Willetton residents have joined the southern suburbs’ plush bear hunt for children as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rises.
The initiative is believed to have begun in United States and has since gained popularity in the community, following the government’s most recent social distancing measures to stop the spread of the virus.
The idea of the plush bear hunt is for children to spot the bears from a safe distance when either driving safely in their car or on a walk.
Willetton resident and primary school teacher Bree Sherston said mental health will be something the community must combat during this unprecedented time of isolation.
“I think it’s a good initiate because it brings a smile to both adults and children when they see the bears and know that we’re all in this together, even though we need to be apart,” she said.
Ms Sherston, who is a mother of three young children, said her family was very active before the coronavirus pandemic started and admits her children ﬁnd it difﬁcult to understand why everything is being put on hold, including her son’s ﬁfth birthday.
“All of the activities we used to do with the boys have been cancelled and when any of them ask me “what are we doing today mummy?” the answer is nothing, we’re home, staying safe from the virus and looking after each other,” she said.
Earlier last week Ms Sherston and her children decided to join the bear movement.
Four other neighbours had noticeable bears placed around their property but Ms Sherston said she wanted more people to join.
So later that day, Ms Sherston went beyond with the initiative and bought more teddy bears and cabled tied ﬁve of them on trees, basketball courts, and other local areas for children to spot them safely from a distance.
“The bear hunt has added a game, some magic to our boy’s life,” she said.
Even though some people seem to be against the teddy bear hunt, Ms Sherston believes the activity is safe as long as children follow the social distancing measures or stay in their cars.
“Windows are up, kids safely buckled in.
They can search with their eyes and the magic is there,” she said.
“We are not yet in complete lockdown, so socially distanced walks for exercise are okay too.
“If people are putting their own teddys in their windows or front yard, that doesn’t hurt anyone but it could make a child smile.”