We were very pleased to be invited to experience a morning at Build-a-Bear Workshop at The Trafford Centre. I’d seen the stores and always past by. I was aware of friends with older children who had built-a-bear. I’d seen ads on TV but had never been inside a store. In my head it was something which Lil’ H (3.5yrs) was probably approaching the zone for but Baby G (13mths) I thought would be too young – I was really very wrong with that assumption. Both my two thoroughly enjoyed the experience and each chose the bears they built and we had a really great morning.

We went to Build-a-Bear at The Trafford Centre in Manchester. It is a big place so if you are heading there parking at The Orient or Debenhams areas and you will reach the store easily. We met up with Amy (@and1moremeans5) with the youngest three of her brood which is always great fun, having allowed an unnecessary amount of extra time for the snow I had time to browse the Disney store, which is opposite Build-A-Bear, to see what grabbed Lil H and Baby G’s attention for a return solo Christmas shopping trip. 

The Build-a-Bear Workshop is teddy-tastic you name it there is a teddy and/or an outfit, with coordinating shoes, natch!  Cats, dogs, reindeer, frogs and bears, of course, pink ones, blues, black ones, sparkly ones, curly ones I was creating a long list and trying to narrow it down in my head thinking future heirloom (hold on to that heirloom thought!)  I forgot I wasn’t actually building-a-bear, Lil’ H and Baby G were, but really I’d be doing G’s right?  Wrong!  I picked up a traditional brown teddy bear to discover Baby G clutching a bunny rabbit she’d chosen, aw bunny was sweet, of course she could build a bunny. 

Lil’ H was still standing near the door pointing “I want this one mummy” I was speechless, I did not know bears like this one existed.  I cannot bring myself to show it to you yet, brace yourself though!  Amy hadn’t arrived yet so I thought I’d have time to *ahem* work on this decision.  I tried.  However this bear was THE ONE.  Jackie was great with the littlies having chosen their teddies, off to choose a sound for them to make, again G picked hers out herself, she listened to about three and got all giddy for the laughing one – aw a bunny that giggles, so cute.  H absolutely adamant on his choice of sound too *sigh* the theme tune to star wars, why? I ask you, why?!

Then its off to give these bears a good stuffing!  All the children were involved in stepping on the pedal, choosing their hearts, warming their hearts, whispering wishes – they are totally engaged in the process of bringing these guys to life and off for a brush and a pamper before its time to get dressed.  What a choice – I wish I had that many options that would all fit me, Baby G’s with a little bit of help picked out some Hello Kitty knickers (who knew bears wore knickers?) but no bear leaves the store without its undies, a Hello Kitty T-shirt, denim skirt teamed with Ugg boots.  Oh and some ear bows, natch!  Her name is Bo and she’s cute, yes? 

The Bunny we built called Bo

H finished his freaky eclectic teddy bear, I may have screamed just a little bit when I saw the fully dressed teddy.  Its didn’t stop there, when H was creating the birth certificate for his Teddy Amy and I could not contain ourselves … I mean this ain’t no HEIRLOOM!  What would you call a bear that plays the theme tune to Star Wars and looks like this? 

So what has Lil H called his bear?

So a little competition, just for fun, can you guess what my Lil’ H named his bear?  Answers in the comments box below, I’ll pop back next Sunday night & reveal if its not been guessed by then.

Build-a-bear, in summary, it was so much better than I imagined, not just a shop we had a genuine experience there.  Baby G really got a lot out of it at just 1 year old and Lil’ H at 3.5years adored everything about it.  I will definitely be gifting the gift vouchers this Christmas and for Birthday’s next year and will be buying Lil H a new outfit for his bear – come January that outfit is going to be so 2010!  I have no doubt a birthday party there would be a whole lot of fun too. 

A big thank you to Build-a-Bear Workshop and to Helen and especially Jackie for looking after us so well.  The new additions to our family, they will be very well cared for.