This week, Oscar, my youngest, started school. And even though he really doesn’t like it, he’s been a good boy and gone in every day without too many tears and tantrums. So, on Tuesday afternoon after the school bell rang, we decided to take him to the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Meadowhall so he could make his very own special friend to cuddle up to every night.
And as it just so happens to be National Teddy Bear Day today, I thought I’d share our Build-A-Bear Experience with you guys in case you were thinking of paying them a visit yourselves. I hope you enjoy it.
So, if you haven’t heard of the Build-A-Bear Workshop before, where have you been?! It’s one of our all-time favourite places to take the kids for an extra-special treat, as you get to make your very own teddy bear friends, dress them in lots of different outfits, and generally just have lots and lots of fun.
The main reason we decided to head to the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Meadowhall rather than the one in nearby Nottingham was that it opens till 9pm at night, meaning we had time to go and grab a bite to eat at the food court first. We arrived at the store around 7pm, and as there were only a couple of people inside I asked if it would be possible to film Oscar making his teddy bear for his YouTube channel. But sadly, I was told no. I did manage to get a good few photographs to write up a blog post instead though. Hurray!
As soon as I told Oscar he could choose a new bear to make, he beamed from ear-to-ear and rushed over to the display to where a ready-made Cookie Monster was. I asked if he was sure that’s the one he wanted, as there were literally hundreds of different ones to choose from, like Poppy and Guy Diamond from Trolls, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pikachu, and most of the Paw Patrol Gang.
He told me he was sure, and I was secretly pleased as the Cookie Monster was my favourite Sesame Street character when I was a child too! I think he would have been happy to leave the shop with the ready-made Cookie Monster under his arm at this point. But I made him put it back as this is where the real fun begins …
I think Oscar’s least-favourite part of the Build-A-Bear Experience is when you pick up an unstuffed toy at the very beginning of the process. You can see the apprehensive look on his face in the picture above, and I remember the very first time I took him to make his own teddy bear. He cried every time we picked one up. I guess they look a little weird to little ones though.
Next, a lovely store assistant led Oscar over to the stuffing machine and explained that they were going to fill the Cookie Monster up with lots of lovely stuffing so he would be nice and cuddly. She let Oscar press down on the pedal with his foot while she worked, and he loved that she chatted with him through the whole process. He’s a proper little ladies man!
Once the Cookie Monster was stuffed, it was time to choose a heart to pop inside him. Oscar went for one with a pattern on, but before it could be placed inside he had to rub it between his hands to warm it up, and give it a nice big kiss. At this point, you can also choose some other bits and pieces to put inside your teddy bears, such as a special scent or sound.
We decided to go for the Cookie Monster’s 6-in-1 sound pack, so every time Oscar squeeze’s his paw he’ll hear one of his signature sayings. The sound packs are £4.50 each, but in the 15+ years I’ve spent buying bears with sounds in, I’ve never known them stop working, so I think they’re definitely worth the money.
Oscar loved that he got to place the Cookie Monster’s heart inside all by himself. Once that was done the store assistant sewed him up so that no stuffing, hearts or sound packs could fall out! And then it was the moment Oscar had been waiting for … it was time for a cuddle. Aww!
As I’d taken Oscar along to Build-A-Bear as a special treat, I told him he could choose some clothes and accessories for his new friend. It didn’t take him long to find the Sesame Street display, and I was super impressed with all the items they had in the range.
Oscar eventually chose a Cookie Monster T-Shirt and a wristie shaped like a cookie. These came in at £6.50 and £3.50 respectively. I think he would have liked a few more items as well, so if he continues to go to school nicely over the next couple of weeks, I may just treat him to some. I mean, how cute is that Sesame Street sleepsuit with all the characters printed on to it?!
Once the clothing and accessories had been picked out, the store manager led Oscar over to the dressing table, so he could dress the Cookie Monster up in his new attire. And while he was doing that, I headed over to the computer to type up the Cookie Monster’s birth certificate. This means that if he ever gets lost and someone kindly hands him in at a Build-A-Bear Workshop, they can open him up, check his ID number and then return him to us at home. How good is that?
According to the certificate, Cookie Monster is 45 centimetres in height, 283 grams in weight, has black eyes, royal blue fur and, of course, he belongs to Oscar.
As always, Oscar had lots of fun at the Build-A-Bear Workshop, and we found that the staff at the Meadowhall store were really friendly and welcoming. The shop floor was lovely, clean and tidy too. And it seemed a lot lighter inside than other Build-A-Bear’s we’ve visited in the past. We will definitely be shopping there again.
Since getting home, Oscar has played with the Cookie Monster no end. And I have to admit that I often sneak a cuddle when I think no one else is looking. He’s just so cute and cuddly. We all love him! The only problem is he’s only available to buy at Build-A-Bear Workshops for a limited amount of time. So if you want to get your hands on one, you’d better hurry!
Cookie Monster Plush – £19.00 ||link||