Childminder creates teddy bear hunt for her village
- Credit: Archant
People who went down to a Norfolk wood sure had a big surprise as dozens of teddy bears were looking for a new home.
Debbie Coull, 50, a childminder, created a teddy bear hunt along with the children for people walking in North Elmham’s Millennium Woods.
Anyone walking through the woods would have found a collection of bears attached to trees with tags around them asking to be taken to a new home.
The childminder remained open for children of key workers so they could carry on their essential work.
During the lockdown the children were making pictures, writing letters and making cakes for both the NHS and those in the village.
They also organised a raffle and lots of day to day efforts to spread some joy.
Miss Coull, who has been a childminder for the last 16 years, said she wanted to help with the community spirit and to give parents and children an opportunity to connect with the natural world with an outdoor activity.
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“The children can have fresh air, exercise and the woods allows everyone to social distance and to explore freely”, she said.
The childminder said the sight of seeing a child spot a bear was amazing.
“It is just magical to see the children’s faces when they spot a teddy”, she said.
“The children’s smiles never fade no matter how many times they visit.”
She said the idea of the teddy bear hunt came from having several cuddly toys available to her.
The 50-year-old said it was a collective effort with the children to label and hide them.
They would go on a weekly walk to the woods to take further supplies. They then used Facebook and Whatsapp to promote the walks.
From this, they received offers from people in the community who wanted to give a teddy bear a new home.
“Parents have told me it’s a regular walk and it makes me feel proud to work with young children and in a great village community”, Miss Coull said.
“It’s not just the children that enjoy it too.”
“I have heard whispers that the dog walkers often return home with a cuddly toy too!”