Wednesday, 22 June, 2022

The apps that track kids; Japan’s love letter revival; the world’s biggest sting ray; and Playstation Plus Day is here!



World’s biggest sting ray:


‘Have A Go’ Month – Australian Olympic Committee:


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How To Become A Squiz Kids Correspondent:

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





And we kick off today’s podcast with a special report from Squiz E the Newshound – who’s nose has been twitching overtime with the news earlier this week that some of the most popular kids apps are tracking their every move.

From Angry Birds to Candy Crush, colouring-in apps to maths homework apps – they’re collecting information about their users and passing that on to advertisers so they can target them with ads – according to a special report.

The study in the US found that two-thirds of the most popular kids apps are collecting information like where a user lives, what they click on in the app and how long they spend on it – then sending that data to companies who want to sell products to kids. 

There’s lots of research to suggest most children can’t tell the difference between ads and content. 

And according to the report, by the time a child reaches the age of 13, online advertising firms hold an average of 72 million data points about them … that’s 72 million things about you that they’ve learned about you while you’ve been using what looks like a perfectly innocent app. 

So what can be done? A good place to start, according to Squiz E is to turn off the location tracking in your device, in settings, and always opt for the ‘Ask App Not To Track’ option when you first download or use it. 

We’re here to help ..


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Japan … where people are too busy writing love letters to one another to be bothered with apps ..

City authorities in the city of Miyazaki were so worried about the low marriage rate there, they started up a love letter writing initiative. Singles were matched according to the things they liked doing, then encourage to write letters to each other.

No profile pics, no judging a book by its cover – just letting a person’s personality come across in the written word. 

So far 17 couples have gotten together as a result of the love letter writing initiative. 

And what’s not to love about that? 




And so to Cambodia we go .. where the world’s biggest sting ray has been found in the Mekong River. 

I’ve stuck a link to a photo of it in today’s episode notes … and it’s fair to say if you came across that thing while swimming, you’d discover a super-power for walking on water … straight to the nearest piece of dry land.

It’s a monster! 

Measuring just under 4 metres long … so, about the length of a large car – and weighing a staggering 300 kilograms, the ray was located by scientists who were celebrating yesterday – saying that the fact a fish in the Mekong River can grow to such an enormous size means the river’s ecosystem is in relatively good condition. So yay for that. 

Still not sure i’d want to brush up against it while swimming though … eugh. 




Gamers of Australia … the day is finally here. I’m talking about Playstation Plus Day… where Playstation does its best to take on X Box and its Game Pass.

So what in the world of Fortnite am I talking about? 

If you’re a gamer, you’ll know that Playstation is today releasing a new game subscription service – like Netflix, but for video games. And by the end of the week, anyone with a Playstation Plus subscription will be moved to a new and improved version – with its multi-player access and a couple of bonus PS4 and PS5 games to download. There are fancier options available too – for more money per month – giving gamers access to even more online games – including a couple of OGs from PS1 and 2.

Just in time for the school holidays …

Oh – there’s the Classroom Companion clarion – indicating that today’s Squiz Kids for School classroom worksheet is tied to this item in the podcast – prompting kids to identify writing for different audiences. Not a SK4S subscriber? Check out the link in today’s episode notes to a free 30-day trial… 


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

  1. What sort of enormous animal was found in Cambodia’s Mekong River?
  2. Name the popular gaming console that’s releasing a whole new bunch of online game levels today?
  3. In which country are people rediscovering the lost art of love letter writing?




It’s June 22 … National Kissing Day in the United States … and also National Onion Ring Day … my two favourite days of the year …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … 

JJ from Perth, Kyan from Wynnum, George from Ainslie, Eddie from Northcote, Selina from Frenchs Forest and Boyd from Kandos. 

And a belated shoutout goes to Skye from North Manly.

Classroom shoutouts are going to…Years 5/6 at St Joseph’s Primary School in Bombala and happy birthday to Mrs Peardon, to class 2B and Ms Bainbridge at Murrumbeena Primary School, class 4/5A and Ms Alexis at Brisbane Central State School and lastly to class 4T at Henschke Primary School in Wagga Wagga – the class wish to let their teacher Mrs Thomas know that they love her daily singing and would like her to teach them some dance moves … I’d like to see that too, Mrs Thomas … and if you film it and send us a video clip – I’ll stick it on the Squiz Kids Instagram for all our listeners to see … send it to [email protected]. Go on – I dare you …


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sting ray
  2. Playstation
  3. Japan