Stoneleigh tween Emma Dalton has a smile that lights up a microphone.
… and that fact wasn’t lost on Jeremy Paris and Cate Sheehy when they recruited her to be the voice of Toothy Trivia.
In a universe of podcasts that range from cooking to quantum physics, there is no shortage of options for kids. Many of them are great entertainment, learning opportunities, or an opening for discussion about something new. What almost none of them are is delivered by kids.
Every single day, Emma hops on her computer, pulls up the script from her email, and sits at her desk to record. The format is simple: a fun and informational two minute podcast for kids to listen to while they brush their teeth.
Dentists recommend brushing teeth for two minutes twice a day and parents know the importance of developing good habits in personal health at an early age. What most of them also know, is the hours spent hours nagging, begging, bribing and pleading just to get those two minutes of brushing done. Toothy Trivia not only expands kids’ Jeopardy prospects; it engages them in the brush action. Toothy Trivia takes the focus off the countdown to finished and puts it on fun and interesting facts like how roses are related to apples or that the history of the umbrella goes back 3,000 years. Emma also gives brief instructions to get the kids started and keep them on track.
While they are quick to give Emma all the credit, Cate and Jeremy are constantly working behind the scenes to write, edit and manage the podcast. Business partners and parents themselves, the duo created Podcast Playground, a one-stop destination of kid-produced podcasts. Their passion project combines Jeremy’s expertise as a producer for the Veteran Resource Podcast and Cate’s skills in video production. Toothy Trivia is a foundation project of what they envision as a suite of kid-produced podcast power.
You can’t fool kids and Cate and Jeremy’s decision to use Emma as the performer in Toothy Trivia makes all the difference. Children spend so much of their time being instructed, lectured to and advised by adults that the inclusion of the voice of one of their own immediately gets their attention.
Before they know it — the two minutes are up.
Emma is passionate about one day being an actress and this is often reflected in the subtle shifts of emphasis in her different monologues. She said she really enjoys doing the podcasts and that she likes feeling free to perform how she likes without getting caught up on mistakes since the episodes are edited after to clean them up and cut to time.
It took some trial and error; the microphones that are good for adults don’t work as well for kids. They also needed a quick and easy way to share the scripts and recordings for daily publications. After several months, they are a practiced team.
Jeremy, Cate and Emma hope that this podcast will not only help kids with brushing their teeth, but also inspire them to create podcasts of their own. With minimal investment and equipment, kids can learn to record, edit, and publish a podcast on any topic that they are passionate about.
Maybe it will be inspired by a cool fact on Toothy Trivia!