Stuffed teddies and other animals have begun appearing in Peabody’s windows in an attempt to cheer up children stuck at home by social distancing and closed schools.
And maybe give them an opportunity for adventure.
The neighborhood scavenger hunt is based on Michael Rosen’s children’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”
Children are invited to find as many as they can as they walk, or are driven, through their neighborhoods.
“It’s a great book, I have had fun reading it with little ones,” said Patty Traxson, a parent educator with Marion County Parents as Teachers.
Many other communities have set up bear hunts for kids and have pictures on social media, Traxson said.
“I thought of children who were cooped up in their houses. It would be a better way for them to get out,” she said.
Marcia Bloomer Sebree, a volunteer a Peabody Historical Society, placed several bears in the window of Peabody’s Print Museum and was surprised when children drew pictures and left messages on a nearby sidewalk.
“They drew smiley faces and said, ‘thank-you,’ ” she said. “It was pretty neat.”
The activity is meant to encourage smiles and allow children to get out safely, while maintaining the proper social distance, she said.
“You can walk and wave,” she said.
But don’t be scared.
“We are so far out, I put our bear in our mailbox in the newspaper slot inside a white cup,” said Traxson. “I told my husband what I had done, but when he went out to get the mail and opened the slot, that little bear scared him.”