Monday, 11 October, 2021

Freedom Day in Sydney; why Lebanon is in the dark; Thor has a date with outback NSW; and building a hedgehog highway.



Hedgehog highway:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]





Hairdressers all over Sydney will be sharpening their scissors and bracing themselves today as three and half-months of hard lockdown for Australia’s biggest city comes to an end and the first ‘Freedom Day’ restrictions are lifted.

Restaurants, cafes, cinemas and gyms will also throw their doors open as COVID cases in NSW yesterday fell again –  a promising sign that the worst of the state’s COVID crisis was behind them.

What do the easing of restrictions mean for kids in greater Sydney? It means you can get out of the house once again, and you can go to the movies or church or your favourite sporting event as long as you’re accompanied by a fully vaccinated member of your household.

Playing with your friends in the schoolyard is also not too far away .. kindy, Year 1 and Year 12 are scheduled to return to school next Monday – and all other years two weeks from today (YAY) ….

That look on your parents’ faces? It’s call barely concealed anticipatory relief.

Freedom Day for Sydney comes as Canberra gets ready to end its lockdown this Friday. And Melbourne yesterday announced up to 10,000 people would attend the upcoming Melbourne Cup horse race, and crowds would be allowed at a music concert at the Myer Music Bowl in three weeks’ time. All part, according to Premier Daniel Andrews, of us learning to live with COVID 19.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Lebanon, where the entire country was plunged into darkness on Saturday, and is likely to remain that way for days. The electricity blackout is the latest blow to the middle eastern country, which has been suffering a severe economic crisis for the past year and a half. What does that mean? Well, the country owes one-and-a-half times more money than it makes, and the value of the currency has crashed. And what does that have to do with the lights going out? 

Well, the financial problems mean they haven’t been able to afford the fuel that is needed to run Lebanon’s power stations. For months, people have often only had 1-2 hours of electricity a day. 

Stop and think for a moment about all the things in your house that rely on electricity … every screen, fridge, TV, internet router, hot water system, oven, stove – and you start to get an idea of why a blackout across the entire country is a thing.




The bright lights of Hollywood are coming to the outback NSW town of Broken Hill as the next movie in the hugely successful Mad Max franchise prepares to start filming there.

Starring Thor himself, Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth, the movie – called Mad Max Furiosa will be filmed in and around the mining town – using its dry, red landscape as a backdrop. 



Think like a hedgehog ! That’s the cry that’s gone up in England where a bunch of neighbours in the countryside have started drilling holes in the bottom of their garden fences to create a hedgehog highway. 

The creation of housing estates on hedgehog habitat – and the erection of fences in people’s backyards – was cutting off hedgehogs’ ability to wander through gardens, find food and meet up with other hedgehogs – and that in turn was starting to affect their ability to reproduce. 

But following a campaign to encourage householders to drill holes in the bottom of their fences, a hedgehog highway has been created which allows the adorable critters to wander freely about the neighbourhood. 

There’s a link to a video of the hedgehogs on their highway in today’s episode notes. 




A quick reminder that today is the last day to get your wonderful, whacky ideas in to us before legendary Treehouse book author Andy Griffiths takes the Squiz Kids Q+A hot seat. The 143-Storey Treehouse comes out next week, and Andy is already hard at work thinking of ideas for ANOTHER 13 levels. Get your creative juices flowing and send in a crazy suggestion, like Harvey did… he thinks there should be an Annoying Fly Swatting level, where every time you thwack a fly, another one is set free. You could be stuck in there forever! 

So quick sticks, send them in by tonight to [email protected]. The best ones will be read aloud to Andy, and he’ll be awarding prizes. Woohoo! 



Welcome back to Term 4, teachers and students in WA, South Australia, Tassie and the Northern Territory! Do we have great news for you? Squiz Kids has just launched Squiz Kids for Schools, and you can get access to it for FREE for the rest of this term. Every day, you’ll get levelled literacy worksheets that match up to that day’s podcast, as well as weekly Squiz Kids Shortcuts and comprehension and extension activities. What are you waiting for? Head to to register for free! 




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

  1. What NSW mining town is going to host Thor actor Chris Hemsworth for the filming of the next Mad Maz movie?
  2. What cute little critters in England are having a highway built for them by drilling holes in backyard fences? 
  3. Which country is subject to widespread blackouts as a result of fuel shortages?




It’s October 11… Today is International Day of the Girl … and if your school has signed up to Squiz Kids for School, you’ll be able to hear a Squiz Kids Shortcut on girl power …  

Plus, it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Nanda from NSW, Zara from Abbotsford, Jasper from Mitcham, Gabriel from Sandy Beach, Zoe from Cheltenham, Lily from Everton Hills, Annie from Bethanga, Caitlyn from Kempsey, Max from Daylesford, Heath and from Kingston.

And belated shout outs to the following Squiz Kids who celebrated birthdays during the school holidays – for which we’re rolling out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … ..Happy belated birthday to Annabelle, Sophie and Colin from Ivanhoe, Joshua from Engadine, Zenon from Trinity Beach, Ethan from Albany Hills, Avaan from Cherrybrook, Alex from Hughenden, Chelsea from Balgownie, Marco from Hawthorne, Blade, Riley and Declan from Ashmont, Helen and Royan from Fairfield Heights, Aurora from Brisbane, Violet from Sydney, Katie from Canberra, Esther from Pagewood, Jack, Sam, Luca and Lachlan from Abbotsford and lastly Amy from NSW.

A special birthday shout out to one of Squiz Kids for Schools trial teachers Ms Liz Jenson from St Thomas More Ruse. 

And finally … because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney are still in lockdown we are still sending out home learning herograms …

A herogram to Miss Campbell from 6c at Murrumburrah Public School for making home learning fun from Shelby.  Also to Mrs Moore and Mrs Hodgson at Seabrook Primary School for giving the funniest home learning assignments  – from the Grade 2 students.  And a herogram to Mrs Reeves at Hornsby North Public School from Hili. 

A home learning shout out to Nate and Zachary from Telopea Park Primary School in Canberra from your super proud parents – keep up the great work!

And one final shout out to my new buddy, Chester – and all the kids in 3 Blue at St Elizabeth’s in Tarragindi .. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Broken Hill
  2. Hedgehogs
  3. Lebanon