Monday, November 12, 2012

The All NEW Build-A-Bear Workshop (and GIVEAWAY)!

This past Friday, my children and I had the privilege of attending the grand opening of a newly designed Build-A-Bear Workshop. Having never been to a Build-A-Bear Workshop before, I was unsure about what to expect. I had tried to imagine what the process of making a stuffed animal would be like and I pictured a large room where children would move along in some kind of line, selecting options for their animal. Wrong! The new design of the Build-A-Bear Workshop is NOTHING like that drab image of some assembly line that I had somehow pictured.

From the moment we walked into the workshop, we were met by smiling faces. We were greeted by several team members, including Jalissa, who were eager to point us in the right direction. Jalissa started us out in the new child-height Choose Me station, where my two boys got started picking out their new furry friend. I decided to make a bear for my six-month-old baby girl too and, of course, I had trouble deciding which animal to make for her. Jalissa recommended a baby-friendly bear with sewn eyes and allergen-free fabric, but I couldn't resist picking out a fluffy, classic brown bear. Then the fun began!

Filling their bears' hearts with special qualities.

Because the entire workshop has been redesigned to incorporate hands-on technology into every step of the bear-making process, the kids were involved the whole time. Even my three-year-old, with a short attention span, was engaged. They began by sliding 'qualities' into a stuffed heart using a touchscreen. This heart was in a way the 'life' within their bear. We then went to the Stuff Me station where the boys helped stuff their own bear and where they placed their special hearts inside their animals before Jalissa pulled the bears' seams shut. The boys got to give their new bears a wash in a virtual bathtub at the Fluff Me station and then pick out an outfit and some shoes to customize their bears.

Stuffing bears and inserting hearts.

Washing bears in a virtual bathtub.

We ended our adventure by naming the bears and receiving a birth certificate for each animal. It was amazing how attached we became to these stuffed animals so quickly. Both of my boys had the biggest smiles on their faces when their bear was stuffed and handed to them. I can't wait for my little girl to hug her bear because there really is a lot of love that went into it!

Putting the bears into their 'condos' for the ride home.

Here are some great features from the new Build-A-Bear Workshop:
- Find-A-Bear ID program (where a lost bear can be returned to its owner using a unique barcode placed inside the bear).
- Optional sound chips and scents can be inserted into the animals to make a more interactive friend.
- Interactive, touch-based stations for children to engage in.
- A HUGE selection of clothing and accessories to go with any mood, holiday, or interest!
- A friendly and interactive environment to make your animal friend.
- Fun for both kids and adults. A great place to have either a birthday party or a company team-building workshop!

Using a special lens to see inside their bears at the qualities they put into their hearts.

Browsing the sound station.

I really had a great time watching my children make their bears and I definitely recommend checking out the Build-A-Bear Workshop near you!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a Gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I had no idea they had redesigned the store. Awesome! Glad your babies had so much fun. (Haha, I almost said "boys" there and then realized that wasn't the case anymore ;) )

    1. I know. Now I will have to say 'the kids' when I refer to them! I am already mixing up their names...

  2. My son loves build a bear. Now he will have an even better time. He loves building bears for others. This new experience will make it that much better.

    1. We are lucky in NoVa. The Fair Oaks Build-A-Bear is one of only six new ones in the country! That's awesome that J builds bears for others!