By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
Paintballs whisper through the air, splattering against castle walls and trees on 10 distinct fields at TxR Paintball. Shouts from teammates drift among obstacles on courses simulating a submarine or a pipe-strewn oil field, and different game strategies encourage players to fire at one another, capture a rival's flag, or protect their clothesline before a job interview. Each game is refereed by an official versed in the game's intricacies, keeping the sessions fair, safe, and friendly.
Outside of normal weekend play, the facility offers 8- and 26-hour scenario games, which submerges players in battles from famous movies or video games. Safely out of the range of the biodegradable projectiles, patrons at a fully stocked snack bar swap war stories or excuses for having a bag full of white flags.
Flashbox Shop’s shutterbugs show families, kids, expectant mothers, and couples in a wide variety of appealing lights. Their unique style of photography mixes candid snapshots with prepared poses and close-ups to draw out subjects’ eyes and unique expressions. Photographers also venture out for on-location shoots that make use of an area's scenic backdrops and natural lighting. After the shoot, an online proofing system saves time by letting clients look at pictures from the comfort of their own homes instead of having to go back into the studio or have them described over the phone. The boutique that shares the space displays flashy jewelry that can bring glamor to any shoot and handcrafted frames to complement images printed on high-end papers with finishes from linen to metallic.
Beadoholique helps jewelry makers master their craft with a variety of classes instructed by experienced and talented bead artists. The basic-stringing class gives pupils a full overview on how to start making jewelry, including instruction about the materials, tools, and techniques needed to turn lonely, isolated beads into sparkle-laden creations. Accessory architects will learn how to wire-wrap earrings and pendants and how to end necklaces and bracelets with crimps. Students must come to class accompanied by 24-gauge head pins, ear hooks, a clasp, beads of their choice, and (if desired) a pendant. By the end of class, each student will have a complete necklace or bracelet with which to adorn their neck, wrist, or favorite parking meter.
Kluge's staff of USPTA- and USPTR-certified instructors impart hard-learned tennis tenets to trainees, making on-court improvement an intelligible goal for pupils of all ability levels. A week of summer-camp sessions puts students among a small class of roughly a dozen fellow racquet-wielders, where they will receive individual attention from experts while honing stroke, serve, and volley techniques, playing competitive games and drills, and learning the subtle art of telekinetic ball control. The classes run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, and sessions are offered each week from June 7 to August 18. Fledgling Federers should bring their own racquet, sunscreen, water bottle, and theme song to play after every ace or winner.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Texas A&M apparel
Pro Tip: We carry many designs that are exclusive to Whoop! U.
Good for Kids: Yes
Though it's located about an hour south of College Station, Whoop! U is a hub of Aggie activity. "We want to be the cultural center for the Aggies in Harris County," co-owner Nathan Leonard told the Community Impact Newspaper after the store opened in December 2013. Nathan and his partner, Stacy, seem to have created just that, with maroon and white flowing bountifully through Whoop! U's stock of apparel for men, women, and lil Aggies. But the store's inventory moves well beyond clothing with memorabilia, home decor, and tailgating essentials, including aprons and coolers. There's even a lounge area where guests can kick back and watch television or discuss with other Aggie fans the pros and cons of naming their next child The 12th Man.