Anyone with kids born after 2004 will remember Treehouse’s This is Daniel Cook and its successor, This is Emily Yeung. The new versions are named Scarlett and Isaiah. That’s them in the picture above, jumping for joy.
If you’re not familiar with the two shows, they explored the world through the eyes of their young hosts who were gaining knowledge and trying new things. As producer J.J. Johnson said in an interview with Active for Life, “It’s all about introducing the idea to kids that there are new things out there that maybe they haven’t been exposed to that they can try.”
One way kids develop physical literacy is by trying lots of sports and activities like Emily and Daniel did. And you can learn more about physical literacy right here at Active for Life.
For those of us that watched the first two shows with our kids, it’s almost impossible to believe that Daniel is now 16 and Emily is 14. They were both on hand at the launch party for This Is Scarlett and Isaiah – the third show in the This Is… series – to pass the torch to the new, adorable, 7 year old co-hosts.
When Johnson and his fellow producers were casting, they looked for kids who were open to trying new things. Scarlett and Isaiah got to sample a variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, polka dancing, potato chip making, roller skating, and dog sledding, to name just a few.
The launch event, which took place along the Toronto waterfront, felt like a really elaborate birthday party. There were plenty of distractions including yummy food, amazing balloon creations, bubbles, and cool crafts. Even so, Scarlett and Isaiah took some time out from the fun to chat with me about their favourite activities and their advice for parents who are looking for ways to get their own kids active.
You might expect successful kids like these to be in lots of fancy extra-curricular activities or serious leagues, but in our conversation they kept coming back to really simple activities.
Isaiah loves playing soccer and his favourite thing about it is that he gets to kick a ball. Scarlett loves playing catch and she thinks other kids should be doing it over and over (although she admitted that she’s “still more better at throwing then catching”).
Both Isaiah and Scarlett talked about how much they enjoy playing outside and running around. And despite starring on what I’m sure will be a hit TV show, both of them were quick to say that they would advise other kids not to spend too much time in front of the television or playing video games but that they should get outside and play instead.
I wasn’t able to compete with t-shirt making for long, so when Scarlett and Isaiah had had enough I took the opportunity to sit down with Emily and Daniel.
First of all, it was super weird to see these two so grown up, mature, and articulate. They were lovely to talk to and both seemed to really appreciate the variety of experiences they were able to have as a result of hosting their shows.
Both said that having been exposed to a wide variety of things led them to some of their current interests and activities.
Emily’s ambition to be a marine biologist was seeded by one of her episodes when she got to swim with dolphins. She also fell in love with riding horses and rode competitively for years. She told me that she also plays volleyball competitively and roller blades three times a week.
Daniel, after hearing Emily’s list, admitted that he didn’t seem to be active at all. But he is a dedicated fencer, a passion that was ignited by the medieval episode of his show.
I asked if they had any advice for parents who want to get their kids active and both Daniel and Emily had some interesting thoughts.
Emily’s first response was to urge parents to get out there and be active with their kids. She made the very insightful point that kids want to be with their parents and if you don’t take advantage of that now while they are young you’ll regret it once they’ve grown up and moved on.
She also emphasized the importance of being a role model for physical activity and mentioned that her own parents still play volleyball. (She told me their ages, but I’ve decided to leave that out in an act of parental solidarity.)
Daniel also had mature-beyond-his-years advice. He said that no child wants to do something that isn’t fun so making physical activity fun for kids is the number one most important advice he would give to parents. He also correctly suggested that kids naturally want to be active and if they don’t get an outlet for it that desire will go away.
His advice to kids was to find something they love and to stick with it; practice, practice, practice and it will keep getting better.
Great advice from some great kids!
You can watch This is Scarlett and Isaiah starting this Saturday, September 21, on Treehouse.