Teddy bears are making their appearance everywhere along streets made empty by the novel virus. Making bored kids go from Easter Egg Hunting to Teddy Bear Hunting.
The stuffed animals are showing up in windows around the world in global “Teddy Bear Hunts” for children — bringing neighborhoods together and giving kids an exciting, social-distancing-safe scavenger hunt activity.
The hunts are inspired by Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” which opens with the lines,
We’re going on a bear hunt.
We’re going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We’re not scared.Michael Rosen,1989
Playdates and playgrounds might be on hold, but keeping an eye out for stuffed animals is keeping the boredom at bay.
In northeast Iowa, a group of hunting kids spotted more than 250 bears in the windows this weekend, an activity that impressed Raymond, Iowa, mayor Gary Vick.
“Just kind of that community involvement, trying to pacify the children,” Vick told The Courier newspaper. “They’re adapting very well, and they’re keeping their social distance. I’m just amazed at my community for what they’ve done.”
Monmouth, Maine, resident Allison Angell told her local TV station that she took her kids on a hunt for Teddy Bears to forget about the virus for a bit.
“For about an hour we didn’t think about anything else that was happening in the world,” she said. “It was just about the bears. The kids sat in the back seat. My daughter kept a tally. We kept looking, and it was only that, and I had completely forgotten what was going on until we pulled back into the yard.”
The bears are appearing in locations as far as New Zealand. Canadian journalist and mother of a 4-year-old, Daniele Hamamdjian, was impressed, tweeting, “To the parent (it’s gotta be a parent) who came up with this idea, THANK YOU. Explaining to a 4-year old why playdates aren’t allowed anymore is heartbreaking, so ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ during our walks is the distraction we needed.”
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