Since my oldest is just shy of 4 1/2, and since she absolutely adores stuffed animals (which we call loveys), I’ve been thinking that the time has arrived for us to get our first introduction to Build-a-Bear. The folks there treated us to the Build-a-Bear experience, and I wanted to show those of you who have never been exactly what it is like (because if you are like me, you are curious!).
When you arrive at Build-a-Bear, you are greeted with an entire wall of plush figures, just waiting to be stuffed. They come in a variety of price points, which I noticed ran from $16-$25. They do also have smaller plush animals that are already stuffed for $10, just fyi.
Darah picked a pink elephant and Layah chose a lion. Then we headed over to the stuffing section, and Darah got to press on the peddle while the sales associate stuffed each creature and chatted with the girls. I couldn’t help but notice how great the associates at the Chattanooga location were with kids!
After you get your animal stuffed, and before it is sewn up, you get to place a heart inside of it. This was a very sweet moment, and Layah really got into it!
Once the stuffed animals are all sewn up, it is time to take a bath (which is really just blasts of air). There are brushes available for making your lovey look nice and clean.
And now that your stuffed animal is created and clean, it is time to get dressed! This is a VERY fun part of the experience, but let me give a gentle warning to parents that this is also the part of the experience that can get quite pricey. You don’t have to pick out an outfit at all if you don’t want, but the choices are really hard to resist.
Darah found a Valentine outfit for her elephant (which she also named Valentine). And she also carefully selected a pair of shoes. High heels! 🙂
And no outfit is complete without some adorable hair bows. Valentine even got a hair bow on her tail! Rawr couldn’t be left out of the hair bow fest, either.
Build-A-Bear strikes me as an absolutely PERFECT place for a grandparent to take a grandchild for an extra special date, or for any other special occasion that warrants a celebration. What I really liked about the concept, though, is that children are encouraged to bring their loveys back into the store. They are welcome to give them baths again, and to check out all the great new accessories. They can even play dress up with their animals there, and they aren’t under any obligation to make another purchase. After all, we go to the mall and try on clothes, why shouldn’t our Build-A-Bears? 🙂
And while dressing your animal from head to toe can add up, you can also spread out those purchases over time. Perhaps you buy a tutu on one visit, and a pair of shoes on the next, and build up a wardrobe slowly. The creatures are so lovely on their own that even without their costumes, they are completely lovable.
But then again, this really is pretty cute, huh?
Win it!: I’ve got a $25 gift certificate to Build-A-Bear for one lucky reader! Woo hoo!
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