Our website in 2020

Our website hit the 100K hits just in time for the new year. With close to 14 000 visits by people from every continents, we have much gratitude for our social media volunteers. They helped us getting the word out and fed discussions about the importance of our collection.

We would like to hear from you about topics that would interest you in the coming year. If you have an article or a blog post that you would like us to publish, by all means share.

CDIC-CIDE website in 2020. Source: CDIC-CIDE.org

Discover the Wordbank

CDIC is better known for its interest in images from children, be it drawings, collages, paintings or mix media. Keep in mind that we also have a passion for photographs and digital expressions by children. They can be digital drawings, video and audio files. The more items we collect and preserve, the more useful our collection can be to scholars and authors who wish to access it in the future.

We recently found out about a fantastic research project on language acquisition in infants and toddlers. Initiated by cognitive scientist and developmental psychologist Michael C. Frank, the Wordbank is an impressive database of audio files from over 75 000 children and 30 languages. Frank and his research team from Stanford and Chicago universities, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published the latest of their findings in a book available at Random House and MIT Press: Variability and Consistancy in Early Language Acquisition, the Wordbank Projet. The Language and Cognition Lab at Standford University made the document available on GitHub. This is valuable material for all early childhood specialists interested in language acquisition.

Stanford Magazine published a nice review by Deni Ellis Béchard, in its March 2020 online edition, What Kids Are Saying These Days. It gives an account of how Michael C. Frank came to developing his research and provides highlights from the book.

Wordbank website header. Source: Wordbank: An open database of children’s vocabulary development (stanford.edu) , 22 December 2020.

Join our board of directors

Children’s Design International Collection (CDIC) is currently seeking candidates to fill a position on its board of directors. Individual with strategic planning, decision making, financial, communication or language skills are all encourage to reach out to us. The position is for a two year mandate.

It is a key responsibility for our organization, however the level of time commitment is not high, we plan to hold three to five meetings per year, all online. Distance should not refrain you from applying or recommending someone. The position is volunteer, the board is small and so is our program volunteer team at this point. We are a young organization, come grow with us. See this call for nominations and simply email us for details at info@cdic-cide.org.

Peace on Earth, by Yvon, c1966. Source: CDIC-CIDE.org

Chill out, a doodle at a time

Numerous articles have been written about the benefits of the arts, be it visual or musical, for mental fitness and good learning dispositions. We came across a surprising article in which researchers ask (and answer) a question that goes a little deeper: Which of coloring, doodling or free drawing is more rewarding? Don’t we all want to know which one, if any, brings more satisfaction?

The research team is extensive: Girija Kaimal, Hasan Ayaz, Joanna Herres, Rebekka Dietrich-Harwell, Bindal Makwana, Donna H. Kaiser and Jennifer A. Naaser. They seriously and carefully looked at this issue and presented their results in an article with the funkiest title: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of reward perception based on visual self-expression: Coloring, doodling, and free drawing. A non-initiated could not come up with this.

The article was published by Elsevier in 2017 in The Art and Psychotherapy (Vol. 55), and can be accessed online on Science Direct. An interesting read for anyone, and a must for art-therapists looking for new insights. To paraphrase author Diane Alber, I’m not just a… doodle, and we add to her voice that “doodles are here to stay”. Have some fun, draw a neuron of your liking, doodle around it and color it beautifully. Feel free to share it with us.

Neuron – annotated. Source: Commons.wikimedia.org, 1 December 2020.