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Teddies in windows wait to be spotted

Worldwide Facebook initiative - 'We're Not Scared - NZ Bear Hunt' gives children something to look forward to on daily walks during lockdown.

The number of bears sitting at a safe social distance inside Gisborne windows is growing.

They are waiting for children in their neighbourhood to spot them.

It is part of a worldwide Facebook initiative — We’re Not Scared - NZ Bear Hunt — to give children something fun to look out for on daily walks during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Exercise has been encouraged during this time but must be done close to home.

Gisborne mum of two Kate Teesdale has put a teddy in a front window of the family home. Yesterday she took her two children, aged three and seven, on a walk to see if they could find other bears in their neighbourhood.

“We saw the bear hunt idea on Facebook and on the news,” she said. “It’s something to get out of the house for and keep them entertained. They loved it.

“My three-year-old thought we were looking for beer and when we found the first teddy bear in a window said, ‘That’s not beer! It’s the green one that Daddy drinks’.

Kate encourages other people to join in “because the kids love it”.

“We found eight bears in windows. One lady made her bear dance and wave so that was extra special — the children loved that one.

“Even people who don’t have kids at home are doing it for the other kids. Whoever came up with the idea is great.”

Meanwhile, the bear search has spawned the Beers in Windows Facebook page, which encourages people to display beer in their windows in creative ways.

WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT: Teddy bears in Tairawhiti have come out to play . . . but not at a picnic. New Zealanders, including Tairawhiti residents, have joined the Facebook movement 'We're Not Scared - NZ Bear Hunt' and are placing a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in a window that can be seen from the footpath. The idea is to give children something fun to do on their daily neighbourhood walk, which is allowed during the lockdown. There are an estimated 250 stuffed toys in windows around the district and the number is expected to grow. The children love it, said Kate Teesdale, the mother of Marlie and Arlo (pictured). Picture by Paul Rickard