On Sunday, one of Claire’s little girl-friends had a birthday party. We were invited to a local Build-a-Bear Workshop to help her celebrate. It was a great idea for a party!
Claire was extremely excited to go to this store, as she’d never been inside one yet. (Years ago, I had gone with some friends, but I hadn’t been in one recently.) Before we got to the store, I’d tried to explain to Claire what we would be doing, but I could tell she didn’t really understand.
She’ll figure it out when we get there.
Or so I thought…
As soon as we walked in, she was overwhelmed. Our friends had paid for a special birthday package that included stuffed animals for each attendee. And, with the birthday package, each child was able to choose from a ton of different stuffed creatures on the display wall. We weren’t going to be doing voice-boxes or clothing, which are features you can add on if you choose. Honestly, just the stuffed creature was a fabulous and generous treat!
So, we told Claire to pick which one she wanted to make, and we made our way down the display wall. She kept trying to grab the finished example off of the wall. “I want that one!” she’d shriek with joy as she grabbed a hold of whichever precious creature had her attention. She wanted nothing to do with its empty equivalent in the bin below it.
“Well, sweetie, that’s a great choice!” I’d say, as I tried to wrangle the stuffed example toy away from her and hand her the empty shell.
“Nooooooooo! I don’t want that!” she’d scream, shoving the limp, lifeless hide away from her. “I want that one!” she’d beg, pointing to the stuffing-filled finished product.
I tried explaining that we would be filling it with stuffing. It will look like the one on the wall when we were finished! Honest…it will!
She thought I was insane. How can that useless and boring piece of faux fur even compare to the wonderful, glorious stuffed toy on the wall? And, why are you pointing to those things and asking me to choose if you won’t let me take the one I want? What kind of trick is this?
Claire wasn’t the only one who didn’t get it. Other confused little girls in our party were distraught over the horribly inadequate choices we were forcing them to make.
But, it didn’t take long for the Party Coordinator to get the party started, and soon, things were on a roll.
If you’ve ever been to a Build-a-Bear Workshop, you know that you put a little heart into each animal. Well, for the Birthday Girl, they had an added bonus. Each child picked two hearts. The Party Coordinator then had the kids take one of their hearts, kiss it and make a Birthday Wish for the Birthday Girl. Then all of those hearts were sewn into her bear. The remaining heart was put into their own stuffed animal.
Then the lifeless shells were stuffed with fluff. Finally, the creatures started to take shape, and the party goers understood that we weren’t completely crazy.
In fact, they were ecstatic.
A little word of warning, though…the stuffing of the fluff machine nearly scared the stuffing right out of Claire! It’s rather loud, and as soon as that thing turned on, she shot over to me in a flash. When it was her turn to stuff her animal, she held my hand, and insisted that I be right there to help her, which wasn’t a problem, but it wasn’t something I’d expected to be an issue.
After the stuffing of the animals, the kids were able to “wash” their creatures at the Washing Station (no water is involved, but there is air that shoots out of “sprayers”)…pretty cool! Then, from there, the girls went to the Cardboard House Station and got to color houses for their new best friends.
So, what did Claire finally choose?
After manhandling practically each and every toy, she finally decided on a hot-pink leopard, which she named Jasper. Yes, we have a real Jasper here…and now he has a sister.
“This one is a girl-Jasper, Momma!”
Click photos to enlarge.
After the party, they were both ready for a nap! Here they are sound asleep.
Build-a-Bear-Jasper came with a printed Birth Certificate, a Cardboard House, Stickers, and a Coloring Book.
As you can see, Claire loves her new best friend.
All in all, it was a wonderful idea for a party. It is one that I may actually consider doing for one of Claire’s birthday parties in the future, because she had so much fun! Plus, the store handles the decorating, the clean-up, and how can you not have a good time?
Well…once you figure out that you won’t be forced to play with an empty shell of a creature, the more fun you’ll have! 😉
Note: This is not an official review of the store. This is purely real life turning itself into blog fodder. 😉
Today is Day 17 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! Check it out and/or join in the fun! A new best friend AND a post for Day 17? Chosen, stuffed, and complete!