Hands-on Happenings

Children at the museum
Hands-on Happenings


Our hands-on programs are designed for children ages 5-12 and their families. Hands-on activities highlight different parts of the Museum's permanent and temporary exhibits and collections. Participants will make arts and crafts to take home and see demonstrations or performances where noted. Annual favorites include Safe Halloween, Chemistry Day and Festival of Health. ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE.

Contact Annette Hoppenworth at ahoppenworth@kvcc.edu, or call (269) 373-7955 to find out how you can become a Museum volunteer. Volunteers are recruited throughout the year.   All volunteers are required to fill out a background check.

  • Numbers On Parade Hands-on Activities
    1-4 pm

    Spring Break at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum offers Numbers On Parade, a humorous and artistic look at math through a variety of crafts, picture books, and interactive exhibits. Plus, enjoy a musical concert of instruments and songs from around the world, theater workshops for children of all abilities, planetarium shows, and three floors of exhibits. Come explore with us! Ten different crafts each day will be inspired by a math-related picture book, which can be read in our ThinkTank.

    J. Sheppard’s book the Right Number of Elephants
    Monday, April 1, 2019
    Look at counting how many elephants it takes to pull a train, paint a ceiling, provide shade at the beach, perform a circus, or play cards.

    Kathryn Otoshi’s book One
    Tuesday, April 2, 2019
    A a story about how Red bullies Blue and none of the other colors stops him until 1 takes a stand and shows all the colors how they can count. Join us for a variety of colorful crafts on .

    Tara Lazar’s book 7 Ate 9
    Wednesday, April 3, 2019
    This book takes us on a spy mystery adventure of pun proportions. Create a variety of disguises, spy gear, and number-related crafts.

    Kathyrn Otoshi’s book Zero
    Thursday, April 4, 2019
    Zero struggles to see her value until she is able to join the other numbers in their counting games. Enjoy a variety of number-related crafts.

    On Friday, April 5, Anthony Browne’s book One Gorilla explores the diversity of primates and what makes each of them unique. Decorate picture frames and create masks and a self-portrait while discovering what makes each of us special.

    Theater Performances

    Image of Guy Louis Sferlazza
    Chautauqua Express Concert
    April 2, 2019
    12 p.m.
    Guy Louis Sferlazza performs his World Music Tour, free in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater on Tuesday, April 2, at 12 p.m. He has performed for over 30 years, providing hands-on interactive concerts combining expert musicianship and light-hearted delivery to families of all ages. This cultural musical celebration features Native American drums, shakers, flutes, and whistles, a Renaissance Europe lute, lots of African percussion instruments, a sitar, tamboura, and tabla from India, and an American PRS hollow-body electric guitar. Seating is limited.

    Image of children in costumes
    4th Wall Theatre
    April 3-4, 2019
    11 a.m.
    4th Wall Theatre will offer two theater workshops and performances on Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Children of all abilities will experience singing, dancing, and acting as they help create and perform a seven-minute play. “No matter the age, ability, or verbal skills, we like to get our students moving, exploring, and learning. We teach them critical theatre knowledge like projecting, cheating, and stage directions,” according to Katie Mann. Also included are life skills such as eye contact, memory improvement, taking turns, speaking clearly, etc., all reinforced with each new theatre game. Every child’s skills and strengths will be respected and creatively included in the experience. Even children with mobility issues will find their place in the show. Registration is required, and each class size is limited. Choose between dates for this workshop, which will include learning a song in sign language, learning a dance, and participating in writing and performing a play.