Hi Kids!

I am Dr. Nikki and I am in charge of this study. I have created this video to explain to you why we are interested in your art work and stories and how they will be used so you can feel safe in sharing them with me and my research team.

I am glad you came to visit the project and hope you will visit us often to share your art and check out the new art work from kids all over Canada.

Read Video Transcript


I’m Dr. Nikki Martyn, you can call me Dr. Nikki, I am the Program Head of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber. I teach people how to teach and care of kids. We are interested in hearing about your experiences during the pandemic, all of our lives have changed. We want to know what you are thinking, feeling, experiencing, because as a child you have an important and different understanding and view of the world. It is unique and beautiful. It is really important that we hear from you about you, not from your parents or other adults who think you might be thinking or feeling something. We want to know what you are thinking, feeling, experiencing in your own words and through your own art work.

This will help us better understand how to help you and other kids in Canada. It will help us know what’s important to you, what you care about, what scares or worries you or what makes you happy and excited or what you love or hate.

If you choose to share your art work with us, we promise not to share who you are. Actually, we will not even know who you are. We are asking your parents or guardians, if you tell them you would like to share your art work and or stories with us to put it onto our website where we will collect lots of art work and stories from kids all over Canada. I am going to ask you parents to read all the details so they feel comfortable too but the first step is asking you if you want to share your art.

There are some things I will promise you, they are called confidentiality, privacy and voluntary participation, these are big words, but what they mean is we do not know who you are, we will know your beautiful art work and words and stories that you share but we will not know they are yours and we will share them only if you say you want to share them on the website with the world. If not they will only come to me, I will keep them safe on my computer and only the researchers who work with me will see your art work. Voluntary participation means you do not have to share anything with me, it is your choice, I promise I will not be hurt, upset, sad or angry if you decide you do not want to share your art work, I want you to want to share it and be happy to share it, if you do not feel good about sharing your art work, you should not share it. You can also come back and share anytime, as much or as little art work as you want, I want you to do what feels good to you.

When your parents or guardians choose to share your art work, because you want too, they will be asked a number of questions, they are going to tell me they understand the things we spoke about like confidentiality and voluntary participation but they are also going to tell me they feel safe sharing your art work and or words. I am going to ask them for some other information too, I am going to ask them for what we call demographic information. This is a big word that means tell us a little about you and your family, but only the stuff that is not going to tell me things about who you are. The questions I am going to ask are, if you identify as a girl, a boy or other; I am going to ask where you live, the city, province or territory and country, I am going to ask what ethnicity your family is, this means where your family is from, finally, I am going to ask your families socio-economic status, this means how much money your family makes every year. These questions will help us understand you without knowing you, sometimes boys and girls think or feel differently, we want to know if that is happening, we want to know if kids who live in the country or city have different experiences, or kids in different parts of Canada, it is so big and each area is unique, that is why we are asking where you live, because that also gives us an idea of what your experiences are like. We are also going to ask your parents a couple questions about how the pandemic has affected your family, has your family felt a loss like a death, sickness or a job, does someone in your family work with people during the pandemic, we are asking your parents about these things, because it would make sense that if you or your family are feeling more stress, worry or sadness then your art work might show that. If we see a lot of kids who experienced the same kinds of things it will tell us how it feels and how we can help. None of these questions need to be answered, or will tell us about you of your family specifically but when we put all of it together with lots of other kids, your art work and the demographic information will tell us a story about what kids in Canada are thinking, feeling and experiencing during this time and that is exciting to me.

I hope this helps you understand why I am asking you to share your art work, words or stories with us, because we are interested in hearing what you have to say. I want you to talk with your mom or dad or person who takes care of you about the project and if you want to share your art work with us. If you do, I want to tell you there is no right way to create art, it does not need to look like anything or be perfect, everyone imagines and creates differently which is why I would also like to hear your thoughts and feelings about your creation. I doesn’t matter what it looks like it will be beautiful because it is from you and you are beautiful and special.

If you would like to share your art work, I would like to ask you to click the box below. That says that you understand everything I said and that you are making the choice to share your art work with me. This will let your parent or guardian send me the picture of your art work. There is also a check mark box that asks if you want your picture posted on the website for the whole world to see, you do not have to do this but if you want too, let me know by checking the box.

Thank you for your interest in our study, come back often and I will tell you what we discover and what the kids in Canada are feeling, thinking and experiencing.

Bye for now,

Dr. Nikki

Information for Parents or Guardians below

The link to participate and consent to the study is at the bottom of the page.


We would like to invite you and your child to participate in a research project called “Children’s Experiences of the Pandemic” designed to provide an opportunity for children to express their thoughts and feelings about their experiences of the pandemic and their ideas about the future. The project has been approved through the Research Ethics Board at the University of Guelph (REB# 20-05-018) and involves the collection of children’s art work to understand their perspectives, views and experiences of the pandemic.


Dr. Nikki Martyn

Dr. Nikki Martyn is the Principle Investigator of this project. She is the Program Head of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber. or through the project at


The purpose of the research is to develop an understanding of children’s perspectives, views and experiences of the pandemic and their ideas and hopes for the future. Children express themselves through art and play, this includes their feelings and thoughts of their world. Through the collection of children’s art work during the pandemic we hope to see children’s experiences and perspectives of this unique time in history and ideas, thoughts and feelings about the future. It is the hope that through understanding the child’s perspective through their own voice that we will be able to understand how to support and respond to children’s needs and understand implications of the future generations of this time in history.


The parents of young children or children themselves will be asked to upload a picture of their art work. This could be in the form of visual or written expressions of art. You will also be asked for some demographic information to help us understand more about the context of the artistic expression. There will be no identifying information collected, meaning we will not know who you or your children are. We will ask you the age of the child, the gender of the child, the ethnicity of the child, the location your child is living, including the city and country, as this information may be relevant if it was impacted significantly by the pandemic. We will also ask if the child has been affected by a loss from the pandemic, having parents or loved ones who are front line workers in hospital or nursing home settings which may affect their perspectives differently if they understand the risk is higher.

You will not be asked for your or your child’s name or identifying information. The research may be published in academic journals, media such as news papers, and the art work in which consent was provided to show on the website may be shown in an art exhibit at a gallery. Updates about the research and the dissemination of the research will be shared on the website and you are welcome to subscribe for email updates, as your personal information will not be obtained the website will be our way to communicate with you should you choose to check it.

Research Steps

    1. You will be invited to participate in the study and informed of all the information about the study and asked to consent at the bottom for your child (this letter)

    2. We would like you to read or show your child the video for their asset and ask them if they want to share their Art work. It is important for the researchers that the children choose to share their Art work, thoughts, feelings, stories and ideas as well as understand why we are asking them to share.

    3. You will be asked if you and your child would like to exhibit their art work on the website for everyone to experience. This is not necessary to participate in the study.

    4. You will be asked to upload a picture of your child’s Art work

    5. You will be asked about the child’s art work, specifically if there were words, stories or a title they expressed while creating the Art or perhaps wanted to share with us when they completed it.

    6. You will be asked demographic questions, such as the child’s age, gender, location so we can look at themes across the country and this information will help us understand if there are unique experiences in different parts of Canada for instance.

    7. You will be asked how your family has been affected by the pandemic, such as job loss, illness, death and if a parent is a front line worker. These experiences might uniquely affect your child’s thoughts or feelings about their experiences and it is important to know.

We anticipate that this process will not take more then 5 minutes.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

We welcome the participation of children between the ages of 2 and 18 years old. The study’s primary focus is Canadian children’s perspectives and experiences if a child from outside of Canada would like to participate they are welcome, please indicate the place of residence when the demographic information is collected. Content that is deemed offensive for children will not posted onto the website and may not be included into the study. This includes, racist, sexist, or other content that may be construed as crude or hurtful to another.

Potential Risks

There are no known risks of this project, your child might feel pressure or increased stress by being asked a question and may not want to disappoint the parent or researcher or want to please them to make them happy. It is not believed that this greater then experienced within the child’s typical interactions with their parent or guardian. We would however like to reinforce that if you or your child does not feel comfortable in sharing pictures of their Art work then you should not participate in the study.

Potential Benefits

Your child may enjoy seeing their art work displayed on the project website and experience a sense of pride. The art work may contribute to a greater understanding of children’s perspectives, views and experiences of the pandemic on their world and this will help society understand the needs of children and possible impacts on the future of this generation. Children and families may not directly benefit from participation in this study, it is the researchers hope that through a large number of submissions that we will be able to understand the child’s perspectives through their own voice. This will benefit society as a whole and the lives of children over time.


The pictures of the art work and demographic information will be shared on the project website if consent is provided. If consent is not provided to display the child’s art work on the website then the art work and demographic information provided will be stored securely in a file on the principle investigators computer, this file will only be accessible to researchers on this project who have signed confidentiality agreements. As there is no identifying information being collected participants will have both anonymity and confidentiality within this study. The art work will be examined with other images based on the demographic information collected, such as age and location.

Please note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed while data are in transit over the internet.

Withdrawal Procedures

Should you decide to participate in the study you may decline to answer any of the demographic questions or further information about the Art work. There will be no identifying information collected and as such there will be no way to identify you or your child. The data in the form of the Art work and demographic information submitted cannot be withdrawn once submitted.


There is no sponsoring agencies or organizations.

Conflict of Interest

There is no known or anticipated conflict of interest.

Follow up

There will be no follow up as personal information will not be collected. If you would like to receive emails from the project you are welcome to subscribe to the project website ( at which time any publications or information will be emailed to you. All publications or information regarding the project will be shared on the website, you are welcome to visit the site at any time to check for updates.

If you have questions regarding your rights and welfare as a research participant in this study (REB#20-05-018), please contact:

Manager, Research Ethics
University of Guelph
(519) 824-4120 (ext. 56606)

Please note: There is NO obligation to participate in this study. You do NOT waive any of your legal rights by agreeing to take part in this study.

Thank you for interest in our research study.

You are welcome to come back at any time to share your children’s art.

All the best,

Dr. Nikki Martyn