Bay Area Kids Go "Hunting" For Teddy Bears

Have you noticed teddy bears in your community?  More and more Bay Area neighborhoods seem to be joining in an international phenomenon giving kids something to do during the shelter-in-place.

In one San Leandro neighborhood the bears started popping up about one week ago. 

“Right in that second window, you see? The stuffies,” said 3-year-old Rebekah, who along with her brother 6-year-old Elijah has counted 70 bears so far.  

“It’s fun and they’re hard to find and it gives you a challenge,” he said. “We’ve seen puppies, other stuffed animals, we’ve even seen a stuffed elephant.”

Neighbor Amanda Fant says it gives her two young daughters something to look forward to on their walks. “I think it’s wonderful, it makes neighborhood walks a little bit more exciting and its a new adventure every day.”

Some of the bears have been staying especially active as they shelter-in-place. One busy bear appears to be making swift progress on its reading list and has been spotted with a different book every day. 

The phenomenon is spreading quickly on social media, with reports of bears in all 50 states and 13 different countries. It appears to have been inspired by the 1989 children’s book "Going on a Bear Hunt.”

“I heard it was for the kids and I have two little ones that live next door, so I put the bear in the window,” says Greg. “People were doing it as kind of a gesture of hope and continuity and community between us all, and for the kids to see.”