Tag Archives: how to

You Can Make a Difference!

As we continue the 10th birthday cele-bear-ation of the Build-A-Bear Workshop® Huggable Heroes® program we asked 2010 Huggable Hero Jourdan Urbach to share his tips on helping young people who want to make a difference get started.

At 21-years-old, Jourdan is a Julliard-trained concert violinist, a recent graduate from Yale and the National Director of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. His commitment to give back and eventually become a Huggable Hero started when he was seven-years-old.

Jourdan Urbach:  I’ve known since I was a young child that I wanted to use my passion for music and playing the violin to help others. My advice to anyone who wants to give back is to first look at your talents and skills and build a plan from there.

JourdanUrbach

No person is too young or too busy to make contributions to those in need. An easy tip I like to share with kids looking to give back is to expand on an existing idea you have or contribute to another current project, rather than starting from scratch. Maybe you have an idea that would turn an existing project into something that will return awesome results. Networking, along with making friends who are like-minded and interested in helping others, can provide a real boost to your efforts. Keep an open mind to those around you – develop and foster relationships with potential mentors that will be there for you throughout your service initiative or entrepreneurial journey.

As young people, we have opportunities that are not available to most adults – we have the luxury of less being expected of us and of course, our charm. For example, I got my start at the age of seven when I wrote a letter to Dr. Fred Epstein, the leading pediatric neurosurgeon in the 1970s, because I was inspired by his work. The average person’s letter may not have been passed along to Dr. Epstein, himself, but because I was young and interested in a very mature topic, I stood out. Dr. Epstein eventually became one of my greatest mentors and encouraged me to found the organization, Children Helping Children. See, it just takes one tipping point to get you started!

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How to be a princess

How to be a princessby Molly Saunders


For centuries, princesses have been well-known for having many positive attributes. Here we share some tips for all ages about how to be a beary kind modern-day princess. Please keep in mind, these are just ideas, and all children should work with their parents or an adult they trust to find ways to help their community.

Tip No. 1 - How to be a princess

1. Be kind. Princesses show kindness to every person they meet. Be sure to use the magic words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’- each time you ask for something or are given something. Even if you didn’t ask for it, it shows your inner princess when you show appreciation for receiving a gift, however small it may be.

Tip No. 2 - How To be a princess

2. Have good manners. Princesses are always polite. Just as you would say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, remember to keep your elbows off the table when you are eating and don’t play with your food. Setting a good example for those around you is always a good thing!

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How to grow paperwhites – a winter flower!

by Molly Saunders, Digital Bear

This is an activity my brother and I did with our family every winter when I was growing up. This was the first year I grew my very own paperwhites. These are great because they are SO SIMPLE and grow really fast. They’ll breathe new life into your home during the cold time of the year when everything outside is not so vibrant. Most instructions I’ve found online make this process seem too difficult with too many steps and not enough pictures. So here are some easy ones for you and your family to follow.

1. Here is what you’ll need:

Bulbs – paperwhite narcissus (from a big hardware/garden center, or your local hardware store, sometimes these are more fragrant.) There are now different varieties, some that smell a lot and some that hardly smell at all, so if you get them at a smaller hardware store they will probably know (and have on hand) the different varieties.

Rocks (I always get mine from a dollar store – 3-4 bags will work, unless you have a huge container and tons of bulbs)

A container to grow them in – I like the more shallow dishes, but these can be very hard to find and honestly, the one I used I inherited from my pops. A glass vase with a wide bottom works fine too, or any other kind of planter you have that doesn’t have a hole in the bottom of it.)

supplies for growing paperwhites

These are the supplies to grow paperwhites.

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Pawsome pumpkin cake pops

by Caitlin Noblitt, Digital Intern Bear

What better way to celebrate this ghoulish month than by making delicious cake pops that look like adorable pumpkins? We decided to make pumpkins but you could make any Halloween character – think ghosts, spiders, monsters, and mummies! Cake pops are the latest craze in baking so try this treat with your kids and gobble up some good food!

Pumpkin Cake Pops Continue reading


Wearable fall kid’s craft for under $5

By Molly Saunders, Digital Bear

Because we’re all pressed for time and money, I thought I’d share this simple craft for fall. It’s great because you can bring new life to your children’s old T-shirts, and it costs less than five dollars. All you need is an old T-shirt (or something you find at a thrift store) and a bleach pen (be sure to get the one meant “for whites.”) I’d recommend this craft for kids old enough to follow directions and those that enjoy art projects, because this one takes just a little bit of patience.

Wearable fall kid's craft post image

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Lunchbox notes: good for more than just lunch!

by Maricris from ZensibleMama.com

Download and print your beary own lunchbox notes!

What unique ways can you think of to use these adorable lunchbox notes?


Recycled Birdhouse

By Angela Roy of Mommy PR


This birdhouse was my husband’s idea. That man is a Martha Stewart sometimes. I had a box from The Honest Company, it was sort of long and skinny, on the smaller side. He took one look and decided that was going in the backyard for the birds.

What you will need:

  • A box
  • 2 kabob sticks
  • Popsicle sticks (optional)
  • Any craft extras for design (we used some pine and pine cone)
  • Glue Gun

Your total cost should be FREE.

Step 1:

Take a the box and make it into a small square. We did this by cutting the long box in half and combining the 2 sides together (one half inside the other) to make it shorter. Simply glue those 2 together.

Step 2:

Take part of the lid, fold it in half for a roof. Run a Kabob stick through the bottom of the roof, through the birdhouse to the other side. This will help secure it stays on, but as an extra caution glue it also. It should look like the letter A now. Leave the ends of the Kabobs like they are, the birds can use those to perch on, or cover them in Popsicle sticks like we did (optional).

Step 3:

This part is all optional. You can use the Popsicle sticks to line the birdhouse for decoration, or add pine cones, leaves, flowers, even glitter. Whatever you want. Then just find a place to hang it outside.

Now isn’t that the cutest recycled birdhouse?

Have a whirl at it and see what you come up with.


How to Build a Nut House

By Angela Roy of Mommy PR

I bet you never thought you would be reading how to build a nut house. With kids, it’s always something, right?

We have been feeding our backyard squirrels for a while now. It’s something that I remember doing with my late grandpa. He would be swarmed by the local wildlife just eating out of his hands. I would just sit in amazement as they acted like house pets to his every move. Ahh, the memories.

Anyway, I wanted my girls to build some “Nut Boxes”, just little containers to hold squirrel feed; nuts, corn, sunflower seeds, etc. (You can also make these boxes to hold trinkets, craft supplies, jewelry, or candy. They are very versatile.) I made this affordable for anyone, because all the items are from The Dollar Tree (you know, the place where everything under the sun is only $1).

You will need:

  • Popsicle Sticks- I bought 2 bags of 100 sticks ($2)
  • Glue- ($1)
  • Peanuts- ($1)
  • Leaves, Pine Cones- Free, just let the kids pick items from outside
  • Bird Topper- Optional ($1 for pack of 2)

Your total cost should only be $5

Step 1:

Lay two sticks down, about the length of the Popsicle sticks apart from each other, and glue 10 sticks across them to build a base.

Step 2:

Glue one stick along each side slightly overlapping each end atop the end of another stick. Continue until you reach the depth you want for your container.

Step 3:

While your box is drying, make another “base” as in Step 1. This will be your top. Let the kids really use their imagination on this part. Pine cones, birds, rocks, etc. Whatever you want as your top.

Step 4:

Allow to dry and then fill with your favorite foods for the animals or your other furry friends. This can be dog treats for Fido, nuts for the squirrels, or even candy for Grandpa.

An extra you can do; If you get the plain Popsicle sticks, you can let the kids paint something on the sides. Also, we are leery of leaving a full box outside. We learned that the birds and squirrels sure are stronger and more nosy than we thought. They ate both boxes and dumped them on the ground! (see photo below) We keep joking that soon we are going to see them so fat they will be dragging their bellies across the grass.

I hope you enjoy your craft time with the kids! What will your nut houses look like? Leave us a link to see them!


How to make ice cream: a great Father’s Day treat!

Molly Saunders, Digital Bear

One of the things I remember best about hot summers is making ice cream with my dad. We use the old wooden ice cream maker that he grew up with. It makes the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted! Nothing ever comes close to that subtle, just-sweet-enough taste, especially after you’ve worked so hard to make it.

This is our family's ice cream barrel. When you store it, the dried wood pieces kind of rattle about. When you make the ice cream they expand and the only thing holding them together are the metal rings around the bucket. They expand to fit together perfectly and don't leak when you're making the ice cream!

I’ve adapted a version of the recipe he has used for more than 40 years so that you can make ice cream with your dad, or so that your children make ice cream with their dad for Father’s Day. It could become a really wonderful tradition for your family, too. I also like that making ice cream can double Continue reading


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