READY: Liss Dawson's bear is providing a timely reminder for passers-by.
READY: Liss Dawson's bear is providing a timely reminder for passers-by.

Adorable method to curb COVID-19 boredom

AS COVID-19 shuts down the better part of the nation, an adorable solution to keep both young and old entertained is sweeping through Central Queensland.

Teddy bear hunts, made popular by the well-known song, have quickly risen as a favourite pastime for families as they search for innovative ways to keep loved ones entertained.

Yeppoon woman Jennie Diefenbach first noticed the movement online earlier this month, not long after the Federal Government announced nationwide social distancing restrictions.

READY: Liss Dawson's bear is providing a timely reminder for passers-by.
READY: Liss Dawson's bear is providing a timely reminder for passers-by.

“I saw my friend in the UK post something on Facebook about people doing it over there, and I thought I’d give it a try here,” she said.

“When I started to do it, I noticed there was also a few other people in Australia doing the same thing, and it just seemed to get more and more popular as each day passed.”

The mother-of-one soon created her own Facebook group and invited residents in neighbouring areas to join in on the fun.

In only the first four days, the “We’re going on a bear hunt” Facebook group totalled nearly 300 local members.

“The group was set up to bring a little joy for children and adults during this uncertain and stressful time,” Ms Diefenbach said.

“It’s for kids that are staying home now due to coronavirus and needing something to do.

“The idea is that everyone places a teddy bear or furry friend in their front window, for children and families to spy when they’re out walking or passing by in the car.”

ENTERTAINED: Jennie Diefenbach is encouraging other families in Yeppoon to join the teddy bear hunt.
ENTERTAINED: Jennie Diefenbach is encouraging other families in Yeppoon to join the teddy bear hunt.

Her own 8-year-old son loves the activity, said Mrs Diefenbach, adding she hoped other neighbours would soon become involved in a bid to boost community spirit.

“My son has a favourite teddy that he’s obsessed with, and if we go in the car for a quick drive to the shops he likes to look out and see if he can find some teddy’s in the window,” she said.

While initially aimed at children, it has provided a heartwarming way to stay connected with those isolated in their homes – something the auto-immune disease sufferer knows all too well about.

“It seems to be that people have really enjoyed getting involved,” Ms Diefenbach said.

“Some are sharing photos online of their teddy bear picnics, it certainly seems to be something they can do too which is really nice.”

A few houses in the neighbourhood have joined in, she said, however hoped that there would soon be houses lined with teddys in the windows.

“If people could participate, it would make it that much more fun for everyone’s children,” she said.

“ I’ve even put up online a certification of participation for the kids, along with a little activity to make binoculars.”

With social gatherings now limited to two people as of Sunday evening Ms Diefenbach said there was no better time to get involved in the activity.

“Remember to practice social distancing when you’re out walking,” she said.

“That means staying 1.5 meters away from other members of the community.



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