It took me three hours to get to Westfield the other week. Three loooong hours, on my own, on public transport, with two kids under the age of four.
It’s fair to say I arrived in a pretty foul mood.
But then I discovered something interesting – it’s physically impossible to stay grumpy when you’re inside the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
My frazzled nerves were soothed the instant I stepped inside the sunny yellow store. Let’s face it – you have to be made of stone not to go a little mushy when greeted by a wall of snuggly, cuddly teddies.
Big Sis just stood in the middle of the store, eyes wide, and mouth open. When manager James told her to pick any teddy from the entire range, she looked at me like she could scarcely believe her luck. She went straight for a plush puppy dog, which she swiftly named Woof Woof (what else?).
So many children’s attractions fall short of the hype, but the Build-A-Bear Workshop was so much better than I expected. I absolutely loved the way that every stage of the teddy-making process was turned into this fun, interactive experience.
The ‘skin’ of the teddy was taken to a stuffing machine, where Big Sis was asked to operate the foot pedal, then give Woof Woof a quick hug to make sure she was just the right cuddle consistency.
Then we added a heart token that we’d both kissed first (naaaawww!!) and Big Sis picked a noise chip to go inside, so Woof Woof could say – you guessed it – woof woof.
Then she was sewn up, and presented to Big Sis, who then chose her a delightful outfit consisting of tutu dress, tiara, wand, sequinned shoes, and a pair of knickers (?). Lastly, we received Woof Woof’s personalised birth certificate.
Big Sis just had the BEST time. And although it’s a process they must go through dozens of times a day, I was really impressed by way the staff made each child, and every teddy, feel special. It’s totally charming – not cheesy.
That night, after we’d make the tortuous trek back home, Big Sis fell asleep with Woof Woof in her arms. You can’t buy that kind of cuteness.
|woof woof comes to life|
|big sis helps out|
|popping in woof woof’s heart and noise chip|
|the cuddle test|
|the finished woof woof!|
• we were treated to the Build-A-Bear experience for the purpose of review