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Whether you’re the parent of a teen or a younger child, you need to complement their book-based education with hands-on projects. These free websites have a collection of DIY crafts and projects for kids of all ages.
DIY home projects with parents are a great way to raise your kid to be a tinkerer. It’s never too early to start them on the path, so read the linked article to know the safest ways and best practices for inquisitive young minds.
1. DIY.org (Web): Projects, Challenges, and a Rewards System
DIY.org, a project by Little Bits, is a wonderful place to get your children started on the DIY journey. It comes with a rewards-based system. The child and parent have to both sign up for an account, so you can track what your kid is doing.
Set up your account and go to Patches. Patches are a bit like scout badges, wherein kids have to pick and finish an activity to earn the Patch. Kids can do that by unlocking different projects. Patches won’t be given out until the child uploads a picture of the finished project.
Patches are divided into skills like art, building, design, engineering, science, etc. Each skill has sub-patches, and each sub-patch has a number of projects or challenges available in it.
Pick a challenge, and you’ll find instructions on how to complete it, usually in the form of a video. Upload a picture or video of the finished task to earn one point. Three points earn you the patch, and six points mean that you’ve mastered the skill.
2. PBS Design Squad (Web): Detailed Guides from the Popular Show
The official website of PBS show Design Squad has a neat collection of DIY projects and ideas for kids in their Build section. Projects have difficulty levels and you can pick them from categories like art, building, machines, musical, party, toys, and vehicles.
Kids can follow the detailed instructional guides that are easy to understand. They can build anything from a confetti launcher for parties to a two-wheeled car toy propelled by a rubber band. These projects require materials that you’ll already have at home or should be easily available in any store.
Each project comes with a fun video demonstrating it, along with detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures that you can read online, or print out as a PDF. There are currently 51 DIY projects to try out. And if your child wants other distractions, check out the Watch, Design, or Games sections for ideas.
3. 5-Minute Crafts KIDS (YouTube): Quick and Basic Projects for Kids
The popular 5-Minute Crafts YouTube channel is mainly for adults, but it has several sub-channels including one for children. Here, you’ll find projects and ideas that any kid can do with basic craft materials like glue, scissors, and so on.
The videos are usually large compilations of things you can do around one activity. For example, one video concentrates on DIY hacks and projects for a dollhouse, while another talks about simple and cute craft works to decorate phone cases.
Depending on the age of the child, you might need to help them with some projects. But any kid can do these once given the materials. Make sure you also check the video’s description, which has links to the different demonstrations in the video along with a link to jump to that timestamp.
4. KiwiCo’s DIY Blog (Web): Over 2000 DIY Projects for Kids and Teens
KiwiCo sells a subscription service where children get a monthly box for new hands-on art and science projects. While those boxes cost some money, the KiwiCo blog of DIY Ideas has plenty of free-to-try projects that you can do with your own materials.
The broad categories are arts and crafts, science, and holidays and events. The projects range from ideas that are suitable for children aged from three to 16 years. But there isn’t an easy way to sort them based on age.
But you can simply browse through the projects to find plenty of cool options. The titles and descriptions usually indicate which age-group it would be ideal for. You’ll find everything from creating your own Mobius loop with an easy printout to making art by melting crayons on canvas.
While all of this is free, an annoying pop-up will keep reminding you to sign up for the KiwiCo newsletter before reading the full article. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to circumvent this, so you’ll have to sign up to see the projects.
5. STEMpedia (Web): Robotics and Science Projects for Teens
Is your child is interested in any of the STEM disciplines? You’ll need DIY projects that are a little more advanced than what other sites offer. STEMpedia has a host of projects for students looking to get hands-on experience with building something geeky and fun.
The projects at STEMpedia often require electronic materials like Arduino boards, LEDs, LEGO robotics kits, and other such items. You can also help out as some projects are a bit more advanced and need an adult hand.
But while they’re more complex, they are still fun and challenging. For example, you can learn how to build your own claw machine, or a simple maze-based video game, or even a phone-controlled 4-wheel robot.
All of these projects require a basic understanding of STEM disciplines, and you’ll probably need a computer handy too. In fact, it might be a good idea to find a local hackerspace because you might need help with some projects.
For more such ideas and projects, check out the best Youtube channels for STEM education.
Raising a DIY-Loving Kid
An all-rounded education is important for any child, and that means along with academic information, they need to also have hands-on practical projects. The above list of websites will ensure your child is eager to roll their sleeves up with art, mechanics, or science.
In fact, we’ve before you move to the websites, we’ve also got a curated list for you. Here are the top 10 geeky science projects you can do at home with your child. It’ll be educational while also leading to some parent-child bonding.
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