There are many very special things about being a parent. But one of them is seeing the magic on your children's faces when they experience something new and exciting for the first time. Those twinkly eyes dancing around, the happy smiles and the sheer wonder etched across their faces.
Blogging has brought me a great many things but last week I did something with my girls which truly was so simple yet so special. We went to make two very special new friends.
I have known about Build a Bear Workshop for a long time, in fact Mads has 'Rosie Rabbit', who one of our dear friends bought for her on the day LL was born. However we hadn't been before, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to wait until they were old enough to understand. I was really excited to take them, and Mads was excited to go and 'make a special friend' too.
We arrived and were greeted by the two lovely members of staff who were helping us make our new friends.
There were lots of different animals to choose from but after careful consideration Mads decided she wanted a lamb and she wanted LL to have a bunny.
First up we were told to cuddle each animal to make sure that the cuddles were good. Mads thought the lamb was very cuddly!
It was then over to the sound machine to pick a sound for our new chums. Mads decided that her lamb would say 'I love you' and LL had to have One Direction 'What makes you beautiful' because she gets so excited and dances every time the song comes on.
The Build a Bear experience is so hands on for children, Mads was absolutely transfixed with everything that was going on and her smile was honestly so wide.
The next thing to do was give our friends some stuffing. Mads get to help do hers and LL's by pressing on the foot pump. This was 'the best thing ever.'
LL was in awe of everything and the staff were so lovely with her, telling us that she had made their day with her happy smiles. Auntie Annie doesn't look so impressed!
Cuddling to make sure the stuffing was perfect.
Next we needed to give our friends a heart. We had to kiss it, shake it and rub it on our knees as our new friends would always '(k)need us.' The staff were so great at making it an amazing experience.
His heart went in so he was ready to be stitched up.
LL loved to crawl round the shop and stand up to try all the things for herself.
Next up our new friends needed a bath and their fur brushing.
We then had to decide on outfits for the as yet named Lamb and Bunny. Mads decided the lamb was a boy and the bunny was a girl so we set about sorting out their new wardrobes.
As Mads is obsessed with Toy Story, it was entirely necessary to go for a Woody outfit. LL's bunny was dressed in a pretty summer dress. We also bought them a pair of pj's each as well.
Finally we needed to make our new friends a birth certificate. It was decided then that lamb would be 'Woody' (we are nothing but original) and bunny would be 'Blossom'.
And that was it! We were given boxes to carry Blossom and Woody and sent home to enjoy our new friendships.
I can honestly say that since we brought them home, Mads hasn't been too far away from her new friend Woody. She absolutely loves him, and the fact that she got to experience seeing him made has meant it is all the more special for her. She asks to put his PJ's on every night, although this means bedtime takes twice as long. And LL loves to snuggle in close to her new bunny Blossom too.
The Build a Bear concept is simple, but we truly had such a special time there. The staff were amazing with the girls, and the whole experience is so special for children. Mads was at the perfect age to enjoy it and find it so magical, and LL just smiled and giggled non stop. I found it so wonderful watching them having such a great time, and I will remember it for a long time. There is something so lovely about watching your children's innocence and child like wonder.
We can't recommend Build a Bear highly enough, and I know that Woody and Blossom will be special for a very long time. In fact as I write this there are two little girls snuggled up in bed asleep with their arms tucked around their lovingly created new friends.
NB. We were invited to try out the Build a Bear experience and given two bears and some accessories (plus buying some too!) but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and we would have written about it anyway. It's the most fun my girls have had in ages!