Self isolation, social distancing and classroom suspension does not mean physical activity has to stop.

Comox Valley Schools StrongStart educators are taking a page out of a beloved children’s book and encouraging children to get up, get out and get moving with their families.

Inspired by a children’s storybook by author Michael Rosen We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the community-wide, individually conducted activity involves a walk. Not just any walk. This walk is with purpose, to locate a teddy bear.

The program, or movement is spreading across communities worldwide from California to the United Kingdom where the book originates.

#GoingOnABearHunt is a simple and entertaining way to encourage children to go for a walk and spot a teddy bear.

Bears can be found in neighbourhood windows, front windows of local shops and business or even in a car, front yard garden, or lurking behind a tree in a forest.

One bear was spotted in the window of Big Foot Donut in downtown Courtenay.

“We are encouraging play-based, meaningful activities for our StrongStart children to get them moving while they are at home,” explained Michelle Hawkins, educator. “Movement is medicine for our physical and mental wellness. Children need social interactions, and this is one activity we can adopt in our bigger Comox Valley community to support all students, not just our young StrongStart children and families.

Hawkins and fellow StrongStart educator Colleen Friendship are hoping to spread the word throughout the region and invite residents and businesses to take part.

“It’s a simple as placing a bear in a window,” added Hawkins. “We really need to support our children through this pandemic and stimulate their wellness in a fun way.”

The #GoingOnABearHunt already has a presence on Facebook with other communities adding their city name to their own group.

Mary Lee

Manager of Communications, Comox Valley Schools (School District 71)