An effort launched on the internet is showing up in the Southern Tier as families with young children look for ways to get some outdoor exercise while sticking to distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

Families are going on “Bear Hunts” with the help of their neighbors and community businesses.

According to a report in USA Today, the phenomenon is based on a 1989 children’s book: “We’re going on a Bear Hunt.”  Teddy bears, pictures of bears and other stuffed animals are being placed in windows while families walk or drive around keeping tally for a little diversionary scavenger hunt.

Home schoolers can also use the game for lessons on counting and math, working out the number of each kind of toy or picture is found on the hunt, art with children encouraged to make their own drawings of bears and English and writing as kids read stories about bears or write stories about their adventures finding the toys.