LOCKDOWN INSPIRATION: Amy Bainbridge with children George and Alma
LOCKDOWN INSPIRATION: Amy Bainbridge with children George and Alma

A DALE mum has used the activities she devised to entertain her young children during the Covid-19 lockdown as inspiration for a new business venture.
Amy Bainbridge spent the time reading books and dreaming up craft ideas for three-year-old son, George, and 15-month-old daughter, Alma.
She has now taken this a step further and launched Bibble and Bear book and craft boxes for families with children aged three-plus.
“The families get a box with a storybook and three activities linked to the story,” said Ms Bainbridge.
“I purchase the books and then come up with ideas for the activities. I include the instructions and all the materials needed.
“They are simple and fun activities and affordable as well.”
She began by developing a Christmas-themed story and craft box, is launching a birthday box and planning others with different themes, such as dinosaurs.
The boxes can also be tailored to suit the number of children in a family.
“It is about getting children thinking creatively and imaginatively,” she said.
Ms Bainbridge gave up her job as a teaching assistant at Barnard Castle School to give the venture a go.
She explained: “During lockdown, I was on maternity leave with Alma and was due to go back to work. I really enjoyed being at home with the children. I left my post at the school and thought about what I could do to keep busy while looking after the children.”
She added: “We spent a lot of time reading books and doing activities and that gave me the idea.
“I have been planning it since June and launched it at the beginning of October. It’s a bit of a challenge but I am enjoying it.”
Before her post at Barnard Castle School, Ms Bainbridge spent nine years as the education co-ordinator at The Bowes Museum, having earlier gained a teaching degree.
“I have always worked with children. I love being around children – especially the young ones,” she said.
Her new business takes its name from George and Alma’s nicknames. Ms Bainbridge plans to spread the word about Bibble and Bear by taking part in a number of Christmas markets – many of them virtual, although she has booked a space at the Middleton Mart event on Saturday, November 28.
More details of the venture are available on Facebook – search for Bibble and Bear – or by emailing Ms Bainbridge: bibbleandbear@gmail.com.