and it’s great to have it with you wherever you go! It also makes taking a photo or video for submission so much easier. When Suzie catches her first fish for the angler badge, shoot a quick vid, upload it right from your phone, and you’re on your way!
Okay, so I leave you with this…my favorite patch, and the one I’m best at by far.
I’m Kerszi, and I’ll see you on DIY.org!
As always, I love feedback & sharing! You can send your thoughts & ideas here on WordPress, to @kerszi on Twitter, or follow My Primary Techspiration on Facebook.