The Sunderland business which came up with a class way to keep children creative in lockdown

A Sunderland business is holding creative classes for children online in the lockdown.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 7:00 am

ARTventurers is run by Fiona Simpson and is a way for children to enjoy creative play.

The business, formed in 2011 and now UK-wide, has 30 franchise branches including in South Tyneside and Wearside.

And Fiona told how ARTventurers sessions could be so important for little ones during the pandemic.

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Cherry Emmerson and daughter Juliette Matthews, 3.

"Creativity and fun has never been more needed than it is right now and especially in these dark winter months when the weather is poor and we can't get outside with little ones in the same way as we could in the spring.

"Online classes like ours can be a real lifesaver for parents stuck at home with babies and toddlers.”

ARTventurers first trialled online creative play in November and Fiona added: “We are going back online again after so much fantastic feedback from parents.”

One franchise holder is Cherry Emmerson who runs ARTventurers Sunderland West and Washington.

Cherry Emmerson and Juliette Matthews.

Fiona said: “Cherry is busy putting together the packs of resources and materials that she will then be delivering to parents before then delivering the classes online each week for the term.

"She is also homeschooling and she will be getting her little one Juliette involved in the classes.”

ARTventurers runs art classes, parties and workshops for babies, toddlers and children. The company has its head office based at Hope Street Xchange in Sunderland.

Fiona has held a number of initiatives to keep people busy and creative during the pandemic.

Then, ARTventurers created a free Festival pack so that people could make their own VE decorations and props in time for the 2020 anniversary.

Fiona also created the Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin Trail and more than 31,000 people signed up.

The idea involved people creating pumpkins to put in their windows. Children could go out and spot as many pumpkins as possible in their neighbourhood.

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