Editor’s Note: This article is part of BeaverCountian.com’s ongoing series, “The Beaver County Coronavirus Chronicles,” the county’s historical experience of the pandemic. Click here to see more of the series.
Meghan Granata of Monaca was picking up wings at family-favorite Big Shot Bob’s in town this afternoon.
“I’m trying to support the people we know,” she said. She’s also trying to find creative ways to support her kids and other local children during this crisis period.
The mother of four children ages 4 to 13 had heard of “bear hunts,” which were inspired by the 1989 children’s book “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.” People around the world have placed teddy bears and other stuffed animals in their home windows to create a scavenger hunt-type activity for kids now stuck at home.
While driving or walking, children – and maybe even adults – can have some fun by scouting for the stuffed animals as if they’re on a “hunt.” Local residents have also painted animals in their windows to give kids a zoo to watch for.
Granata knew her little ones had been looking forward to Easter and the related decorated egg hunts. Those initiatives “got my wheels turning,” she said.
“I just think it’s everything is so crazy right now, it’s important to keep some normalcy for the kids,” she said. So she posted the following on social media:
“Ever heard of a Social Distancing Easter Egg Hunt? Yeah, me neither! But that is about to change!! Get all the info in the photo (flier) and let’s do it!! Also, feel free to use this idea for your own neighborhoods!!”
She invited borough residents to create and decorate a large Easter egg or a few small ones, then display them on their porches or maybe even paint one on their front windows starting on Sunday.
Children can then find them from cars or during a walk or on bicycle, she said. She said the Easter egg hunt will last until April 11, the day before Easter Sunday.
“When we find an egg, we can simply admire it or snap a photo and post it to Facebook with the hashtag #monacaegghunt,” she posted.
“It’s a little thing the kids can look forward to,” she said.
The stay-at-home mom said she’s somewhat of a “worry wart” and has felt some anxiety during this period. Having her children home has actually made her feel better. “When they’re within arm’s reach, I’m the happiest,” she said.
But the kids can only color so many pictures, or play so many games, she said. They’re going a little “stir crazy.”
She tried to provide some educational activities through ABCmouse.com, an online subscription she already had that provides learning programs for younger children. She also used workbooks provided by a pre-school teacher.
On Monday, the children, who attend Central Valley School District, will begin online learning. Granata said she picked up iPads from the school on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Granata did her best. “I tried to get a little bit of education in without having any guidelines,” she said.
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