Hello my Benny Members and Friends.
I am so sorry it has been so long since my last Blog. Unfortunately, I have been poorly and had to go to hospital with Mummy to see my lovely Doctor. As always, he has made me better, told me that I must make sure I drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, exercise and have fun!
When your body doesn’t have enough water, this is called dehydration. This can stop you from being as energetic as you would like and remembering things can be trickier – it happens to me. So keep that water bottle handy when the weather warms up and your body will be able to do all its wonderful, waterful jobs and help you feel great!
So, with the new month of May marking the end of the cold winter season and the beginning of some sunshine, I already feel energetic and ready to enjoy the spring and summer months ahead.
Don’t you love this time of year? Butterflies, flowers and playing outside for longer with the lighter evenings; what could be better? Daddy said the only sad thing about his garden, is the only flowers in bloom are dandelions!
So we have come up with a plan to help the garden look alive, pretty and help feed the birds and insects next year.
We are going to grow sunflowers, which are fast growing and can grow taller than me! The flowers are huge and are great for the wildlife – they attract bees and other insects. The birds will also eat the seeds in the autumn. Or you could collect the seeds and keep them to plant again next year.
Why are they called Sunflowers?
Sunflowers are named because their flowers look like the sun and the flowers themselves follow the movement of the sun during the day. This means they face to the east in the morning and the west in the afternoon – you watch how they turn their heads.
The sunflower ‘flower’ is made up of over 2,000 individual tiny flowers that are joined together on a base. The large petals on the outside of the flowers are called ‘ray’ flowers, just like the ‘rays’ of the sun.
I found this little poem about a Spring Garden – which Daddy loved and we have been singing it together whilst we have been planting the sunflower seeds.
Here is my little garden
Some seeds I’m going to sow.
Here is my rake to rake the ground
Here is my handy hoe.
Here is the big, round yellow sun;
The sun warms everything.
Here are the rain clouds in the sky;
The birds will start to sing.
Little plants will wake up soon,
And lift their sleepy heads;
Little plants will grow and grow
In their little, warm earth beds.
Daddy has given me my own little patch of garden to look after. He says it will help me understand how important it is to look after plants. Like us they need 7 basic things to help them keep healthy and grow.
- Light – plants and people wouldn’t grow very well if they lived in the dark all the time
- Food or nutrients
- Temperature – keeping warm when it is cold and keeping cool when it is hot
- Room to grow – with plants make sure the pot is big enough for the roots, with us, Daddy says – make sure our shoes are big enough!
- Time – things don’t happen overnight – be patient and watch the plants grow and bloom
How to Grow your Sunflower
Ask Mummy or Daddy to buy some sunflower seeds from the garden centre. They are very tiny and sometimes not all the seeds will make a flower. So make sure you have a few seeds ‘to sow’ (plant).
It is still a little chilly outside, especially at night, so you can ‘sow’ your seeds indoors to start with and keep them in at night, putting them outside in the sunshine during the day. This way they can get used to the outside temperature gradually and be ready to transfer them into a bigger pot as they grow stronger.
- Find a small pot – perhaps a yoghurt pot or flowerpot, making sure that it has a few holes in the base. This helps any water the plant doesn’t drink soak away. We don’t like standing in water, why should your plants?
- Fill the pot with some compost (food or nutrients) and press one seed into each pot, covering lightly with some more compost
- Give the pot a light ‘drink’ of water and place the on a windowsill with plenty of sunshine (temperature), light and warmth
- Once the seedlings have reached about 5cm, they can then be planted into a bigger pot, or outside in the garden (if it warm enough) – where they can begin to grow in the fresh air
- Remember to water the plant regularly and give the seed time to grow – be patient!
- Watch the sunflower grow and grow, remembering to keep measuring – perhaps once a week. As the sunflower grows taller, it may need some help to stay upright. Ask a grown up to tie a small ‘support’ to the stem – this will help it balance.
Have I remembered the 7 basic things to keep a plant healthy and help them to grow?
Don’t forget to look at the seed each day and check it doesn’t get too dry on the windowsill. It may need some more water every few days – and watch for the first ‘peeping’ of the sunflower shoots through the soil.
I have made a calendar for May – which helps remind me when I planted the seed, when I watered it and most importantly, as it gets bigger, how tall it is. Perhaps we can have a competition to see who can grow the tallest sunflower – I am sure it won’t be long before my sunflower is bigger than me! How about yours? I would love to see some photos and I can post them on Benny’s Blog.
Happy Growing – check out my first picture.
Do you like my Sunshine Handprint in the picture? I made that too – but Daddy told me I need the real sunshine – but I thought it looked fun anyway.
You will need:
- A paper plate
- Yellow or orange paper
- Glue or glue stick
- Marker pens or paint
- Take a paper plate and draw or paint on a happy face.
- Using some yellow paper, ask Mummy or Daddy to help draw around your hand – (you will need about 7 handprints in all). Or you could use Mummy and Daddy’s handprints as well.
- Asking a grown up – using scissors, cut out the handprints
- Stick them around the outside of the paper plate
- Hang your Sunshine Handprint in the window and think of the lovely spring and summer days ahead
Keep sending in your pictures, ideas and stories – I love to hear all about my members and friends.
Remember, I have over 600 members and would love to encourage your friends to join our Club – tell them about the fun activities and stories they can read too.
Benny’s Blog will be posted at the beginning of each month – looking at things happening in the weeks ahead, activities to do and things to look for – don’t forget to check.
Until next month
Keep on BEING BRILLIANT!