Got a budding artist, inventor, or engineer in your house? Well, if you’re not familiar with MindGear Labs, now’s the time to get acquainted. It’s THE place for innovators of all ages. And their Big Hands, Little Hands program provides the perfect opportunity for parents and kids to work together on a project and maybe even challenge each other’s skills. Heads up: there’s a good chance your kid will give you a run for your money.
Each Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, Mind Gear offers a different parent/child project based on their bi-weekly themes. The classes are ideal for kids, ages 8-10, but older kids are welcome to join the fun, too. The price is usually $25.00, which covers the cost of materials for both you and your little Einstein. But right now, they’re offering a sale price of 20 bucks, so sign up soon!
My daughter and I got in on the wearable electronics theme and created a blinking bracelet, which will come in handy for trick-or-treating. Too bad, we’d just missed the custom vampire fangs class, though. (See what I mean? Pretty cool stuff!)
There’s an instructor on hand to guide you through the project and offer one-on-one assistance as needed. Your child (and you) will be well supervised to make sure they’re no glue gun or scissors casualties. And can I just say that all the staff I interacted with at Mind Gear was SUPER nice and extremely helpful?! You can tell from the moment you walk in that they love what they do, and they’re happy to share their knowledge with you.
The space, with its vibrant orange walls, is open with small clusters of tables which serve as work stations for different classes. And the entire place is brimming with examples of projects and gadgets, all meant to stimulate creativity and imagination. Not to mention, there are quotes from famous visionaries lining the walls to help provide a little inspiration as well. And there’s even a good old fashioned play area to keep siblings occupied. (Classes are one child per adult.) But there’s also a lot of really expensive equipment on site as well as projects in development, so it’s not a good idea to let your kids run free.
I would recommend having a snack beforehand or bringing a pre-packaged nosh with you. There aren’t any snacks for sale there, and you definitely don’t want to bring anything messy or something that might spill on any supplies or equipment. Restrooms are easily accessible.
Gabby and I will definitely be back to check out another class. There’s so much to take in! Oh, and make sure to bring your camera along to capture all the phases of your child’s creation.
Address: 8331 Madison Blvd., #200B, Madison, AL 35758
Phone: (256)-705-GEAR (4327)
Hours: Monday–Saturday 12:00-9:00 pm; Sunday 12:00-6:00 pm
Cost: $25 for one parent and one child, includes all materials
Taralyn Caudle is a freelance writer and Huntsville native who returned to her hometown to raise her beautiful and energetic daughter, Gabby. When she’s not nurturing the talents of her budding artist, she can be found on the hunt for good food, good music, or a good deal on a pair of shoes. Practically possessed by politics, purple, and Prince, she loves alliteration (obviously) and has been known to quote music lyrics in everyday conversation, from Hall & Oates to
Kanye West Kendrick Lamar. Her current philosophy on life: a little bit of sarcasm and a whole lot of laughter never hurt anybody.