If you haven’t heard of it already, Kidspiration is an awesome new online channel for kids where all of the content is made by kids. We spoke to one of its creators Jani Guest, MD of Independent Films about why it started, what it’s for and how your kids can get involved.
D.A.D: Can you tell us a bit about Kidspiration, where the idea came from and how long it’s been going?
JG: Kidspiration is an online channel created for kids between 8 and 12 years old. Its content seeks to empower, engage, and inform young people through programming that allows their own curiosity to lead the way.
The idea was born out of a conversation that I had with John Townshend, Chairman of Now, about the dearth of content for the target audience. For all parents with kids that age, the challenge seems to be keeping them away from youtube and engaging in viewing content that may not be wholly beneficial for them. As a parent myself, it has been eye opening to find that there is virtually no content offered for the 8-12 year olds that is both entertaining as well as educational. We felt that an interview series where kids are introduced to the people and ideas that are changing our world would be a welcome change. Hence Kidspiration, which launched in July 2016
D.A.D: There’s an amazingly varied selection of guests that have been interviewed from a North Korean Defector to a Robot Whisperer. What’s the idea behind this selection and how much is it led by the kids?
JG: The selection of guests have been inspired by trying to expose kids to those who are making a marked difference in the world as well as people with interesting professions that kids might not have otherwise been exposed to. We have always tried to cover a wide selection of sectors so that every child will hopefully find something that they can relate to in the body of interviews we’ve filmed.
D.A.D: How are the questions for each interview decided?
JG: Each interviewer comes up with their own questions. They are allowed to research their guest and come up with a set of questions that they’d like to ask them. We have found, though, that as with any conversation, much more is often discussed between our kid and the guest than originally anticipated.
D.A.D: The kids that do the interviews are really professional, better than many adults would be. Do they need much coaching?
JG: The process of finding our kid interviewers was fascinating. I was personally interviewed by approximately 200 kids over a period of 3 months from schools and youth clubs in and around London. We were looking for kids that were genuinely interested in the world they live in and/or had a very specific passion or interest. We select our kid based on their personal interest in the guest so we have found that they don’t require a great deal of coaching since they’re naturally enthusiastic.
D.A.D: Have there been any stand-out moments from all of the interviews?
JG: I loved the moment when Finn asked Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, if he’d ever committed a crime. And when Mason asked Margaret Gould Stewart, VP of Design at Facebook, to describe a set of colours with just one word. These are the wonderful kinds of questions that really only kids would think of asking and in some cases might actually only get away with asking.
D.A.D: How often do you publish new content?
JG: Until recently, we have launched one new episode a week. We are in production on our next round of interviews so will be releasing more interviews soon.
D.A.D: It seems like you currently have kids in the US and the UK. Are there any plans to extend this further afield?
JG: We would absolutely love to film more episodes abroad but have been busy focusing in the UK and US for the moment.
D.A.D: Are you looking for more kids to be involved with Kidspiration, and if so how should they go about it?
JG: We look for new kids every 6 months. When we do our next round of interviews, we will let you know and perhaps something can be posted on D.A.D for interested parents.
D.A.D: What are the visions for the future of Kidspiration?
JG: We will continue to shoot interviews and are also developing long form projects that are aligned with the interview series.
As soon as we hear about how kids can get involved with Kidspiration we will let you know. Sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed.