Monday 31 May, 2021

Operation Neighbourhood; PNG’s chocolate frogs; My Lockdown Life; and Turnip the dancing tortoise.




Chocolate frogs:

Turnip the dancing tortoise:



Remember to answer in full sentences, with lots of good details! 

1) What did you think and feel when you heard your state was going into lockdown again? 

2) If you could talk to the Coronavirus, what would you say to it? 

3) What advice would you give to kids who feel scared or sad about Coronavirus and lockdown? 

4) What’s the silliest or most fun thing your family does to pass the time in lockdown? 

5) What’s the first thing you will do when you get out of lockdown? 


What To Do:

Get a big person in your house to sit down and record the questions and your answers on a smart device (a phone or tablet, for example). Try to do it somewhere quiet! And remember to make sure when you speak, you’re nice and close to the microphone! Then email the audio file to [email protected] – and listen all next week to see if you’ve been featured!


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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

Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.





How to help our neighbours is going to be top of the list of things to be discussed today as the leaders of Australia and New Zealand meet in Queenstown for their once-a-year get together. 

Aussie Prime Minister Scott Morrison has travelled to meet New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern to discuss – among other things – how together we can help our neighbours in the South Pacific weather the COVID storm. As two of the more developed countries in the region – which is to say, two countries that are lucky enough to be bigger and more advanced – it’s our responsibility to make sure other smaller countries in the neighbourhood are looked after. And for countries like Fiji and Samoa and Tonga and the Cook Islands, which all depend on visitors from Australia and New Zealand – it’s been a really tough 18 months. 

On the subject of doing it tough — Victoria today enters its fourth full day of lockdown following an outbreak of COVID cases there. Victorian kids will not be at school this week – relying instead on remote learning again. On the upside: there were record numbers of Victorian’s vaccinated over the weekend as Australians are reminded COVID is not in any hurry to go away. Keep listening for our Squiz Kids special lockdown programming: My Lockdown Life…  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Papua New Guinea – our neighbour to the north – where Aussie scientists have found chocolate frogs hanging from trees.

No – it’s not some elaborate Easter egg hunt – these are real life frogs, which look a lot our green tree frogs – but are a lovely chocolate in colour. 

It’s a thing because it’s the first time these chocolate frogs have ever been recorded by scientists. Which is kind of nuts, when you think about it, that in this day and age, we’re still discovering animals that no scientist in the Western world has ever seen before. Mind you, the fact that these frogs like to live in swamps in thick rainforests where crocodiles also live probably accounts for why no one has stumbled upon them before. Wonder if they taste as good as the chocolate frogs in Harry Potter? Probs not. 

And yes, there’s a link to photos of the chocky frog in today’s episode notes.




From chocolate frogs to dancing tortoises … it’s a Monday, so we’re going to ease you in to the week gently. 

And so we turn our attention to Tennesee, in the United States, where video of Turnip the dancing tortoise has set the internet alight.

Turnip is a 12 yo female Madagascan radiated tortoise who lives at Tennessee Aquarium. When her keepers spray her with water, she performs a very groovy dance. Bends her knees and shakes her booty. It’s very funny. 

Turnips belongs to a species of tortoise renowned for their rain dances. She and her species also love a tickle and a scratch because unlike other tortoises, they have nerve endings in their shell – meaning they can feel the bristles of a brush or the tickle of finger nails. How good is it when someone scratches your back? The best …

And yes, there’s a link to video of Turnip dancing in today’s episode notes. A gift from me to you on a Monday …


My Lockdown Life 


On Friday, we invited the kids of Victoria to tell us about their lockdown lives: how they were feeling, their advice on how to make the best of it, what they would say to the Coronavirus if only it would listen. Amanda’s been watching the inbox… Amanda, what are you hearing? 

Amanda AUDIO – My Lockdown Life: Monday 31 May: featuring Jessie, age 8, from Melbourne Tamnais, 9, from Balwyn,  Bethany, 7, in Maidstone, Charlie, 10, from Geelong, and Tavish, aged 9, from Balwyn.

Bryce:  Yes we do  – but right now – I want to know what Charlie’s snakes and oranges surprise was … Don’t forget of course it’s not too late for other Victorian Squiz Kids to share a snippet of their lockdown lives..  We’ve stuck five questions in the episode notes. Just record yourself answering them and email the audio file through to [email protected]. We’ll be featuring kids’ submissions for the remainder of the lockdown. And Victorian teachers… we hope this might be a great activity for your class as part of their remote learning this week. Well – don’t just stand there – get involved! 




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

  1. Which neighbouring country has Aussie PM, Scott Morrison flown to visit?
  2. In which other neighbouring country have scientists found a chocolate frog?
  3. What does Turnip the tortoise do when sprayed with water? 




It’s May 31 … on this day in 1813, the explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth finally found a way across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, cracking the code of the Great Dividing Range and opening the colony of Australia up to expansion.

It’s also a special day to these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Kylie from Bellevue Heights; Lincoln from Maitland; Olivia from Macleod; Sophia from Cannon Hill; Jayden, from North Rocks; Luis, who requested a shout out for his 5/6 CS class at Como west public on the occasion of his birthday; and many happy returns to Niki, from your friend L, and class 6M at Hunter School of the Performing Arts in Newcastle. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to Evelyn from Mt Lawley, Anya from Keilor Park, Eli and Jaydan from Glen Innes Public School, and Leigh, from Manly. 

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to Grade 4HS of Blackburn Primary School from their teacher, Ms Sage – they listen together every Monday, but they’re locked down today; Mrs Lewis’ 3L class at Carlingford Public; West Ryde Public year 5s; and 5/6F from Bathurst Public School support unit. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Papua New Guinea
  3. She dances!