Category Archives: stuffed animals

Happy Birthday, Woof Woof!

Because there is no event left uncelebrated in this house, this week we had a party for Woof Woof’s birthday. She just so happens to share a birthday with my husband. Woof Woof’s (and my husband’s) birthday is tomorrow, but we were visiting my parents earlier this week and had a little celebration for her (and my husband too I guess) then. We put her name on the cake and everything…

It says "Daddy Woof" on there in cranberries-- we were out of frosting.

…well her first name, anyway. It is hard to fit “Woof Woof” AND “Daddy” on one cake when you are trying to “write” with dried cranberries. Stupid Daddy, making his name take up space on the cake. And he also hogged the number candles. Woof Woof is only turning 1.

Then we sang “Happy Birthday” to Woof Woof (and Daddy too, I guess). Woof Woof wasn’t so sure about sharing a birthday with my husband. She thought he was a birthday hog. He got a way bigger present than her, but regardless of how Woof Woof felt, my husband was honored to share a birthday with her. I mean, he was there when she was born.

My husband always wanted to share a birthday with a stuffed animal.

Woof Woof got roller skates for her birthday. She’s still learning how to use them.

Woof Woof needs some roller skating lessons.

In defense of my apparent insanity on this one, Build-A-Bear actually sends birthday cards to its bears with $5 “gift” coupons. Woof Woof only really got a present because of this coupon. But we DID remember that it was Woof Woof’s birthday. We did make her on my husband’s birthday, after all.

Happy birthday, Woof Woof (and Daddy)!

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Kids Play: Woof Woof is cold

Most of the last year, my daughter’s Build-A-BearPuppy Woof Woof has gone with us everywhere. She came with us to the park, the mall, everywhere.

Recently I realized Woof Woof hadn’t been with us in a long time. I kept suggesting Woof Woof come with us and Lily would tell me no. It made me sad to think she and Woof Woof weren’t best friends anymore. I couldn’t figure out why Woof Woof was being cooped up at home. Woof Woof had to be getting cabin fever!

Finally, the other day Lily was allowed to bring a bear to school for the day for Polar Bear Week. I asked her what bear she wanted to take and she said Woof Woof, whom she insisted was a BEAR because she is a Build-A-Bear. I’m not sure how her teacher ended up feeling about this, but I went with it.

The day came, but suddenly Lily didn’t want to take Woof Woof to school. I suggested other bears and she said no, she wanted Woof Woof. Then she finally revealed why Woof Woof had become a prisoner in her own home– Lily didn’t want Woof Woof to go outside because it was “too cold”.

Apparently Woof Woof hasn’t been out with us in months because Lily was worried Woof Woof would be too cold! I should have known– Woof Woof isn’t allowed to wear a dress unless Lily is also wearing a dress. Of course she needs winter clothes when Lily is wearing winter clothes!

Rather than shell out $8+ for a new Build-A-Bear jacket, I dug through Lily’s old baby clothes and found a tiny newborn sweatshirt. This passed Lily’s inspection, but she said Woof Woof STILL couldn’t go outside because she needed a hat. So I found one of those too. She’d already insisted we buy Woof Woof boots the last time we were at Build-A-Bear, so her feet were covered.

Stuffed animals have environmental needs too.

When we get home, Lily takes off Woof Woof’s winter gear right after she takes off her own. The winter gear does not stay on, but she must put it on again whenever we take Woof Woof out. So now I have three children to dress for winter instead of two.

Share your toy stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Kids Play: Shot in the Ear

The only place Lily has ever gotten a shot is in her thigh, but for some reason she thinks her toy syringe should be used to shoot people up in their ears. She is constantly giving us all shots in the ear and then asking if we feel better with our medicine. Even Woof Woof our Build-A-Puppy gets shots in the ear.

I suppose if she ever needed stitches in the ear, she would be mentally prepared for it. Clearly getting shots in the ear is perfectly natural to her!

Maybe this bodes well for getting her ears pierced? Uh oh, does this mean she’s going to be a body piercing enthusiast?

Share your kids’ creative play on this blog by emailing your pictures and stories to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Kids Play: Cart Ride for Two

Toy shopping carts aren’t just for food.

What I especially love about our shopping cart ride is that Woof Woof our Build-A-Puppy always rides too. (No worries, you guys, I was right there the whole time. No babies were or have ever been hurt playing this game.)

Everybody gets to ride! The baby, who doesn’t walk yet, pushes the preschooler!

Share your funny kids play stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Kids Play: Woof Woof Backpack

After we got our Build-a-Bear (aka Woof Woof the Puppy), my daughter Lily became obsessed with the online game at http://www.buildabearville.com. I must admit I can’t blame her for loving the game. We got to design a player that looks just like her and a puppy identical to hers rides around in her backpack while her avatar explores Buildabearville.

Ever since the first time we played this game (or rather I played the game and she watched. She was only 2 1/2 when we started doing this), she has been imitating it by stuffing Woof Woof the Build-a-Puppy into a backpack and carrying her with her wherever she goes. Woof Woof’s head must stick out of the backpack and her tummy must touch Lily’s back, just like in the game.

If that weren’t hilariously cute enough, she has crossed her characters. She thinks that if she’s carrying a backpack like Dora, she should also have a map. For a long time, she claimed Woof Woof’s “birth certificate” was a map and wandered around with that. That “map” didn’t last long, so we got her a laminated USA map placemat instead. She constantly carries Woof Woof in the backpack while investigating her map on where to go next. Usually, she talks about flying to California, which doesn’t sound like a bad plan to me.

Sometimes while we are out, people confuse the map for the placemat it technically is. In picnic table situations, it seems like I’ve been brilliant, but truthfully that map has been so many places that the picnic table is probably cleaner! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve almost lost Woof Woof, backpack or map, but somehow we’ve managed to hold on to all three for the past six months!

What bizarre things do your kids do with their toys? Share your stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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How many toys are in your kid’s bed?

Lily isn’t too choosy about most of her bedtime routine, but one part has to be absolutely precise. She has five blankets that must ceremoniously be put on her bed in a certain order, four stuffed animals and a “Boots Dora” pillow. If the blankets, stuffed animals or pillow aren’t there, she will cry and cry and never go to sleep.

Even though she’s been sleeping in a big girl bed since she climbed out of her bed at 17 months old, she refuses to sleep in anything but a Pack-N-Play when we travel. It can’t just be ANY Pack-N-Play (we have three for a variety of comedic reasons), it has to be her ELEPHANT Pack-N-Play. So, we end up having a Pack-N-Play stuffed to the brim with a 3-year-old, four stuffed animals and five blankets.

It ends up looking something like this:

Except back then there were actually MORE stuffed animals that had to be there. Some have fallen out of bed over time and she’s forgotten she “needs” them.

I’m hoping that someday soon she gets over this blanket and stuffed animal obsession or at least allows me to thin down the pack. When we travel, I have to take an entire laundry basket full of her bedtime props. Since we also have a baby here, I have to bring two Pack-N-Plays. It’s a good thing we have a mini-van!

In talking to other parents about this, I’ve learned that Lily isn’t the only one who is finicky about bedtime props. My friends have toddlers who have certain blankets that need to go in a certain order, and certain stuffed animals too. However, my friends all say they are able to thin the herd down when they travel. I once accidentally forgot the “Boots Dora” pillow and she was so upset she refused to step foot in the Pack N Play. We had to snuggle her to sleep every night of that trip because she truly looked terrified and distraught over the missing pillow. It was not a tantrum.

So, until she shows signs of being ready, we are traveling with a menagerie and far more blankets and pillows than she’ll ever need.

What ridiculous things do your children insist must be included in their bedtime routine? How many stuffed animals are in their beds? Is your child sleeping with five blankets in the summer?

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An Ode to the Internet

Remember back to the archaic time 10 years ago when we could only buy the toys that were available in toy stores?

How did we ever survive?

My love of internet toy shopping really kicked it into high gear on my 1-year dating anniversary with my future husband. He got me a stuffed blue merle Australian shepherd that looks almost exactly like our dog Lumpy (I use my girls’ middle names on this blog, but I assure you that is my dog’s real name!).

Although I’m not a big stuffed animal person, I LOVED this stuffed dog. We named him “Little Lumpy”, because we are incredibly original.

When Lily was born, we put Little Lumpy in her nursery. When she was old enough to start sleeping with a stuffed animal, I sacrificed Little Lumpy to the cause. He is wholly hers now and she sleeps with him every single night.

So when Rose was born, I knew she needed her very own Little Lumpy. The original living Lumpy is still around and I knew she would love him and be jealous of Ari’s toy. So, for her very first Hanukkah I hit up google for “Australian shepherd stuffed animals”. I had planned to just get a second Little Lumpy. I mean, how many stuffed animal Australian shepherds could there be? I have never ever seen one in a store.

The answer is a TON. There are tons and tons of different Australian shepherd stuffed animals on the internet. We got Rose her very own Lumpy clone, aptly named “Lumpy Jr.” and he is completely different than Little Lumpy, yet he’s still nearly identical to our fantastic real life Lumpy.

Back in the days before the internet, I never would have been able to find Little Lumpy or a Lumpy Jr. In fact, I’ll bet there wouldn’t have been enough demand locally for anyone to make them anywhere. But since the internet makes for an international market for Australian shepherd stuffed animals, it creates enough demand for more than one model to be available and that is a beautiful thing.

In short, I love the internet for countless reasons, but for toy blog I especially love it for bringing me the toys I’d otherwise not be able to find.

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Kids Play: It’s a Build-a-Bear Emergency!


For months now, my daughter’s Build-a-Bear (er, puppy) Woof Woof has been going everywhere with us naked. When Woof Woof was “born”, I tried to convince A to get her clothes, but she adamently refused them.

Five months later, out of nowhere (or perhaps somewhere because a week later she finally potty trained) A declared that Woof Woof needed underwear. Absolutely. I mean, of course Woof Woof needs underwear! What could I do but race to the nearest Build-a-Bear to remedy this situation? If Woof Woof needs underwear, maybe Woof Woof (and her owner) is ready to be potty trained! We can’t pass up that opportunity!

Woof Woof chose pink Hello Kitty underwear, an excellent choice, but it just seemed a little obscene to have a puppy running around in just her underwear. A t-shirt and underwear seemed a lot less vulgar.

I asked A that day if Woof Woof needed pants. If she said yes, I would have happily bought them, but she was pretty insistent that Woof Woof should NOT wear pants and should just wear underwear. Alrighty then. I was a little embarrassed for Woof Woof, but A is the boss of Woof Woof’s apparel.

The next day A declared that it was wrong for Woof Woof to be going out in public in just underwear. Woof Woof needed pants! I agreed. If only she’d decided this 24 hours beforehand! When I told her we could go get pants, she thought I meant immediately and that every trip we took was to Build-a Bear.

And that’s how we ended up taking two emergency trips to Build-a-Bear in two days.

Has anything like this ever happened to you or am I just a big sucker? Share your funny toy stories, pictures and videos on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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