Editor's note

School holidays are here again and if youโ€™re looking for ways to keep smart kids engaged and happy, Imagine This has got you covered.

A co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, Imagine This is a podcast aimed at kids aged 4-7 โ€” but really it's a delight for humans of any age.

Based on The Conversationโ€™s Curious Kids series, each episode features host Brianna Peterson going on an audio adventure to find answers from experts on important kid questions like: How do we smell? Why do birds sing? And why do volcanoes erupt?

Season Three of Imagine This launched this week, with an episode on where dreams come from (and you can read the accompanying article here), and a new episode will be released every Wednesday.

You can find Imagine This in your podcast app, and read all our Curious Kids articles over here. Happy listening, happy reading and happy holidays.

Sunanda Creagh

Head of Digital Storytelling


Tigers have whisker hairs even on their front legs and chin! thedigme/flickr

Curious Kids: why do tigers have whiskers?

Alexander Richard Braczkowski, The University of Queensland

Whiskers are not just ordinary hairs. They are thicker and go deeper into the tiger's skin and send messages to its brain about what is happening in the world around it.


Nails help us scratch an itch, but also pick up tiny things. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: why do we have fingernails and toenails?

Amanda Meyer, University of Western Australia

The short answer is we have evolved to have nails because they help us pick things up (like food) and pick things off (like bugs).

  • Curious Kids: what is a headache? Is it our brain hurting?

    David Farmer, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

    The brain itself canโ€™t actually feel pain. It can't sense damage to itself the way your finger can. We know this because people can have brain surgery while they are totally awake.

  • Curious Kids: how does my tummy turn food into poo?

    Vincent Ho, Western Sydney University

    Your stomach works very hard with some other body parts to break down food into small pieces. Your body takes in what it needs and the rest is turned into poo.

  • Curious Kids: how much does a brain weigh?

    David Farmer, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

    An adult brain weighs about 1.5kg. It's mostly water with some fat, protein, sugar and a dash of salt. Sounds like pancakes, I know, but I once tried chicken brains and, well, pancakes are tastier.

  • Curious Kids: how do tongues taste food?

    Paulomi (Polly) Burey, University of Southern Queensland; Ursula Kennedy, University of Southern Queensland

    Your tongue, saliva and nose work together to help you taste your food.


Make a wish! Shuttershock

Curious Kids: what makes a shooting star fall?

Lisa Harvey-Smith, UNSW

Shooting stars are not stars at all. They are tiny space adventurers who accidentally wander into our sky and get sucked toward us by Earth's gravity. Here's the story of a shooting star's journey.


A few days after baby molluscs come out from tiny eggs, they start building their shell layer after layer. Emily Nunnell/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Curious Kids: how do shells get made?

Aurelie Moya, James Cook University

Molluscs that have shells - like pipis, clams and oysters - have to build their own shell from scratch. And they keep building it their whole life, using chemicals from the sea and their own bodies.


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