Teddy bears and cuddly toys are popping up in the windows of Georgetown homes as part of the Great Bear Hunt, a growing effort to bring comfort to children during the pandemic.
Inspired by the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” — written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury — parents and kids spot and track stuffed animals in their neighbors’ windows and yards while taking walks during the days of self-isolation.
Communities from London to Indianapolis have gone hunting, even if they have to gear up with gloves and masks.
In typical Georgetown fashion, neighbors are bringing out their inner children and spreading the joy of the activity.
“I figured they might as well get some air, too,” joked Frederick Schwab, when we spotted a trifecta of Disney characters in his window on 31st Street.
All creatures great and small are welcome. We spied sloths, monkeys and pigs on our Georgetown safari.
Leigh Davitian explained she put Babar the Elephant on display in honor of her daughter, who “loves all things French. We didn’t think Madeline would work but Babar [the character created by French author Jean de Brunhoff] would.”
Babar’s wife Celeste sits at his side in Davitian’s window on Dumbarton Street.
Next door, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet wait to be hunted by the next junior Georgetowner.
In an email, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Gwendolyn Lohse encouraged all her constituents to participate. She is working to develop an online tracker for local families.
“This is great social distancing fun,” said Lohse, who hunted 26 bears with her daughter Eleanor. In their window on O Street, Paddington and a pink “I Love DC” bear greets passersby. “We all need humor and happiness right now,” she said.
Clicking on the following link will take you to a webpage — set up by Lohse and a colleague — with a map of where the stuffed animals can be sighted: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nLKyoUtcVyTWihqS76k-9Q-84xiuz-C9&usp=sharing
To add your animals to the map, click here to fill out a form.
Meanwhile, Judith Bunnell and friends have created “The Georgetown Street Safari.” It is likewise “a fun, scavenger-hunt style activity,” she said. It has a Facebook page — Georgetown Street Safari — and its own email: firstname.lastname@example.org.