The community has once again come together to create an activity for youth which is fun, active and keeps everyone at a safe social distance.
The great "Bear Hunt" fills the windows of residences and businesses with stuffed teddy bears ready to be found.
"There is a children's song and book that has been around for many years about going on a bear hunt," Fredericktown Kindergarten Teacher Nina Davis said. "The new form of bear hunting during social distancing is for people in the community to put a bear in the windows of their homes and for the children to go out looking for those bears in the community."
Davis said families can go for walks or ride around in cars to join the hunt.
"Families can walk in different neighborhoods each day without having to come into contact with anyone," Davis said. "Some feel safer doing it from their cars."
Davis said it is easy to be involved even if you do not have time to go out searching.
"Place a bear or a photo of a bear in one of the windows of your home," Davis said. "You can move it each day or just leave it in a prominent spot."
Davis said the book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury is used in kindergarten as well as preschool.
"It is a fun little story to get them up and active," Davis said. "It has been duplicated in many stories and even YouTube videos. The family must travel over real and imaginary obstacles until they finally find a bear. Then they scurry back home safely."
Davis said the book is very popular among the students. She said it is definitely a favorite in the Fredericktown Elementary School Library.
"I miss my students very much," Davis said. "This way maybe I can catch a glimpse of them as they hunt or they can even post photos of their hunts with their families."
Davis said this time period has been very hard for educators.
"We are looking for any way that we can keep in touch with our littles and let them know we are thinking of them," Davis said.
Jamie Mills took her kids Isaiah, 10, and Keeley, 6, out hunting several times over the past week.
"I love that in this time of uncertainty, there is something fun like this to brighten the kids' day," Mills said. "There is so much that they don't understand about all that is going on, but it has given us so much time as a family."
Mills said Isaiah and Keeley look forward to getting out of the house and going on walks whenever possible and this gives them something fun to do as a family.
"Even though we have to keep ourselves distant from others for the time being, we can all take advantage and make memories with our family," Mills said. "I hope they always remember our time together and going on a 'Bear Hunt.'"
If you would like to be a part of the bear hunt you can place a stuffed bear or a picture of a stuffed bear in a window of your home or go for a walk and start hunting.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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