“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein
(ROCKWALL, TX — April 30, 2018) At PlayQ Studio in Rockwall, play time takes on a whole new meaning.
Located three doors down from Chiloso at 2455 Ridge Rd., PlayQ Studio offers a wide range of interactive fun and learning experiences for children under and over age 1 in a unique indoor environment featuring a variety of different playhouses.
“It’s a great place for the community to have all their little ones come play when the weather’s too hot, too rainy, or any reason to just come inside and play,” said owner Mary Mattson.
Mattson said the name PlayQ means Play Intelligence: how one learns and develops their IQ (Intelligence Quotient) which assess human intelligence, and EQ (Emotional Intelligence) which is how people recognize their own emotions and the ability to empathize with others. PlayQ accomplishes this by helping to stimulate kids’ brain development with free play.
At PlayQ, kids will find a plethora of interactive toys and activities that encourage them to use their creativity to have fun rather than turning to games and apps on a screen.
“It’s all imagination. There are no digital devices or virtual worlds here telling kids to touch here or click there. They actually have to go and look and see things differently,” Mattson said.
PlayQ sports five playhouses which come together to resemble a miniature downtown square filled with tons of creative, collaborative fun for kids. At PlayQ’s train station, a custom train table made in the shape of Texas stands in front of the playhouse with multiple tracks running across bridges, under tunnels, and through stations laid out across the entire table. Next door to the train station is PlayQ Theater, where kids can play dress up with a variety of different costumes and become the star of their own show, or simply just to show off their new get-up as they wander around the rest of the little community. Next to the theater stands the Rockwall Market, complete with several toy food items and a checkout station with a workable scanner for kids to really feel like they’re shopping at an actual grocery store.
And speaking of food…
At the Sweet T’s Bakery playhouse, kids can throw on their aprons and chefs hats and run their very own bakery, with an assortment of toy cooking utensils at their disposal. Everything about the playhouse gives the look and feel of real life bakery, from the chalkboard menu on the wall to the sitting area on the outside so the little chefs and bakers can serve their delicious concoctions to their guests. Mattson said the bakery is named for her 3-year-old son Trent, who she said immediately gravitated towards the cooking and baking fun of the playhouse.
Across from Sweet T’s Bakery is Curly Q Boutique, where both boys and girls alike can immerse themselves in the world of style and fashion. Girls can try out a variety of wigs and sit their friend (or their favorite doll) in the barber chair and style away. And yes, the chair has a pump for height adjustment, just like any you would find at a real barbershop! Boys can enjoy playing with the various toy grooming items of the boutique’s shaving kit, aptly named “My First Shaving Kit.”
Last but not least is Q Brothers Hot Rod Co., the local gas station and auto mechanic shop. Here kids can pull up a mini car and use the functional gas pump, or take a turn at putting together the engine of the mini hot rod truck parked outside the station.
More fun and adventures await outside of the playhouses, with an arts and crafts station, toys and games available for kids to enjoy and let their creativity go wild.
Mattson said they wanted to design the playhouses to be specific to the Rockwall community. For example, one might notice the Route 66 sign hanging on the Q Brothers Hot Rod Co. playhouse, an homage to Rockwall’s State Highway 66 which was created as part of the very first cross-country highway in the U.S. known as the Bankhead Highway. If you recognize the green-colored wood and red window pane trim of the façade on the train station playhouse at PlayQ, that’s because it’s almost an exact replica of Rockwall’s old train station, now home to Rockwall Crossing Orthodontics.
“We really wanted to take what we have in the community and make it ours here at PlayQ Studio for the kids,” Mattson said.
The kids don’t have all the fun at PlayQ. Mattson said the studio offers a great opportunity for parents to socialize with one another while they join their kids for play time or just sit back and watch them have fun. Parents can book the studio to celebrate their kid’s birthday or any other milestone or achievement. Schools, clubs and organizations can also hold socials at the studio and enjoy an environment that allows parents to meet and socialize while their kids play together. To book a celebration or social visit playqstudio.com.
Mattson said she hopes the environment at PlayQ will provide an enjoyable learning experience for kids that will stick with them outside the studio.
“Play time to kids is their world and how they learn,” Mattson said. “What they’re exposed to is what they practice, and so if they’re exposed to the interactive learning experiences here, it will keep generating in their minds outside of the studio.”
By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photos courtesy of PlayQ Studio.
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