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When Loose Parts Become Art: Local Educator and Guelph-Humber Alum Writes Book Encouraging Kids to Believe in Their Natural Creativity

Guelph-Humber Early Childhood Studies (ECS) alum, local educator and author of “Amelia’s Loose Part Art” Angela Odusanya says kids today lead lives that are far too structured with pre-determined outcomes that hinder their natural ability to be creative.


“[Often times] when they’re outside, they’re at soccer practice or playing baseball. When they’re inside, they’re following a toy’s instructions or relying on a YouTube video to show them how to draw. Kids aren’t trusting their imaginations anymore, and that’s concerning,” she said.


Odusanya says the benefits of loose part art are endless. Whether it be sticks, buttons, shells, beads, feathers, stones, or whatever other loose parts they can find, children can empower themselves to create by exploring things like colour, texture, and shape, encouraging an innate resourcefulness and imagination.


“Amelia’s Loose Part Art” became a passion project inspired by her love for this type of imaginative play in the classroom, and a lack of literary resources to support it.


“I wrote [this book] for every child, for every family, but it really is written for the classroom. There are a lot of sparks in this book that will be useful for educators. It will be a great tool.”


This first book in a planned series of other classroom resources will launch in November, and Odusanya hopes to spend time visiting schools and hosting informational workshops with other educators.


Even though becoming an author wasn’t initially on her radar, she says being in the ECS program helped her stay open to new possibilities. She encourages future ECS students to do the same.


“I entered Guelph-Humber with a lot of experience having been in the field [of education for almost twenty years]. My advice to future students is to keep an open mind, no matter what stage you’re at. A lot of doors will be opened for you in this program, so even when you think you’re done, stay open to exploring new paths. You never know how your future self is going to feel; your future self might want more.”


Odusanya is currently pursuing a Master of Teaching at OISE, taking a page from her own book by collecting experiences as she goes to create an artful career.


“I always say, I have to keep learning and growing. Even a PhD doesn’t sound so scary now that I’m here.”