Mellow Mummy: Meet Bob the Build-A-Bear : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Meet Bob the Build-A-Bear

Meet Bob. He's a casual kind of a bear. A bit cool. A bit of a rebel. Lara loves him, and when you ask him, he'll say “I love you” too. Bob was brought into this world on Saturday at the Build-A-Bear workshop in Reading.

From the very first minute we arrived, the staff at the Build-A-Bear Workshop were brilliant. They must have to go through the whole spiel so many times a day but they manage to remain cheerful and enthusiastic and seemed able to alter their approach depending on age and engagement levels with the customer.

As you can see from the videos, Lara was a little apprehensive. I think at 16 months she is just a tiny bit too young to appreciate the interactive element of the Build-A-Bear workshop, but me, I loved it! I am a little bit of a bear addict. Maybe one day I'll post a picture of my sizeable collection.

Our adventure started off with the choice of which bear. They offer all sorts of animals, not just bears and a good range of colours and sizes to suit all budgets and tastes. Lara is a bit of a traditionalist and chose a very classic brown bear.

Next, we got to choose a sound. We could have recorded a sound of our own but we opted for “I love you”. The sound was installed in the bear's paw because that is what they recommended for smaller children for ease of use.

Next, we went to the great big fluff-filled machine at the back of the store where the member of staff gave us a choice of squishiness and Lara helped to stuff the bear. I don't think Lara really got going until the bear was fully stuffed – maybe she didn't recognise it as a bear until that point?

Finally, Lara added a heart and the bear was sewn up. We gave him a 'fluff'' in the bear wash and then went on to choose him an outfit (Lara chose, I just helped to choose the co-ordinating Converse-style trainers!). The bear got to try on his outfit in the dressing room and admired himself in the mirror.

Finally, Mr. B. registered bob's birth on the computer and his birth certificate was printed. Bob got packed up in a big gift box and Lara carried him home. She hasn't left him alone since. Bob has become part of the family. He has his shoes taken on and off (he spent most of the weekend wearing Lara's Peppa Pig slippers), he gets to use the phone, he regularly gets fed a bottle of juice and Lara's favourite pastime is changing Bob's nappy.

We found the staff helpful in every aspect – I thought they were particularly good at keeping both bemused child and stressed parent happy throughout the whole process. We both loved our first ever Build-A-Bear experience and will certainly be back to buy Bob new outfits in the future, if not to add new family members to keep Bob company! It was a great way to spend a morning with a toddler and a very special treat
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