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Published June 30, 2023

Barrie teacher's first book sparks imagination and creativity in young learners with "Amelia's Loose Part Art"

The Childrens books reminds us that creativity and art surround us
angela odusnaya/ amelia's loose part art . pic supplied

A Barrie teacher reminds children and adults that art and inspiration surround us.

Angela Odusanya is an early childhood educator who recognizes the importance of children using their imagination in an unstructured way.

 She recently wrote a book called "Amelia's Loose Part Art" which teaches children that art is everywhere.

 In the book, little Amelia finds herself without her traditional art supplies to make pictures for her scrapbook.

 She soon discovers that nature is full of art supplies like leaves, sticks and rocks, and she recreates photos using those materials.

Odusanya says the book's theme comes from activities she teaches her young students.

"Loose parts are items like rocks, sticks, and buttons provided to children to use in their own way. Anything that doesn't tell children exactly what to do with them. That's the key."

"So they might turn rocks into soup or use buttons to create a flower design." she adds.

Odusanya says her students will come to her with great stories about their art work, which is a stepping stone to reading and storytelling.

"Often they'll tell me about their picture, so they're doing pre storytelling! They go into this whole world from this one creation, and if they tell me something that doesn't make sense, they edit it or change some loose parts. All of that transfers later when they start writing."

Odusanya says a good way to spark a child's creativity is to let them be bored.

"Imagination and creativity develop from boredom," she explains.

"Structured activities like soccer or baseball have their place. Still, if it's becoming a daily thing, they never get downtime to experience boredom and miss out on developing creativity."

"Amelia's Loose Part Art" is currently available on Kickstarter for preorder to fund the cost of printing. The book will be available for purchase in November.

The campaign includes a "Donate a Book" option, allowing backers to redirect their purchased books to local charities. 

 A portion of book donations will be dedicated to supporting the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, sick Kids and Southlake hospitals, and The Children's Book Bank in Toronto.

For more information on "Amelia's Loose Part Art and how to support the project visit www.ameliasbooks.com 

Photos supplied by Angela Odusanya

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