A FORMER teacher has given up life in the classroom to follow her passion and put on art classes for babies and children.

Sarah Bearman, 44, has started ARTventurers Colchester and will be holding sessions for youngsters aged between six months and four-years-old at the Acorn Centre in Harwich Road.

Mrs Bearman plans to run workshops in both term time and holidays to help youngsters get their creative juices flowing.

She said: "I have always been passionate about early child development and I was inspired to want to train to teach when my daughter was at pre-school - she is now 20 and at university.

"I went on to teach in both key stages but my passion for art and creativity was reignited during the last five years as head of early years and a reception class teacher.

"Having run some very successful creative mornings for parents I was intrigued to know what the call for art classes outside of school would be.

"After chatting to a fellow franchisee in Thurrock and previous colleague I decided to explore the possibility further."

Mrs Bearman, who lives in Colchester, added: "I want to get children involved in art and craft activities from an early age.

"Studies show doing art and crafts improves concentration, coordination and self-esteem ā€“ most parents I talk to would love to do more of this type of activity at home with their little ones but they are put off by the thought of the mess and clearing up.

"The beauty of coming to one of the ARTventurers sessions is that they can have fun getting creative together and then I clean up all of the mess.

ā€œIā€™m thrilled to be bringing the classes to my home town of Colchester and Acorn Hall is a great space for creative babies and toddlers."

The classes follow a different theme each week, exploring different art and craft materials and techniques.

Baby sessions for tots aged between six and 18 months are on Monday and Wednesday mornings between 9.30am and 10.20am.

Workshops for older children up to four are one the same days but between 11am and noon. Classes being the week beginning September 11.

To book visit artventurers.co.uk/colchester/book-a-class, search for ARTventurers Colchester on Facebook or call 07843575072.