318 N. Main Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Lacey Keigley

Family Mud Fun! May 30th. Berkeley Park.

Screen-shot-2012-06-03-at-10.31.16-PMFamily Mud Fun is a muddy event for all ages!  Muddy games, live music, and a one mile mud run for kids 11 and under.  Children are $20/each, with a t-shirt and casual dinner included, and adults are no charge, but can choose to purchase food/drinks/raffle tickets while there.   The event is Friday, May 30 from 6:00 – 8:00 at Berkeley Park, and registration is limited.  Call 697-8333 with questions.


Meet Tim Davis, Author & Illustrator

Kids naturally love to create.

Their small fingers are drawn to crayons and markers.  Their minds are bent toward stories and ideas.

And sometimes they grow up and forget about that side of themselves.

And sometimes they don’t.

Today we have an interview with author and illustrator Tim Davis.  He says he has been interested in stories and creating games and art since he was a child himself.  Now he has written and published many books for children, works as an artist and has been a frequent creator of Highlights magazines hidden pictures feature.

Q: Although you’re primarily an illustrator, you also have writing credits. When did you start writing?

I was working as a staff illustrator for Bob Jones University Press when the other illustrators elected me to talk to the BJU staff writers about the problem of not enough action in their stories. I talked to Becky, who was a good friend at the time, and told her, “We’re having trouble with the stories you’re giving us. We need more action so that we can make better illustrations.” In a bit of a huff, she replied, “If you think can do better, then do it… Continue reading

Hands On! Crafts: Making a Safety Pin Flag

Crafts and summer seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?

One of our readers, Sarah, a mom of two now grown children, is sharing with us today a July Fourth craft you can make to celebrate Independence Day.  Sarah and her two kids spent a lot of summer time afternoons creating and working together – and I bet those kids still have a fondness for crafting even now!

Thanks Sarah!

Making a safety pin flag:

What you need:

  • Small box of safety pins
  • Red beads
  • White beads
  • Blue beads
  • Seam ripper

I got the small brass safety pins but the larger type can be used as well, just be sure to adjust the bead size accordingly.

Open the box of safety pins:  when using the small brass pins, pour out all the pins and as you will notice some of the pins are longer than others. I use the longer one for the horizontal piece of the flag.  See below:

Take the long pin and open it. Using the seam ripper, very carefully remove the clasp.  (This may be for adults or older children.)

As shown:

Using 4 different pins, load them with red… Continue reading

Beyond Camp: Science Learning

We spend a lot of time promoting education at Hands On!

Our exhibits are imaginative and fun – but they are also informative and educational.

We hope that when you leave the good times at the museum itself, you are inspired to keep learning and playing at home.

And we feel the same way about our summer camp programs.

We love to teach your children and we love to see the proverbial lightbulb flash in their mind as they understand a concept in a new way.

Earlier this week we had a visit from our crazy chemists and today we have a nano science camp.

(You can find out more about nano science here – this organization is one of our sponsors.)

How do you encourage your kids to keep learning this summer – especially about science?

Beyond Camp: Building Fairy Houses

We’ve been having so much fun with our summer camps at Hands On! so far.

We’ve loved creating airplanes and digging for dinosaur bones and exercising together.

Today at the museum we are learning how to make fairies using wires and beads.

We’re talking about legends and stories about fairies and we want to help you give your kids even more freedom to feed their imaginations.

Once you have your fairies home, feel free to create a fairy home for them.

You can bring the outside in and let your children store their fairy house inside or you can actually build the entire fairy home in the woods or under some trees in your yard.  (The fairies won’t be too picky.  We hear they like bright colors and tiny pebbles and flowers.)

There are oodles of websites with fun ideas – but this link shows some simple ways to build a fairy house with your children.

Head to your local library and check out the books about fairies and get some ideas from the photographs there.

And, of course, perhaps most importantly – have fun.

Think like a fairy – think small.

And – for you parents –… Continue reading

Hands On! Connections: Exercising With Your Family

It’s no mystery to us as parents that our children need exercise.

And we know that we need exercise too.

Living a healthy lifestyle is vital to our general well-being.

The methods to reach that goal of a healthy lifestyle are multi-faceted and look a little different in each home.

One of the biggest factors, however, in maintaining a lifestyle of healthy habits is to embrace those habits with your entire family.

Kids model the behaviors of their parents.

When you eat right, exercise regularly and get enough rest each night, your children will be much more likely to follow your lead.

At Hands On! this week we are hosting a Moving and Grooving Camp on Thursday, June 21 at 10:30 in the morning.

The camp, of course, is geared to children, but we want to encourage your whole family to adopt some healthy habits of exercise this summer.

Our friends at Be Active North Carolina share a great list of tips to help get your entire family active together.

It’s a helpful website with links for long-term changes, such as an interactive link to help you navigate fast food restaurants and make wise dining choices.

They even have… Continue reading

Dig Dinosaurs?

Tomorrow we are going back in time at Hands On! Way back in time. It's Dino Dig Camp here at the museum and the kids participating have an opportunity to become paleontologists for the day. We have a feeling that once the kids have had a taste of discovering dinosaurs, their curiosity will lead them to want to learn more and more. And since we are feeding your child's interest in the giant extinct creatures, we thought it only fair to gather some sites and point you in the right direction so you can continue encouraging your child's love of learning about dinosaurs. Continue reading

Your Turn . . .

Here at Hands On! we know that summer opens up your children’s days in a whole new way.

And some of that extra time provides an excellent opportunity to dig deeper into subjects that sometimes have to take a backseat during the busy school year.

We offer a bevy of various camp days and options all summer long.

(Visit us at the museum or check out our Facebook page or our events page here on the website for a complete list of all of our camps.)

Continue reading

A Mom’s Perspective: Crafting With Kids Requires Flexibility

Joanna is a mother of two and a fabric artist.  She blogs at phoebeflock and sells her homemade wares on etsy.

Today Joanna is sharing with us her experiences in crafting with her two young children – and how important (and personally challenging) allowing the kids a little freedom can be.

I started the morning with a great plan. A plan to get seriously committed to some craft time with my little ones.

We could make bookmarks.

I am a small hoarder of fabric.

I thought the kids could paw through my stacks, pick out whatever colors/patterns they wanted, we could cut out some squares together, sew them together (the kids could help), sew a back on—boom.



And I was already planning on being super flexible.

If they picked out a pale calico pink pattern alongside a fluorescent green, I wasn’t going to say anything.


That was my attitude.

So, as I communicated my super exciting plan to my eldest, I watched his face gradually fall.

Then he asked, “Can we please just use paper and markers?”

My flexibility wavered. I almost said, “No. You have to use fabric.”

But I remembered. The resulting… Continue reading

Read & Review Books: The Patterson Puppies and the Rainy Day

This week’s featured reader and reviewer is Gillian M.

Gillian read the book The Patterson Puppies and the Rainy Day
By Leslie Patricelli

And here is her review …..

I like this book because there are four little puppies on a rainy day.

One of them is named Andy and my dad’s name is Andy.

One is named Zack and one of the puppies is named Penelope.

The fourth puppy is named Petra, and Petra is one of my friends.

They were very bored so they just sat at the window sill watching the rain fall.

They all wished it was warm and sunny so they could all go to the beach.

Penelope wanted to wear her favorite bathing suit that had a sparkly star.

Then Petra had a great idea that they could have a beach party inside. They put out beach toys and towels and put on beach music.

Then they needed an ocean, so they started pouring buckets of water on the floor.

They had a big adventure before their mom and dad came home.

Then the puppies had a popcorn snowball fight.

They have really good imaginations.

Thanks Gillian – After this review, we’ll know… Continue reading