Social distancing may have the world isolated for now, but creative minds are hard at work to distract anyone needing a break from life’s uncertainty and worry.
From drive-in confessionals to drive-by birthday parades, people are using their vehicles in safe, innovative ways to get out of the house and gain back a little normalcy.
That’s why Keith McDonald, the mayor of Bartlett, Tennessee, suggested that resident families with small children hop into their cars and go on a neighborhood bear hunt.
Now, at first thought, a search for bears doesn’t make much sense in western Tennessee, where the bear population is extremely low and sightings are rare.
But that’s what makes Mayor McDonald’s idea so creative.
Instead of live bears, families are hunting stuffed ones.
Inspired by the beloved children’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, the hunt has participants placing teddy bears in the front windows of their houses so that families can drive around trying to spot the bears.
According to KSAT-TV, the children’s book and the song begin with the line: “We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. I’m not scared. What a beautiful day!”
When a bear is spotted, the fearless hunters are encouraged to capture their findings on camera and post them on social media sites.
— Katie Rosenberg (@katierosenberg) March 24, 2020
After Groom posted her plan on Facebook, at least 60 homes agreed to put bears in their windows for the kids to find.
But it’s not just Tennessee that’s having all the fun.
“Multiple sightings” in Levelland and Lubbock, Texas, were reported by KCBD.
Even Cookie Monster and a couple of unicorns showed up in neighborhoods in Iowa, according to KCCI.
The game is also transforming as participants add rainbows to their window displays.
— Kirsty Warner (@KirstyWarner) March 23, 2020
We are participating in a ?#rainbowscavengerhunt in our community. While walking around our neighborhood we look for ??? posted in people’s windows. #StaySafeStayHome #StayAtHomeChallenge #wecangetthroughit pic.twitter.com/0qUIwGfZh7
— Katrina DuVal (@KatrinaDuVal1) March 20, 2020
KSAT pointed out that during troubled times, some parents say, the rainbow scavenger hunt can remind everyone to see the good instead of the bad.
And while this game may be intended for children, it can also be a much needed distraction for adults.
My neighborhood is asking families to put a teddy bear in the window so families can go on a walk for a “Bear Hunt”. Such a great way to get people out of their homes at staggered times to get fresh air. Our little ones need this distraction and so do adults#InThisTogether pic.twitter.com/25LOeRT9Ss
— Tracey smith (@Tracey030507) March 19, 2020
“Many of the adults in our neighborhood are eager to participate because we remember the song,” Shanna Bonner Groom told the Daily News Journal. “It brings back wonderful memories.”
— Mia Massicotte (@MiaMassicotte) March 24, 2020
At the end of the children’s book, the family vows to never go bear hunting again. But it’s probably safe to say that many families will venture out of their homes for another round of this “social-distancing-approved scavenger hunt.”
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