Stuffed bears lift spirits during quarantine


As we come upon our third week of quarantine, it’s likely that many households are becoming hectic as cabin fever fully settles in—especially those with children. However, a community based cure might be in store.

If you are one of the few who has been making trips outside of their house, you may have noticed the teddy bears which have come to litter the windows of many homes. This cheery sight is no coincidence, but rather, a creative way to bring neighborhoods together. 

Though it is currently unknown which community was the first to begin this trend, it is believed to be based on 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.”

The “hunt” goes something like this: people put teddy bears in the window(s) of their homes, and parents with children are able to drive through the neighborhood, spotting the bears with their little ones. The idea allows families to socially isolate, while still giving them access to a fun activity that gets them out of the house. Some are taking it a step further, by dressing up their bears, or by using different stuffed animals to create a “safari.”

Not only does this constitute a cure for boredom, but it also allows the idle minds of children to keep from dwelling on the dire reality of the coronavirus. For young kids, the sudden lack of school and interaction can be disorienting. It isn’t exactly easy to explain, but these “hunts” are meant to offer an escape, even if it’s only momentary. Parents might also find that it’s nice to get their minds off COVID-19 for a day and get out of the house (especially as it gets warmer).

Maybe this article will come as a relief—maybe you’re already packing up the car and getting ready to take your rowdy little gremlins out on a bear hunt. But if not, consider rummaging around to find a bear of your own to put in the window. This game relies on the power of a silent but loving community and at least a few willing participants.

So get out there and spot some bears!