Rainbows in windows, bear hunts lift spirits of kids during pandemic

The gesture is making adults smile too.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Rachel Paula Abrahamson

If you’ve been on a walk in your neighborhood this week, you've probably encountered some bears — and there's a good reason for that.

To help children stave off boredom during their coronavirus quarantines, people all over the world are placing stuffed animals in their windows so that kids can go on “bear hunts” in their neighborhoods.

Other homeowners have been displaying rainbows to spread love and hope.

Molly Clayton, a mother of three from Iota, Louisiana, said the stuffed animal scavenger hunt moved her to tears.

“I am just so grateful,” Clayton told TODAY Parents. “The way everyone is pulling together to help our children, it’s just such a nice gesture — I started crying.”

Download the TODAY app for the latest coverage on the coronavirus outbreak.

She and her family spent an afternoon driving around and singing the lyrics to author Michael Rosen’s award-winning classic “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

“We had a ball!" Clayton exclaimed.

Later that day, Clayton thanked her community on the town's Facebook page. The post has been shared more than 1,000 times.

It’s not just happening in Iota, Louisiana. People from all across the globe are participating and posting photos on social media. Charlie Paphitis, who lives in the United Kingdom, said her daughters, Arabella, 4, and Jemima, 2, spotted 10 bears on Monday.

"Our neighbors have been fantastic and engaging from afar," Paphitis told TODAY Parents. "It's fun little activities like this which put smiles on children's faces as well as the adults."

Clayton noted that the kindness of strangers isn’t lost on her 6-, 8- and 9-year-olds.

“They’ve made the connection that people did that for them so they had things to see,” she said. “It’s wonderful."