When I was a little girl I had a TON of stuffed animals. Some placed strategically on my bed like a colorful fluffy mountain and others hanging freely in the animal net (yeah, remember those) in the corner of my room. Oh how I loved my stuffed animals and oh, how my mom hated them. I thought she was weird. I mean really, who hates stuffed animals? She used to make me periodically choose ones to get rid of, donating them to charity. Evil, evil mother.
Now years later, I am a mother of two girls and I think our home might be overtaken by these fluffy creatures soon. I am starting to understand just where my mother's hatred for mass amounts of stuffed animals came from. Fear that the dust covered creatures will soon take over the house. So, how do parents negotiate a child's love for hording stuffed animals and at the same time make sure your home doesn't turn into aisle number 12 at Toys R Us? Easy-- go to Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Wait-- by getting more stuffed animals? I know sounds odd-- but the key is that you give your kids stuffed animals that will actually get loved and played with rather than thrown up in some animal net left to collect dust mites. Build-A-Bear Workshop offers kids something more than a simple creature to cuddle. From the moment you step foot into a Workshop you can feel the kids' excitement and as a parent the joy quickly settles in on you as you watch the whole experience unfold. Kids get to actually choose and create a bear all their own. From helping the "Bear Associates" stuff their new friends to choosing just the right little heart for your bear (a special wish and a kiss required), to bathing, brushing, and dressing their new friend- the experience is so memorable.
As a parent I appreciate that all the animals and accessories are are reasonably priced and in the same ballpark. I can tell my girls "pick one animal and one outfit" and be assured that I don't need to monitor what they choose-- I pretty much know what to expect to pay at the register. Also, if you sign up for their Bear Card and mailing list you will receive awesome coupons in the mail which is really nice. You can even have birthday parties at the workshops. We have been invited to a few and they are always a ton of fun for the kids!
My girls play with their Build-A-Bears ALL the time. They each have names (and birth certificates of course) and never are put down long enough to collect any dust. I may not be a huge fan of stuffed animals in general-- however if it is one that they play with all the time, isn't a waste of money or a dust catcher, I am perfectly happy letting them continue collecting their beloved Build-A-Bears (just don't tell Grandma).
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