Edinburgh children use daily walk to go on a 'bear hunt'

Teddies have been put in the windows. Picture:  Amber Dangel\The Big Bear HuntTeddies have been put in the windows. Picture:  Amber Dangel\The Big Bear Hunt
Teddies have been put in the windows. Picture: Amber Dangel\The Big Bear Hunt | User (UGC)

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Neighbours are placing teddies in windows for children to spot.

Edinburgh children are using their daily walk to go on a bear hunt.

Scots are placing teddies in their windows for socially distanced families to spot while they get their once a day exercise.

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The idea has been inspired by the children's picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

Picture: Lynn Buchanan\The Big Bear HuntPicture: Lynn Buchanan\The Big Bear Hunt
Picture: Lynn Buchanan\The Big Bear Hunt | User (UGC)

It has been adopted by communities as a distraction to cheer up children denied their usual playdates during the coronavirus pandemic.

One Edinburgh woman, Jodie Donaldson, has created a Facebook group called The Big Bear Hunt for people to share pictures of the bears they find.

Parents in Edinburgh said teddies and other cuddly toys on display had also provided reassurance to isolated children that they are not alone.

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Primary teacher Laura Cooney, 36, helped launch a bear hunt in Clermiston, Edinburgh, where she takes a daily walk with one-year-old daughter Elspeth.

She said: "We've found lots to occupy us in the house, but I thought it would be nice for the local children to have something to see on their daily walk.

"My little girl Elspeth is only one but she loves teddy bears.

"I suggested it to our local community support group, and put a monkey up in my own window. Now more people have put teddies and other toys up.

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"It lets the children know they're not forgotten and the adults are enjoying spotting the bears too."Heidi Wilson, 34, spotted teddies with her daughter Georgie, eight, and twins Perry and Parker, aged four, near their home in Clermiston.

Senior risk manager Heidi, who is balancing homeschooling her children with working from home, said: "Keeping three kids entertained is challenging, but the teddies have given the kids something to look forward to on our daily walk.

"It makes the walk more enjoyable for the kids to count the teddies, and they compete to spot the most.

"We've also been making up stories about what the teddies get up to at night when everyone else is in their beds."

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She added: "The kids are sensing that things aren't quite right -- they can't even cross the road to give Papa and Nana a cuddle.

"Small gestures like the teddies in the windows remind you that you are part of a community."

Eight year old Georgie said: "It takes your mind off what's happening and it makes you feel better.

"People are getting coronavirus and some people are dying which is sad. We're not seeing our friends but looking for teddy bears takes your mind off it.

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"I'm having a competition with my brothers to see who can spot the most -- my brother Perry is winning."I've put my Mickey Mouse in my window to make other children happy too."Author Michael Rosen has also shared images of bears in windows around the country to his 165,000 followers on Twitter.