Our class traveled to Smith Haven Mall to visit the Build-A-Bear Workshop and make our own bears and other stuffed animals.

We were given a selection of dogs, bears and ponies to choose from.

After we each picked out an animal, we had to pick a song that we liked so the bear could sing or talk.

This song is on a device inserted in our animal, so when we play with it, the song will play, too. Then, we had to pick hearts for our animals; we pretended to warm our hearts against their bodies before we inserted them.

This helped our animal to be healthy, smart and loving.

We also had to pick from different scents so our animals would smell sweet.

We had to bring our pets to a special machine so we could add lots of stuffing, and then we squeezed them to make sure they were full.

Also, we had to give our animals a bath before dressing them, which was loads of fun! We did this so our new pets would look just perfect.

After that, we had to dress our pets. There were just so many outfits to pick from. Each one of us chose something different.

Then we picked out accessories such as shoes, hats, skateboards, crowns and jewelry. ("I made a bear for my little sister," said Dominique. Yaneth made a My Little Pony for herself.)

We each printed a birth certificate for our animal. We were even given a little house for them to live in, and we all had our pictures taken.We would all rate Build-A-Bear a solid 5 smiles (out of five). It was so much fun, and building the animal was exciting! Our class cannot wait until we can go back and visit Build-A-Bear again.

There are two great Build-A-Bear locations on Long Island: at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City and Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. They are online at buildabear.com