Thursday, 7 October, 2021

Light at the end of the lockdown tunnel; the world’s oldest toilet; Here come The Ashes; and the world’s smartest dogs.



Israel’s ancient dunny:

Is your dog a genius? 


Squiz Kids Instagram:

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





And there was good news on the COVID lockdown front yesterday as NSW became the first state in Australia to hit the target of getting 70% of its residents aged 16 and over fully vaccinated (cheer) – coming hot on the heels of the news that overall Australia we’ve managed to get a first jab into the arms of 80 percent of the adult population – helping to move us further up the world COVID vaccination rankings (cheer).

Right now, with approximately 60 percent of the country having received a COVID vaccine, we’re about 50th in the world in terms of countries whose population is vaccinated  – with countries like the United Arab Emirates, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Singapore leading the pack.  

The jab milestones mean that lockdowns in NSW will end  next Monday (cheer). That will see the reopening of shops, and restaurants. Squiz Kids in Melbourne – there’s hope for you too with your vaccination rates climbing and climbing. But home learning’s here to stay for a while yet I’m afraid to say.   

All this as Melbourne this week beat the Argentine capital Buenos Aires world record for the most number of days in lockdown (boo). That tiny, distant glimmer you see in the darkness? It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Israel … where the world’s oldest dunny has been discovered. I just love the word dunny .. it’s almost as good as toot paper – so evocative. Archaeologists in Israel are super excited at having dug up a smooth slab of limestone with a hole in the middle of it – convinced they have uncovered an ancient loo. And when I say ancient, I mean 2,700 years old. That’s one very old toilet. 

Twenty-seven hundred years ago, only very rich people could afford to have a toilet in their house. Most homes didn’t have their own toilet – with all business having to be done in pots or in public. Pooh to that, I say. 

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to photos of the ancient loo. You’re very welcome.




Summer is around the corner — and that can only mean one thing in the sporting world. Cricket, cricket and more cricket. And lovers of Test Cricket were yesterday on the edge of their seats as it looked more and more likely the ultimate competition in the cricket world – the Ashes – would be going ahead.

What is the Ashes? It’s the name given to a series of test matches played between Australia and England every two years. It’s called the Ashes because the trophy is a tiny little urn believed to contain the ashes of a cricket bail from one of the first matches the Aussies and English ever played – back in the late 1800s. So there you go.

This year’s Ashes tour would see England’s national team travel to Australia and tour about the country .. but COVID has complicated plans. The hope is the Aussie and English cricket authorities are close to announcing the tour is on. Game on, people.



Everyone thinks their dog’s a genius, especially if they sit when you ask them to, or come when they’re called. But research released this week has found six actual genius dogs that were able to learn, and remember, the names of toys at a rate similar to a young toddler. Animal behavior scientists from Hungary spent two years searching the globe for pooches with excellent memories. Six made it into what came to be known as the Genius Challenge, where owners taught their dogs the names of 12 new toys over the period of one week. Then, on a YouTube livestream event, the researchers called out a toy’s name and the cluey canines raced into another room, and retrieved it. They were still able to remember the toy names two months later! And if you’re thinking… hang on, my dog can do that!…. they’re still looking for quick-witted pups for future research. All the details are in the video link in your episode notes. 




Hands up if you’ve read one of the Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton Treehouse books. I thought so… I love them, too. How do they keep coming up with new ideas for all those different levels? In a couple of weeks The 143-Storey Treehouse will be published, and to mark the occasion, Andy has agreed to do a Squiz Kids Q+A. But instead of sending in questions, we’re asking Squiz Kids to send in their brightest idea for a treehouse level. If you could create the craziest, most fun treehouse level what would it be? Send in your suggestion in 250 words or less – using your best descriptive writing skills and or a drawing, to [email protected]

When Andy takes the hot seat, he’ll judge the best ones, and award prizes! 



Attention all teachers… we’re absolutely thrilled that so many of you are signing up for a free trial of Squiz Kids for Schools! With daily, differentiated literacy activities designed by a teacher, just for you, it’s a brilliant way to make more of this podcast in your classroom. We’ve also got a weekly Squiz Kids Shortcut, just for those who have signed up, with comprehension and extension activities to match. So what are you waiting for? Head over to and sign up for free access for the rest of Term 4! Your students – and their parents – will thank you for it. 



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

  1. What’s the name of the famous series of cricket test matches held every two years between Australia and England? 
  2. In which country have archaeologists dug up a 2,700 year-old toilet?
  3. What sort of animals have researchers in Hungary been using to test the intelligence of pets? 




It’s October 7… the Nobel Prize for Literature will be awarded today in Sweden .. and if you sign up for Squiz Kids for Schools – you can access the special Shortcut we’ve created on the Nobel Prizes.

Plus, it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Anderson from Hornsby, Georgina from Carisbrook, Jonathan from Woodhill and Atharva from Asquith.

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 Sam, Tily, Margot and Rosa all from Annandale, Issy and Lucy from Springwood, Ronan from Northwood, Sam from Norman Park, Eva and Nate from Coffs Harbour, Aashna from Invermay, Henry from Craigburn, Quade from Dubbo, Charlotte from Sydney and Charlotte from Waverley, Conner from West Wallsend, Justin from Fairfield Heights, Leonardo from Paddington, Xavier from Castle Hill, Lilah from Buningyong, Hugh from Wandoan, Joshua from Camden, Makeilah from Raby, Daniela from Roseville, Nash from Albany Hills and Jayden from Chatswood.

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

Herograms go to Class 5/6 L from Leonay Public School, to Grade 6H at St Mary’s Catholic School in Mansfield and to Class 3H at Tanilba Bay Public School.   Another herogram goes to all the students and teachers at Giralang Primary School in Canberra.   Judd & Beau would like to send a herogram to teachers and students in Prep and class 3/4L at Ararat West Primary School.  Annabelle in class 4G at  OLAR Catholic Primary School in Waitara would like to send her  teacher Mrs Khoudair belated wishes for her birthday  and also birthday wishes go to Miss Dewing of class 4D at Lilli Pilli Public School.

And finally – a shout out to all the students and their teachers at Inverell Public School ……who are lucky enough not to be in lockdown. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. The Ashes
  2. Israel
  3. Dogs