Andrea Drake with 5-year-old son Joseph, left, is holding one-year-old James. Six-year old Michael stands with sister Elizabeth (age 3) while they all pose with Brownie in the picture window of their family room. The kids are having fun participating in the “Going for a bear hunt” game. Photo by Glenda Svendsen

Bear hunt trend entertains local children and families

Bear hunts are a recent trend for kids that makes family walks more exciting.

The idea is believed to have originated from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s story book published in 1989, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”                   The charming children’s book opens with these lines: “We’re going on a bear hunt/We’re going to catch a big one/What a beautiful day!/We’re not scared.”

The book has won numerous awards and was also the subject of a Guinness World Record for “Largest Reading Lesson” due to a book-reading attended by 1,500 children and an additional 30,000 listeners online in 2014.                  The scavenger hunt is reaching even more children with world-wide participation being reported.

Lassen County Times even joined in on the fun – giving Robear a front seat in the lobby.

According to Time.com, Londoner Daniele Hamamdjian said that bear hunting just ‘took off’ on her block.

“We put our teddy bear in the window and the next thing you know, everybody was putting one in their window,” she said.

“It was really heartwarming. I got emotional looking at all the pictures coming in because I think people just want to hang onto anything positive, even if it’s a stuffed animal in a window.”

The project has people tucking bears into windows, in trees and atop mailboxes and kids are loving the game.

McKinley first grader Ila Espinoza enjoys the hunt, too.

“I like looking for the bears and seeing the different sizes,” she said.

Mom Marie adds, “It’s super cute. For parents with little ones, even an ordinary car ride is exciting right now.”

Marie shares that Ila’s favorite bear is the “big one” at her friend’s house.

Andrea Drake saw the idea in a friends post online so she displayed bears in two windows of her house on Grand Avenue.

“The kids were excited to participate in the “Bear Hunt” by putting Brownie in our window to help bring some joy to their friends and other neighborhood kids,” said Drake. “They are looking forward to going for a drive to see how many other bears we can find, too.”

Some families are even mapping out neighborhoods, keeping track of how many they see and going back every few days to see if there are any new bears.

According to one parent,

“There are some houses where probably every stuffed animal they own is stuffed into a window. Some families have turned it into a safari instead of a bear hunt because you see other animals … It’s morphed into something more.”

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