Sanford neighborhood organizes "bear hunt" for families to get outside

One neighborhood in Seminole County is sending children on a “bear hunt” to help them get out of the house amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Neighbors in the Lake Forest neighborhood in Sanford are hiding teddy bears in their front windows for children to spot on walks and bike rides.

Mom Natalie Diaz said she and her daughter Delaina have spotted more than thirty teddy bears on their daily, evening walks in the neighborhood. “We love it. It’s been a fun experience,” Diaz said.

The idea is based off the popular children’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” written by Michael Rosen. Their neighbor, Jennifer Laudato, helped organize the neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt after seeing a post on the “Kreative in Life with Crystal Radke” Facebook page. People across the country are now hiding bears in their front windows for children to spot.

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Laudato said, “I think it’s really cute kind of like a way to show we’re all standing together but apart, like we’re supposed to.” Laudato said the goal is to get children and their parents who are cooped up inside because of the coronavirus out of the house. “[It’s] just to find a little something every day to look forward to and just a reason to get outside and explore,” Laudato said.

At least 45 homeowners in Lake Forest have hidden bears in their front windows for children and their parents to find. “We got bride bears, ballet bears, Grateful Dead bears. You name it,” Laudato said.

Diaz said it has been tough having her kids home all day, every day and the game is a welcome relief for her family. “It is very hard to keep them entertained. Everybody’s cooped up but we try to mix it up with some family walks and family games… [This bear hunt is] getting us out. It’s [about] being neighborly at a social distance so I think it’s great.”