The play center offers entertaining and educational experiences | Local news


Parents looking for ways to keep their young children entertained during the cold, winter months may want to try a fun and educational play space in Northern Arnold.

The Busy Einstein Cognitive Play Center opened earlier this year at 521 Jeffco Blvd. in the mall which also houses a Dollar general store.

Inside the approximately 1,000 square foot storefront are a dozen stations set up with various toys and activities to help children learn and encourage families to play together, said owner Christine Verduzco.

“It’s a place to get the kids out of the house, have fun, socialize and learn,” she said. “Children don’t know they are learning, but they are. “

Verduzco, graduated from Fox High School in 1988, opened the indoor playground after completing a career in teaching.

She had been director of the international student exchange program at Lutheran High School South before opening the company. She said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school was struggling to bring in exchange students, and she decided to go into business on her own.

“I liked being self employed in the past, and I thought to myself, and if I made a teacher designed indoor playroom, kids could learn by playing and would have specific areas to learn with a play area. free, ”said Verduzco. . “I wrote down my ideas for a year. I thought if I was ever to do this, I would have a plan in place.

Verduzco d’Oakville holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Fontbonne and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has taught learning English and worked in early childhood education at the Lindbergh School District. She has also taught in the Special School District and Affton School District.

While education has long been Verduzco’s passion, she became interested in creating an indoor activity center after taking her 2-year-old godson to similar businesses in St. Louis County.

“I thought it was a neat concept,” Verduzco said. “I looked around and thought about where I had grown up. There is really nothing like it in Jefferson County, except for the recently opened (Little Owl’s Nest at Windsor Elementary in Kimmswick). ”

At Busy Einstein, flyers are displayed above a board at each learning station that describe the lessons and how parents can interact with their children.

Verduzco has created a seasonal resort, which promotes cultural holidays until the end of this year. There’s also an infant station for kids 18 months and under, along with puzzle, paleontology (dinosaurs), entomology (insects), and life skills stations.

She said that one station that has grown in popularity is the “Back in the Day” station, which features vintage toys from the 70s and 80s.

“The kids are fascinated by it,” Verduzco said. “They are amazed by these old toys.

Admission is $ 8 for children 7 to 23 months and $ 10 for children 2 years and over.

Verduzco said there is no time limit for a session at the play center, but most families stay around two hours.

She said the play center caters mainly to children aged 1 to 5, but also has activities for children aged 11 and above.

Since starting the business, Verduzco has said that one of the hardest parts has been explaining to parents what the indoor play center is.

“An indoor playroom is a bit of a hard sell,” Verduzco said. “They are still relatively new to the region. I would say they started showing up in the Midwest within the last couple of years after being prevalent on the West Coast for several years. I had to do a lot of education on what it is and why it is beneficial.

Guests are urged to reserve a place in advance to avoid overcrowding at the center, Verduzco said.

Reservations can be made online at or by calling 314-736-9909.


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