Build A Bear Workshop: Sister Valentine’s Day Challenge

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As my kids get older, interests and responsibilities outside of the family start to take priority. This impacts the time the kids spend with each other too. So this Valentine’s Day I proposed a Sister Valentine’s Day Challenge at one of our local Build A Bear Workshop locations as a way to reconnect my two girls. They jumped at the chance.

Their challenge was to create a custom Build A Bear for each other. A token of their relationship as well as a huge dash of personality. They thought the Valentine gift was the custom bear but really it was the time together.

If you’ve not familiar with Build-a-Bear (this was our first visit too), it’s about more than the stuffie. It’s all about the experience. The girls were invited to participate in the creation of their characters right from the beginning.

Build A Bear – Choose Me

Along the wall was a colourful display of characters you can customize, from specialized characters like My Little Pony and Disney to generic animals like cats and puppies. Of course you’ll find all sorts of bears too. The display wall is also there to inspire the kids, showing the characters in various outfits.

valentine build a bear sister challenge selection everythingmom

valentine sister challenge build a bear selection everythingmom

My oldest knew what she wanted to get her younger sister, choosing a fluffy pink bear from the Valentin’s collection. My youngest had a harder time but with big hints dropped from her sister she settled on an unlike Valentine pal. A T-Rex dinosaur.

Build A Bear – Hear Me

With their unstuffed characters in hand, it was off to our first customization station. Sound. The large touchscreen made it easy for the kids to listen to various sounds by category before settling on the sound. Our guide through the whole customization process was Laurel, the store manager. She did an amazing job involving the girls, giving them time to make choices, and keeping them focused.

valentine sister challenge build a bear hear me

valentine sister challenge hear me buld a bear everythingmom

While the sound chip was loading, Laurel had the girls dancing or jumping to speed up the process. It really was a fun way to keep the kids involved.

Build A Bear – Stuff Me

Marching from the sound to the stuffer (if you watch our video below you’ll understand the inside joke), the girls were ready to ‘fill their friends with hugs’. This stage is handled by your Build A Bear guide but Laurel was talking to the girls about school and hobbies while they waited for the friend’s to plump up with hugs.

Each one did a ‘hug test’ to make sure the character they were giving their sister had just the right amount of hug-ability. I think both girls were content with just taking a moment to enjoy that hug. Then they could choose a smell (many of the Valentine bears had sweet scents to them already) as well as a heart.

valentine sister challenge build a bear heart everythingmom

Of course my girls each choose the beating heart. Yes, a little plastic heart that beat when you pressed it. Before adding the hearts into their respective characters, Laurel had the girls go through a ritual, adding love and a special thought for each other into the heart. I have to say, as a mom, this was one of my favourite parts of this whole routine. And seeing them perform this ritual, side-by-side with a smile on their face, melted my heart. Yes, your tween and teen will still melt your heart.

valentine sister challenge build a bear wish everythingmom

Be sure to checkout our video experience to see this ritual played out and to hear the special thought my daughter’s wished for each other. My girls covered their ears when watching this moment so as to not jinx this moment:

Build A Bear – Fluff Me

Their characters stuffed with hugs, love and a secret wish, the girls took a moment to fluffy up their friends. This pretend tub and dryer is a cute addition and surprisingly enough, my girls spent longer than I thought brushing and prepping their stuffies here.

valentie sister challenge build a bear fluffy everythingmom

Build A Bear – Dress Me

Now for the fun part, dressing each character with their sister in mind. The Build A Bear has quite the extensive outfit line for this loveable friends. There were spot themed items like ice skates and hockey sticks. You could find Chewbacca and Darth Vader costumes in the Star Wars section. Even the Disney area was full of princess and prince outfits. You could also find more generic items like jeans, hoodies, sundresses and pyjamas. That’s not even getting into the accessories.

valentine sister challenge build a bear clothes everythingmom

As you can imagine, this was the longest part of our visit. The girls were mesmerized with the variety, deciding on one thing, switching to something else. They were showing each other finds like roller skates and fancy underwear. They had so much fun with this part of their Sister Valentine’s Day Challenge.

valentine sister challenge build a bear dressing room selfie everythingmom

Within the store tables with little mirrors designed for kids to dress their character in their outfit choices. I think my oldest was so in love with her sister’s gift she took a selfie. In the video the girls share why they created the character they did for their sister. I loved hearing their perspective, what they hoped their sister would think of each time she looked at her gift.

Build A Bear – Name Me

The final stage was naming their character, making it official. The birth certificate is a nice touch but I especially like that it indicates that the character was created by their sister.

valentine sister challenge build a bear pledge everythingmom

Although Build A Bear has a number of great Valentine themed bears, the final characters my girls picked for each other were so personal and full of personality. True, they may not be combinations that I would have chosen. Cute kitty meowing dinosaur anyone? I could have steered the creation to some sort of conformity but the final creations have so much personality, a combination of the sister who did the creating and the one receiving.

valentine sister challenge build a bear first bear bell everythingmom

More important than the Build A Bear itself, I love that the Sister Valentine’s Day Challenge lead to my two girls spending a few hours together having fun, being silly, and enjoying each other’s company. That’s certainly the best Valentin’s gift I can think of, especially for me.

Looking to build a bonding moment with your girls or between you and your daughter, try a Build a Bear Workshop this Valentine’s Day.

Thanks to the folks at Build A Bear Workshop for the opportunity to visit. As always, opinions and experiences are my own, including the idea behind the Sister’s Valentine’s Day Challenge.

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1 thought on “Build A Bear Workshop: Sister Valentine’s Day Challenge”

  1. This is absolutely the sweetest! I was looking for a fun way to bond over Build A Bear with my sister and this has got me all sorts of excited. Thank you for showing us all the great options!


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