Monday, June 14, 2021

Oxford’s “Unbearably” Cute Way to Have Fun While Social Distancing

Story contributed by DeAndria Turner
Broadcast journalism student

Oxford moms, like Sarah Hopkins, are working hard to find creative ways to keep kids entertained and engaged while they keep social distancing rules in mind.

Taking a page from Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, she and others are now part of a worldwide community helping to entertain kids during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t even know who started it but it challenged people in their neighborhood to stick bears in random places of the windows of their house, and they’re encouraging people to get outside and walk more,” Hopkins said.

It’s a sort of safe and friendly kid-focused scavenger hunt. While taking walks or drives around the neighborhood with their parents, kids in participating communities can have some fun by keeping an eye out for any number of stuffed animals that have been put on display.

“Some people move the bears around every day. So it’s interesting going for a walk to see which bear has moved or to see, ‘Hey, that’s not a bear it’s a unicorn’,” Hopkins said.

She says this activity is making things more, well, bearable. “It’s something to break up the monotony.”

It’s also a way to be neighborly, even when you can’t be near your neighbors, says Kelly Houston.

“We love the idea. It gave us something new for our walks. We counted the bears. Sometimes the kids could see them when I couldn’t.”