On your marks, get set, GO!

And we’re officially off and racing for the new school year – with our friends in Victoria, WA and NSW joining the fray last week and being reminded – no doubt, of the joys of daily lunch box prep.

If your household is anything like mine, you’ll also be getting back into the swing of weekend and after-school sport (if indeed, you ever got out of the swing of it).

My kids spend an inordinate amount of their extra-curricular time doing sport. For Flynn, it’s footy (mostly of the rugby variety). For Rosie, it’s multiple hours of dance every week.

And while I’ve often worried that all that sport is getting in the way of them focussing on their school work, new research has put me at ease. There’s evidence now that active kids do better at school. I’ve linked to an article on it below.

All of which goes to prove that my wife, Shay, has been right all along (no surprises there). She’s always worked on the principle of ‘sporty, not naughty’ when devising our kids’ after-school timetables.

And while for sure, there will be plenty of kids out there for whom sport is just not their thing or families for whom the costs are prohibitive, but for those of us who spend their weekends sitting on sidelines wondering whether all this time running around wouldn’t better be spent studying – it’s very definite welcome news.

Safer Internet Day + Newshounds

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day – where governments around the world promote safety online.

Here in Australia, it’s an effort that’s being spearheaded by our friends at the eSafety Commission – an outfit that does an excellent job keeping the worst of the internet nasties at bay.

Keeping kids safe online is one of our primary missions here at Squiz Kids, and one of the main reasons we launched Newshounds – our free media literacy resource for primary school kids. Almost 2,000 Aussie classrooms have signed up to undertake the Newshounds pilot program so far – and we’re quietly hopeful we’ll have some good news in the coming weeks/months about the extension of the Newshounds effort.

Why? Because as this year’s Safer Internet Day reminds us, there’s never been a more important time for kids to be savvy surfers of the web. They’re coming across innumerable instances of mis and dis-information every single day thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones, universal internet access and social media.

If your child’s class hasn’t signed up to do Newshounds this year – have a word in your teacher or principal’s ear. It’s free, it’s curriculum-aligned and it comes with a teacher manual to make it effortless for all concerned.

And meanwhile, hop on over to the eSafety Commission’s website to access a whole bunch of other excellent resources. You’re very welcome.

This week on Squiz Kids …

This week in Squiz The World, we strap ourselves into the Squiz Kids Super-Fast Supersonic Jetliner to pay a visit to our near neighbour New Zealand … this week marks the anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi in NZ – the perfect excuse to take kids on an audio excursion across the ditch and learn about jandals, chilly bins and the people, history and culture of our Kiwi confreres. The pod drops first thing tomorrow.

And of course, on Fridays you can test to see who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was in our celebrated Kids v Adult Weekly News S’Quiz. Wrap up your week with a bit of intergenerational rivalry.

Meanwhile, over on the Big Squiz …

Things have been busy over at the Big Squiz (not it’s actual name, but it’s the easiest way I’ve come up with to distinguish us from our big-sister pod and newsletter).

They’re getting ready to launch a new podcast called News Club – billed as “the place for conversations about the news” and definitely one to follow if you’re a news buff.

Tomorrow’s ep will be all about how The Squiz started, how hosts Kate and Claire met, their approach to news, and what News Club will shape up to be. Standby for a bit about Squiz Kids too. Search for News Club in your podcasting app, or find it on Apple here or Spotify here.

And while you’re there: check out some of the Shortcuts episodes that they’ve been pumping out -including MelanomasThe Business of TennisMary of DenmarkThe NDIS plus The Business of Taylor Swift (Part I and Part II). Great listens, all.

On our radar…

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

Kids + sport = winner … As this SMH article reports – and as alluded to in my intro – researchers reckon that kids who stick with sport during high school get better marks. Game on!

TikTok + Zuck on trial … ICYMI, Meta/Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was among tech CEOs who got a severe dressing down by US Senators last week, with one Senator going as far as to say they had ‘blood on their hands’.

Smile on your dial

This is Knight. He is a so-called ‘dog of Instagram’. I stumbled upon a post by his owner this morning, titled ‘4 Signs Your Dog Considers You As Its Mum‘. Now, I don’t know that it’s especially scientifically accurate, but it’s cute as hell and is guaranteed to put a smile on your dial. Unless you’re a cat lover. In which case, you’re on your own. Peace out ✌️ and chat to you again next week.

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