Ant Facts For Kids

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Ants. Normally we try to keep them out of our house but inviting them in, contained of course, is a great opportunity for learning. We kind of like learning about critters. To prepare our Ant Facts for Kids learning unit, I stocked up on ant-related books, a gel ant habitat and some other essentials. While we waited for our harvester ants to come in the mail, we learned all about ants. 

Ant Facts for Kids

Ant Facts for Kids:  Did you know…

  • that worker ants lick the eggs and pupae to keep them clean and healthy?
  • that ants talk to each other by touching their antennas together? Try acting like ants and telling each other things with pretend antennas. 
  • that ants can bend their bodies in half to turn around in the tunnels they create?
  • that each worker ant can lift 50 times it’s own weight? 
  • that worker ants have different jobs? Some work in the ant nurseries caring for the young ants, some work in the storage rooms, others build corridors.

Supplies for an Ant Unit Study

Ant Fact for Kids: supplies for an Ant Unit Study

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We read our books, explored our gel habitat and put the life cycle stages in order while we awaited the arrival of the shipment of live harvester ants.

Introducing the Ants to the Gel Habitat

It was quite an adventure! The ants arrived looking big and mean, but the instructions advised us to put them into the freezer for a few minutes so they would become inactive. This worked beautifully. Nevertheless, we took our gel habitat outside to put the ants in, just in case. 

Harvester Ants and ant facts for kids

The habitat was ready to go, right out of the box. The gel acts not only as a home for the ants to build tunnels, but contains their food and water. Within a couple of hours, the ants were very busily picking up blocks of gel and moving them around.

Within  a day, they looked like this:

harvester ants

At one week, they had really built some amazing tunnels!

ant facts for kids

It was amazing to watch them bend themselves in half to turn around in the tunnels, to see them all working in the different rooms, and watch them communicate with their feelers, just like we learned in our books. 

Then they attempted the great escape. Don’t worry. They were unsuccessful. But look at them removing pieces of the rubber seal around the top of the habitat!

 harvester ants

Just in case…

harvester ants _ ant facts for kids

 

More great ant books and learning resources from my friend, Marnie, at Carrots Are Orange. Click over and see. 

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