Quiz Kids was a quiz show broadcast on radio from 28 June 1940 until 27 September 1956. The show began broadcasting from Chicago's NBC radio affiliate, but shows were later expanded to other cities. An Australian version ran form 1942-62.
Quiz Kids may have been the first attempt to air a quiz competition of sorts involving non-professionals. Listeners to the show would send in questions which were then researched by an adult staff to be read on-air to the panel of kids. The listeners whose questions were selected won a prize, and if the question stumped the panel they won a better prize (this was similar to the radio show Information Please). It does not appear the kids won any prizes. At some point, the prizes included televisions.
Kids (all under age 16) were chosen for the show based on IQ scores, school performance, poise, and radio presence.
One interesting point is that since the questions were obviously poorly designed, many times questions had multiple correct answers, which the kids came up with, often bewildering the poor host - something that would bewilder bad quizbowl for decades to come.
In some markets Quiz Kids made a short-lived transition to television, however by that time the era of competition quiz shows had arrived, likely dooming the format to oblivion.