Families are Going on Teddy Bear Hunts in Their Neighborhoods

Families are Going on Teddy Bear Hunts in Their Neighborhoods

Christina Ellis and her 4-year-old daughter, Laceygail, put a big stuffed dog with floppy ears in the window of their North Olmsted home for their neighborhood Teddy Bear Hunt. (Submitted by Christine Ellis)

Christina Ellis and her 4-year-old daughter, Laceygail, put a big stuffed dog with floppy ears in the window of their North Olmsted home.

Ellis says her daughter wanted people who saw the stuffed pooch to see that he was licking the window.

Like other families, they are participating in a movement taking place across the U.S. to put teddy bears (or other stuffed animals) in windows that can be visible from the sidewalk or roadway.

During this COVID-19 outbreak, where physical distancing is essential to prevent infections, kids and parents can safely play this scavenger hunt game of finding or counting stuffed animals they see in windows or front porches by taking a drive or walk around the neighborhood. 

Social media has various pages for Teddy Bear Hunts, such as Bear Hunt of Ohio on Facebook.

Ellis says she found out about the game on Facebook and the highest number of stuffed animals they counted by just driving around the North Olmsted area was 162.

“I think it’s really nice and it’s giving the kids something to do,” she says, adding it also helps the family by taking their minds off the current world situation. 

“I just want her to be a kid and not worry about anything,” she says of her daughter. “It’s something to look forward to and get excited about.”

Ellis said the family also has been doing board games, hands-on science projects and crafts.

Neighbors are practicing social and physical distancing around Northeast Ohio, but many are getting creative to help people deal with the impact of COVID-19.

There are encouraging signs in windows with messages such as “Alone Together” or “Stay Healthy.” Others have been creating colorful sidewalk chalk art with positive symbols. Some also have been using this opportunity to thank essential workers such as those in the healthcare industry.  

“We are all doing our part,” Ellis says, adding activities like the Teddy Bear Hunt are helping to bring the community together. 

About the author

Angela Gartner is the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine. She previously served as editor for family and general interest magazines in the region. As a journalist, her articles and columns have appeared in newspapers and other publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers as well as the Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy each weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She loves reading books, being a board member at the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and taking the family dog, a Scottish Terrier named Jagger, on his walks.

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