Wednesday, 13 October, 2021

The big toy revamp; Chloe’s English Channel record; the elk with a tyre around its neck; and calling all Newshounds!



Elk with tyre around its neck:


Newshounds Fact Checking Centre:

National Geographic for Kids Climate Change info:

Climate Change fact checking resources: 


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Have you ever noticed when you walk into a toy shop, or the toy aisles of the big department stores, how there are aisles for girls and aisles for boys? 

And how the boy toy aisles are filled with tanks and boats and trucks and cars. And the girl toy aisles are packed with dolls and princess outfits and everything is in a sort of bright pink that makes your head hurt a little bit?

Well that’s all set to change – after one of the world’s biggest toy companies, Lego, yesterday said it would no longer make Lego sets specifically for boys or girls – but rather Lego designed to be played with by both boys AND girls.

The news came on the same day that California – one of the biggest states in America – passed a law which will require toy shops to mix up boys and girls toys on their shelves. 

Dolls in amongst the Hot Wheels, Elsa costumes alongside the Spidey outfits. 

The lawmakers in California say that boys’ toys have been traditionally geared towards science, maths and engineering – where girls’ toys tend to be geared towards caring for babies, fashion and cooking and housework. They say that kids should be encouraged to play with whatever toy they want to play with – and not just the ones some toy company or toy shop says they should play with .



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in the English Channel … which is a stretch of water between the countries of England and France … where Aussie long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel is today expected to break the world record for the most number of crossings.

At around lunchtime today our time – 4am English time – Chloe will wade into the water off the coast of England and – despite having a nasty chest infection – attempt to become the first person in the world to swim the Channel 44 times. 

The swim will take her about eight hours in total – during which time she will have to swim against strong currents, and cover at least 32 kilometres – as she makes her way to the French coastline.   

Pretty impressive for someone who, at the age of 11, didn’t know how to swim.. 

Go Chloe! You’ve got this!




There’s an elk in Colorado which is walking a whole lot lighter, and no longer has a pain in its neck, after park rangers in the mountainous American state removed a car tyre that had been stuck around its neck for four long years. 

The elk – which is a type of deer and is native to Colorado – had been carrying the car tyre around since it got stuck around its neck four years ago. 

Several attempts by rangers over the years to remove it had failed – but this week, they managed to tranquilise the buck – which is the word for a male deer – and pull the tyre off. Tranquilise means to give it a little injection to make it sleepy enough that it can’t run away.

When rangers weighed the tyre – which was full of sticks and dirt and water that had accumulated over the years – it weighed a whopping 16 kilograms. 

Imagine the relief of not having to carry that around anymore?

There’s a link to photos of the elk with the tyre around its neck in today’s episode notes.



This term, we’ve launched a new segment of Squiz Kids. Every Wednesday, we’re going to join Squiz-E the Newshound (HOWL!) to scratch beneath the surface of stories that we think are fishy, and sniff out the truth. Why? Because every day, all over the world, millions of people believe things that aren’t true when they see them on the Internet, their phones, and sometimes even in newspapers or on TV. We’re here to remind them that they need to Stop, Think, and Check. 

This week, Squiz-E has been sniffing around YouTube – which last week announced it plans to stamp out misinformation about climate change.

What’s misinformation? It’s a fancy word for information that isn’t true. 

And unfortunately, there’s lots of misinformation all over the internet. Including lots of people posting videos to YouTube claiming that climate change isn’t real.

By banning ads on videos that contain climate misinformation, YouTube hopes those videos will eventually disappear. 

It’s a good reminder though to be more Squiz-E — and every time you read, see or hear a piece of information – Stop … Think about who’s telling you that information …  and CHECK whether that information can be trusted. 

We’ll pop some links in today’s episode notes that can help you do just that.



And teachers, if you’ve already signed up to Squiz Kids for Schools, you’ll find that today’s Daily Download is all about Newshounds and developing media literacy skills. Your class will be practicing identifying persuasive language, and using their best descriptive writing skills to create captions for climate-related images. Not a SK4S member? Why on earth not? It’s completely free for all of Term 4. Head over to to register.  




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

  1. What sort of animal had a tyre removed from around its neck?
  2. What’s the name of the body of water between France and England that Aussie Chloe McCardel will be swimming today?
  3. Which very successful toy company is changing the way it sells to boys and girls?




It’s October 13 … birthday of Aussie Olympic swimming great, Ian Thorpe. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Tahj from Worrigee, Harvey from The Gap, Francesca from Geraldton, 

Aina from Mandurah, Stephan from Revesby, Jacob from Townsville, Reuben from Forest Lake, Lucie from Minnamurra and Myah from Hamilton North.

And a belated shout outs go to…Miles from Williamstown, Oliver from Mornington, Thomas from Marino and Kabir and Deacon from Springfield.

And finally … because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney are in lockdown we are sending out home learning herograms … One to Mrs Hughes at Minnamurra Public School from Ruby and Abel.  Callum sends a herogram to Mr O’Connor at Mount Terry Public School and says thanks for being a great principal.  To Mrs Weier and Mrs Oswald at the Good Shepherd Primary School in Canberra from Bethany.   Zoe from Roseville sends her sister Josie a herogram for being so focussed with her home learning and Storme from Abbotsford sends one to her mum for being extremely supportive at home.

One last herogram to Preston from Woollahra  – his mum says he has been super independent during the long period of home learning. Well done!

And finally classroom shout outs – to those lucky Squi Kids NOT in lockdown… to the year 4’s at Henschke Primary School in Wagga Wagga, to Ms Dickinson and all the Grade 3s and at Pallara State School in WA.  and to Ms Talevich and class 4A at St Peters Lutheran College in Indooroopilly. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Elk
  2. English Channel
  3. Lego