Spotting a teddy bear in a window, door or even a bush is lighting up the lives of many local children in lockdown.

But the work of thieves is ruining the game for some.

Rotorua mother Danielle Walker owned a human-size teddy bear and thought, since she had a long driveway, she would pop the bear in a bush near her home in the day for local children.

The feedback had been great and the cuddly bear was proving to be popular when last Thursday someone chose to ruin the fun.

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The teddy bear hiding in the bush by Danielle Walker's property. Photo / Supplied
The teddy bear hiding in the bush by Danielle Walker's property. Photo / Supplied

Walker heard a frantic knock at her door about 2.30pm with her neighbour saying that someone was taking the bear.

As her elderly neighbour was coming out of her house to see what the commotion was about, she saw a white van speed off with the bear.

Walker said the theft was "so disappointing in times of struggle like this".

"When our community comes together and tries to create joy especially for the children, that some people feel the need to take advantage."

She said if the person had spoken to her and told her a genuine reason for wanting it she would have been happy to gift it to them.

Danielle Walker's daughter Ezra when she was gifted the bear on her first Christmas. Photo / Supplied
Danielle Walker's daughter Ezra when she was gifted the bear on her first Christmas. Photo / Supplied

She said every morning her and her young daughter would set up different scenes for the bear and they loved watching other children get excited about the teddy.

"Kindness is something that is extremely important to me and its something I have mindfully installed in my daughter.

"It's unfortunate the bear was taken but I explained to my daughter that maybe that person needed the bear more than we did. Maybe that person had young children, we don't know their situation or circumstances."

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She said she had been contacted by people asking if they could replace the teddy or give them money. Someone even left a new teddy bear on their driveway with a note yesterday.

"It was really heartwarming... kindness still exists."

Meanwhile across town, the Muncaster household had their huge Simba soft toy stolen from their fence on Kelly St.

Mackenzie Muncaster, a local teacher, said her class of 5-year-olds would be very upset by the theft.

She said they were "pretty sad about it" as she was just trying to get involved in something that would bring joy to the neighbourhood children.

Mackenzie Muncaster's Simba toy sitting high on their fence. Photo / Supplied
Mackenzie Muncaster's Simba toy sitting high on their fence. Photo / Supplied

She had now put a new soft toy on her roof so the likelihood of theft was low, she said.

She was not looking forward to getting back to school and telling her class about the loss.

The Teddy Bear Hunt game was a social media initiative that asked people to pop a soft toy in sight on their property for local children to spot on their lockdown walks.

Meanwhile, in news that will delight children in lockdown; The Easter Bunny will be on duty this Easter, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.

In Monday's press conference, the Prime Minister clarified that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are essential workers delivering essential services and, as such, continue to operate throughout the alert level 4 lockdown.

The Easter Bunny is exempt and is allowed to break the bubble to visit Kiwi households.

However, there is a chance the bunny might not be able to visit everyone, Ardern said.

"As you can imagine at this time they're going to be potentially quite busy at home with their own bunnies and so I say to the children of New Zealand: If the Easter Bunny doesn't make it to your household, we have to understand it's a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to get everywhere."
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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / File
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / File

However, the Prime Minister suggested that "maybe in lieu of the bunny being able to make it to your home, you can create your own Easter hunt for all the children in your neighbourhood".

"Maybe draw an Easter egg and pop it on your front window and help the children in your neighbourhood with their own Easter egg hunt because the Easter Bunny might not make it everywhere this year."