Monday, January 29, 2024

Your daily kids news podcast.

Back to school we go; Running-writing compulsory in class; Swim star’s inspiring pep talk; and another Tay Tay record broken.


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Are your shoes polished? Your uniforms ironed? Is your lunch packed? And do you know who your teacher is this year? Because after weeks of glorious summer holiday, thousands of kids across the country troop back to school this week.

Kids in South Australia are back in the classroom today, and tomorrow it will be the turn of kids from NSW, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT. (BOO)

I know, I know. Those lucky ducks from Western Australia still have another week’s holiday. 

But before you start complaining, spare a thought for Queensland kids who went back to school last week. 

Wherever you are in the country – whichever day you go back – whether it’s to finish Year 6 or take your first tentative steps in kindy or prep – Squiz Kids wishes you – and your parents – all the best. And remember: we’re here for you now every morning of the school year ahead – keeping you company, keeping you entertained and helping explain the big wide wonderful world around you. 


While you were away – there’s been a whole lot of weather … heatwaves, flooding rains, mini-cyclones and big cyclones have ensured that Australians’ summer holidays have been anything but dull. Yep – it’s been a wild old summer weatherwise – and the back to school week for kids in outback Queensland is going to be especially wet.

That’s because tropical Cyclone Kirrily bumped into the far north Queensland coast on Friday and has since settled down to become a great big rain storm across much of the not so Sunshine State. Many thousands of homes were without power over the weekend and farmers inland were preparing for floods as Kirrily dumped record amounts of rain on an already soaked outback.

What’s that, you say? You’d love a Squiz Kids Shortcut on the science of cyclones? Well as luck would have it – we prepared one over the weekend – and it will drop in this feed first thing tomorrow morning. Because we like to give …


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in California – in the United States – where a new law is forcing kids in school to do running writing. You’ve heard of running writing, yes? It’s also known as cursive, or joined-up handwriting – and long before ipads and Apple Pens and keyboards – back when I was at school – so, in the Dark Ages, all school kids wrote out all their lessons in actual books using real pens and pencils. And learning cursive was compulsory – which is a fancy word for everyone had to do it. 

Nowdays, each Aussie state does things a little differently, but generally, when you’re in year six you’ll learn to write with joined up, sloping letters, but by year seven you can pretty much make your own choice as to how you’d like to write. But now the state of California has decided that all primary school students need to learn cursive handwriting – because they say it’s good for developing something called ‘fine motor skills’ and overall brain development. 

So as you open your new pencil cases this week – remember: writing is good for your brain.


A-ha – it’s our old friend the Classroom Companion Clarion … signalling to all the teachers out there that Christie – Squiz Kids’ very own, fully-qualified primary school teacher – has come up with a classroom worksheet on Conversation and Connetcing – tied to this news item in the podcast. Curriculum-aligned and ready to use. If you haven’t yet signed up to Squiz Kids Classroom to receive these free weekly classroom resources – get busy and head to and sign up now. 



There was a heap of sport over the summer break – and even this weekend as the Australian Open came to a dramatic end and the Australian West Indies cricket clash continued. But as kids all over Australia prepare for another year of joining sports teams and signing up to sports at club or school – today’s Sport Time belongs to Olympic champ Emma  McKeon who on Friday was named Young Australian of the Year.

Every year, a Young Aussie who has achieved a lot or done a lot for their community is recognised with this important award – and as Emma took to the stage to accept it on Friday, she said she wanted to inspire all Aussie kids to chase big dreams.

“I want young kids to know that I was once in the same position they are – dreaming of one day doing something big” she said. “Don’t be afraid to take on hard things and set goals that may be scary. This is how we push ourselves to achieve our dreams.”

Can I get a hallelujah?



Well – it wouldn’t be the start of a new year of kid-friendly news without a Taylor Swift story, now would it? With only weeks to go before Tay Tay arrives in Australia to start her record-breaking live tour comes news out of Pakistan of a die-hard Swiftie breaking a new world record for naming the most number of Taylor Swift songs in a minute.

Random song lyrics Tay Tay songs were read out to 20 yo Bilal Jhandir – who managed to name 34 songs in 60 seconds – beating the previous record of 27. 

Now that’s what I call a Swiftie super fan … now excuse me while I go back to making my Friendship Bracelets ..  


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …


  1. What was the name of the cyclone that tore across Far North Queensland over the weekend?
  2. How many Tay Tay songs did a Pakistani superfan name in a minute? 
  3. Name the Aussie Olympian who was named Young Australian of The Year




It’s January 29 … birthday of TV host Oprah Winfrey and Oz Idol host, Scott Tweedie …. Plus it’s National Puzzle Day in the United States – for all of you out there who love a cross-word, find-a-word or good ol’ jigsaw … 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow… Jack from Park Orchards, Asher from Point Cook, Eva from North Ainslie, Zoya from Mount Isa and Hannah from Bundoora.


And a reminder to the Squiz Kids who celebrated a birthday in the summer holidays to check the Bumper Holiday Quiz Episode for the week in which your birthday fell for your birthday shout out. For those of you who missed that cut off we will announce as many belated shout outs as we can this week – starting today with….  Valentino from Silverdale, Oscar and Beatrix from Melbourne, Ellie from Northcote, Elspeth from Box Hill, Julia from Bielawa, Lillys from Glenfield, Francis from Fawkner, Rob from Orbost, Alex from Ringwood North, Ivy from Bayswater, Hailey from Newington, Ally from Montmorency and Isabelle from Sydney.


Classroom shoutouts will be back next week… Teachers, we suggest getting in early and submitting your shoutout request for the year so that you’ll be right at the top of the list. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Cyclone Kirrily
  2. 34
  3. Emma McKeon