KidZone Museum launches Small Talk Tahoe podcast |

KidZone Museum launches Small Talk Tahoe podcast

The first episode of Small Talk Tahoe is available at
KidZone Museum

For nearly three decades the KidZone Museum in Truckee has provided the area’s youngsters with a creative space to play, learn and discover.

While the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the museum to temporarily shut its doors, volunteers from KidZone have sought to find other ways of reaching out to the community, recently launching the Small Talk Tahoe podcast.

The podcast is aimed toward parents and offers insight from community experts like Tahoe Truckee Unified School District psychologist Nick Bartlett; Mountain Rebalance nutritionist Janel Ferrin Anderson; and owner of A Singletrack Mind, Amy Renn, along with many others.

“I’m amazed and really excited to discover the expertise we have right here in Tahoe,” said program host, Helen Pelster, who is a Truckee-based software engineer, mother, and longtime museum volunteer.

Pelster said the idea for the podcast came about during the pandemic as volunteers from the museum brainstormed on ways to spread the KidZone message of inspiring learning through creative play.

“We have a volunteer-driven team and we were just talking about ways that we could continue bringing the KidZone mission to the community while we’re closed and this was just one of the ideas that came together,” said Pelster.

This project complements the KidZone Museum’s virtual outreach programs that have been ongoing since the start of the pandemic. The museum has provided online programming to the entire community, as well as in-person services to the most vulnerable, underserved families.

“We are thrilled to have this volunteer team produce Small Talk Tahoe,” said Carol Meagher, KidZone Museum executive director. “It offers a new way for over-tasked parents to engage with our community.”

The first episode of the podcast came out Thursday and features Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District preschool director Kristi Henry.

New episodes of Small Talk Tahoe will be published every two weeks on Thursdays. Topics include the power of play, tricks for healthful family meals, and family fitness in Tahoe.

“People new to the area can get a feeling of the richness that we have to offer,” said Pelster. “The outdoors is obvious, but to really find out that we are a community. There are people that actually live here and build their lives here. I think it’s cool to expose that and bring it to the forefront.”

Ahead of the museum’s planned reopening in September, KidZone will be offering a series of scavenger hunts for children of all ages.

“We’re going to have one in downtown Truckee and another will have nature learning themes, so you can do it anywhere in the Tahoe area,” said Pelster.

KidZone Museum is a nonprofit children’s museum in Truckee. Current programs primarily serve children to age 7. For more information, visit

The Small Talk Tahoe podcast can be found at

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643

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