Why are hedgehogs prickly?

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Hedgehogs are small mammals that live in hedgerows, grasslands, woodlands and meadows. They are found in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa and can live for about 7 years.

Hedgehogs can be easily recognised because of the spiky prickles (called ‘spines’) they have all over their backs and the grunting, snuffling noises they make. They look cute but you shouldn’t try to pick one up because it might feel frightened and try to prickle you with its spines.

But my daughters want to know why hedgehogs are prickly and whether they are prickly when they are born?

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How tall is an apple tree?

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There is a small community orchard close to where we live. Each summer, we watch the apple flowers blossom and wait for the fruit to grow. Then, in early September we pick a few of the low-hanging apples to see how they taste. This year, they tasted good!

But the trees in the orchard are quite tall and it can be tricky to reach the apples. Often, the children have to sit on our shoulders to reach up into the branches to get the fruit.

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How do they land a rocket?

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Rockets are vehicles that can be used for travelling in Space. They are tube-shaped and use fuel to produce a super-strong blast of hot gas that pushes them forward or upwards. Rockets can move really, really fast through the air and into outer Space – whoosh! But have you ever thought about how they stop? My friend’s little boy has and he wants to know how do rockets land? So, let’s find out…!

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How much money is there in the world?

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Money makes the world go round, as they say, and billions of people use it every day. Most of us think of money as coins and notes that we can swap or exchange for goods and services. But if we think of money as being ‘wealth’, then that would include all the things we have that are of value – like houses, businesses, savings accounts, stocks and shares, and other resources – as well as the cash (the notes and coins) in our pockets.

So, have you ever wondered how much money there is in the world? Is it even possible to count it all? And how far would it go? It’s a question that’s tricky to answer but let’s have a go and see if we can work it out…

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Why is fruit and vegetables good for you?

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Fruit and vegetables are an important part of the human diet. In fact, we’re advised to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day because fruits and vegetables contain ‘nutrients’ that help to keep our bodies healthy and working properly.

You might remember from my blogpost about why you shouldn’t only eat bread that it’s important to eat a balanced diet. So let’s find out more about fruit and vegetables and why we should include them in the meals we prepare.

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Why do moths like night-time?

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Moths, like the one in the photo above, are insects with scaly wings. If you disturb one, you might see what looks like dust falling from its wings but the ‘dust’ will actually be some of the tiny scales dropping off. Like butterflies, they have two pairs of wings and long, rolled-up tongues (probosces) but, unlike butterflies, moths tend to have thick, hairy bodies and their antenna may be feathery and don’t have a ball-shaped ‘club’ at the end.

Many types of moth are ‘nocturnal’, which means that they are active at night but sleep during the day. You might have seen moths in the evening-time when it starts to get dark because they can be attracted to the lights in our houses when they are fluttering about. So, why do moths like the night-time? And if they like light, why don’t they just come out during the day?

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Can you see my imagination?

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My three-year-old loves imagination play. Her favourite activity is creating stories and role playing with little figures. Sometimes she invites me or her sister to play along, but she gets frustrated if we don’t do it right. A few days ago, when I was clearly playing the game all wrong, she looked at me and sighed and asked “Can you see my imagination, Mummy?”

Unfortunately, I can’t. All I can do is watch as she turns imagination into reality through a game. But her question got me thinking: what is imagination? And how did our brains develop to allow us to be so creative?

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