There's a bear in there: the teddies welcoming kids around the world amid school shutdowns

Photos: Instagram/Twitter
Photos: Instagram/Twitter 

Walking down the street is a strange experience these days - cafes are closed, parks are empty and more and more people are wearing face masks as they take a stroll.

But, thanks to an idea aimed at making the streets feel more friendly and welcoming to already worried children, teddy bears are starting to smile at walkers from windows everywhere. 

To combat some of the boredom, neighbourhoods in the US and UK have started organising "teddy bear hunts". The concept is simple - people put teddy bears in their windows so kids can walk past with their families and spot them on the street.

The idea is taking off closer to home now too, with 2GB radio host Ben Fordham posting a picture to Instagram of a bear in the window of his Sydney home.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Love this 🧸 #putyourteddyout for kids at home going on a bear hunt ❤️

A post shared by Ben Fordham (@benfordham9) on

"Love this," the dad-of-three wrote. "#putoutyourbear for kids at home going on a bear hunt."

It's unknown where the hunt first started, but communities all over the world are sharing  their own hunts online.

London based news reporter, Daniele Hamamdjian tweeted about the teddy bear hunt she went on with her own child.

"To the parent (it's gotta be a parent) who came up with this idea, THANK YOU." She tweeted.

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"Explaining to a four-year-old why playdates aren't allowed anymore is heartbreaking, so "Going on a Bear Hunt" during our walks is the distraction we needed." She wrote, accompanied by photos of plush toys in the window.

The hunt has since spread, with people sharing photos from their own parts of the world getting involved.

"Teddy Bear Hunt in Calgary at Pooh Corner Little Free Library and Tinier Gallery"

Facebook groups in Australia are also getting on board with the activity. Facebook groups Canberra Mums posting about the hunt.

"Could your neighbourhood do this?" they asked in the post. "Simply put a teddy bear in the window or front door of your home!!"

In Sydney, the Inner West Mums group also wanted to get families involved.

"We're going on a bear hunt! We're going to catch a big one" the group posted. "The activity works for parents and kids to have a fun activity outside while home schooling!"

All groups, although encouraging the activity are reminding people to still practice social distancing.

"NO stopping by these houses!" The Canberra Mum's post read. "This is to give the kids something fun to do and staying at a safe distance from anyone else!!!"