Scavenger hunts are the exercise-a-day of choice for those following this community craze

By Charlotte Brill

Schools officially shut last week forcing thousands of children to stay at home with their parents. In a bid to support families, neighbourhoods have begun facilitating scavenger hunts to help keep children entertained. Shared via multiple social media channels, this trend has gone ‘viral’, spreading positivity and community ethos across the nation. 

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s book ‘We Are Going on a Bear Hunt’, people are putting their teddy bears in their front windows for children to spot while on walks around the neighbourhood. This book is world-renowned and beloved by millions. I am sure that many of you will recall its jovial chant from your own childhoods:

‘’We are going on a bear hunt. We are going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared…’’ 

Parents and other adults are also being encouraged to take part. We are still able to go outside for one activity of exercise a day and it is important to get some fresh air to prevent us going stir-crazy in our homes, while respecting social distancing advice of course! And, let’s be honest who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? 

In a closed Facebook group Bear Mountain Folk, for residents living on or around Bear Road in Brighton, one member asked for help to set up a Bear Hunt in the neighbourhood and it has amassed amazing support. A resident on Bear Road expressed her thoughts on the idea: 

‘’I was so excited about it because I think soft toys and Teddy bears bring a sense of comfort and joy to any room…I thought it was a really wonderful thing to do for kids who are likely to find this time confusing and stressful…It’s been a really fun way to bring the local area together!’’

Community response has been incredible with hundreds of people participating in Brighton, London and Newark, to name a few places where such teddy bear sightings have been reported. It is a remarkable testament to the power and beauty of community spirit. 

Some communities have been putting rainbows in their windows to spread cheer and remind everyone that we are all in this together. As an amalgamation of light and a vibrant pop of colour, rainbows have long been used as symbols of hope and to motivate people through dark times. So, it is rather fitting that it should be used during this unprecedented and challenging Corvid-19 pandemic. 

Drawing and colouring rainbows can also be another exciting activity for housebound children to do, which is particularly beneficial for parents looking for ways to entertain their children while they work from home.

These trends are in stark opposition to the inconsiderate stockpiling which has meant the nations most vulnerable are less able to access essential goods. It is surreal and easy to forget about; it is not until you go into a supermarket and see all the shelves wiped clean that the severity of it really resonates. 

While bringing selfishness out of some people, the pandemic is simultaneously fostering the development of community spirit and collective cooperation. It is this camaraderie, this thoughtfulness and kindness, which has been seen in various forms across the globe, that we need more of to raise spirits and reaffirm our solidarity while uncertainty persists. 

Support those who need it. Look out for your community. Respect government advice. 

We are in this together, so let’s act that way! 

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