Build a Bear on a Budget

Do your kids love Build a Bear? Over the past 5 years, we have taken our kids to Build a Bear several times and never have we ever spent more than $21! My kids always end up leaving the store with a treasured animal friend, clothes on the furry friend and huge smiles and memories. So what is the secret to doing Build a Bear on a Budget?

Build a Bear on a Budget


I know there are families out there who do Build A Bear on the spur of the moment many times a year. They never consider the price and just enjoy the experience on a regular basis. But there are many other families who have kids who look with longing at the stores, or listen to other kids talk about Build a Bear but have never gone because their parents think it’s going to cost a ton of money.

I’m about as cheap a parent as you’re going to find, and my daughter has just made her 3rd animal and my sons have 1 or 2 as well.  Here’s our tips to make Build a Bear a budget friendly experience.

How it works

  • Sign up for the BAB (Build a Bear) Stuff for Stuff club. Make sure you register all of your childen’s birthdays. That way you might get a $5 coupon about 3 weeks before your childs birthday. You will also earn 1 point for every dollar spent which will then give you free money to spend eventually.  Periodically they will send their Stuff for Stuff members exclusive coupons.  (Recently I got a coupon for $5 off any purchase! – FREE money to spend!) 
  • Watch magazines for a $5 off coupon. Several times a year, they will release these coupons!

Now for the animal…… There are several bears you can build that cost $10 each. Then each animal goes up from there.

Each animal comes flat (kind of like a puppet).  Your child chooses the flat animal then proceeds to the next station where they get to help bring it to life by choosing a heart (free) and stepping on a pedal to turn on the machine that will stuff the animal.

Build a Bear on a Budget
Build a Bear on a Budget

Two of the workers deserve a special thanks: Bryanna and Kelly did a great job making this a great experience for my daughter! They were having as good a time as Natalie. You could tell they love their job!

  • Sounds: You have the option of including sound inside your bear. These sounds are around $4.00 and go up from there. My kids don’t EVER get a sound. Why would they want an animal that is going to talk to them in the middle of the night. I don’t even let my kids have this option. So I immediately save this money.
Build a Bear on a Budget
  • Bathtime: Once the animal is stuffed, your child can take the animal over to the bathtub area. They step on a pedal which turns on the air dryers. There are little brushes available to brush the animal and pretend to give them a bath.
  • Clothes: As my daughter says “We can’t leave here with a bear/animal naked!” So we always have to buy clothes.There are ‘dressing room’ areas so your child can actually try the clothes on the animal. This gives them extra fun without extra expense. Just be prepared to spend a little bit of time having them try on the clothes.

Here’s the basic prices for clothes:

  • full outfits – $12 – $20 per set
  • skirts/shirts/pants/shorts – usually about $6 each
  • Shoes – usually about $6
  • Panties/underwear/boxers – usually $3.50 each

What we usually do is allow the kids to pick out 2 things OR 1 outfit. That way I know I won’t go over my budget of $15.00. I have found that for the boy bear we were able to get a pair of camo boxers and a shirt and the bear was dressed! Done. No problem. Natalie’s first bunny got a pajama dress and a pair of panties plus the free bows and had a great outfit.  (Ribbons are always free at the register!)

There is also now a Clearance rack!  The clothes range from $3 – $10 on the rack.

Once you have the animal made and the clothes chosen, you get to make the birth certificate.  The birth certificate is free and included. Your child will need to choose a name so you can type it on their birth certificate.  The animal gets placed in a special house/box that is also included for free!

Once you get home, you can bring your animal to life on the computer and play for free online (for free of course)  Check your receipt for a special code that will give your online animal extra clothes, gifts or special furniture in their online condo.

Do your kids love Build a Bear? Got any tips or tricks that I need to know? What’s your kids favorite animal? I’d love to hear!

I did not receive any compensation or special consideration for this review. But I decided that since we were doing the Build a Bear experience I should share it with you!

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  1. I never give my son the option of sound or clothes. He just loves stuffed animals the traditional way i guess (naked) so at the most i ever spend is $20 or $25 depending on the animal

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