Kidsday: Gizmo the Hedgehog

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Sonic the Hedgehog was a video game that my teacher Mr. Mac Kenzie once played. Instead of a game, I got a real hedgehog. He is one bundle of energy. If you want to get one, make sure you really think it over and talk to your parents. My hedgehog's name is Gizmo.

Taking care of a hedgehog is hard work, but if you do it right, it pays off. You are going to need a lot of things, such as a cage. You can either use a plastic storage bin or a small animal cage from a pet store. If you buy a cage, make sure it will be big enough for him and that it has shelves, because hedgehogs love to climb. In the cage should be a hide box. Hedgehogs need somewhere to sleep during the day because they are nocturnal.

Make sure to get a plastic food bowl and a plastic water bottle that clips onto the side of the bin/cage. Hedgehogs love to run, so add a wheel to the cage. Your pet can run on it and lose weight if he eats too much.

In the hide cage, you will need bedding. I use aspen shavings, but you can use a piece of felt or something that will keep odor down.

Feeding your pet is important. Your pet store will recommend something that has lots of protein and very little fat in it.

Mealworms are needed! Hedgehogs love mealworms. When you get your pet, he might be a little scared when you pick him up, but if you give him a mealworm, he knows everything is OK. After a while you can hold him anytime you want.

Most important as a pet owner is bonding time. Every day for about 15 minutes I take my hedgehog out and let him walk around and get used to his new surroundings. If you have a dog, let him in the same room with you but don't let him get too close because, if the hedgehog gets scared, he will roll up into a ball and it won't be easy to get him out.

Most of all, have fun! Hedgehogs are lovable, fun pets.


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For a good cause

I decided to help out the ASPCA by raising money for them. I made bracelets and rings to sell and I donated the money.

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

It was a lot of hard work, but I had my friends to help me out. Making these crafts was a challenge, but I still had fun because I was making them with my friends.

With the permission of our principal and teacher, we were able to sell the crafts we made.

At first, we only made about $8, but as others saw our crafts, we made $44 (with a little bit of help from my mom!).

It was all for a good cause.

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-- KAYLA VAUGHN/Kidsday Reporter

CLASS OF THE WEEK Mike Mac Kenzie and Kerri Weiss' sixth-graders, LONGWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL, Middle Island

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

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