Why ? Ant farms are, both, fun and educational. They take up little space and are a great way to teach your children about these amazing little insects. They will learn a bit about entomology and how an ecosystem works… without even trying.
There is no need to purchase a ready-made ant habitat. Building your own ant farm is easier than you might think. It is an ideal science project or something to consider when your kids are suffering from a case of the ‘mid-summer there’s-nothing-to-do blues’.
If you have the time to research the subject, on your own, you will probably find a wide variety of instructional articles and tips touching on the best way to build an ant farm. Some of these methods will prove to be more complicated than others.
But, if you are anything like me I know you are interested in a fairly simple project. So, I recommend that you follow the instructions below and save the HARD work for the ants!
• Small aquarium and a smaller container to take up un-needed center space
• Sand and/or garden dirt
• Construction paper
• Scotch tape
• Cotton balls
• ANTS! (large black ants work best)
First, you need to locate an ant farm in your backyard. With the shovel, gently dig up the area, which seems to have the highest ant population. Look for queen ants with wings and larvae, if possible. Transfer soil and ants into bucket.
Place the small container in center of the aquarium. It should take up all space except one inch around all sides. (This forces the ants to build against the glass, where they are easily viewable.)
With the funnel add the soil and smaller worker ants to the space between the containers. Next, add the larger ants, queen ants and larvae.
Once the ants are in their new home, tightly cover the aquarium. Make air holes, smaller than the ants.
Make a construction paper cover to place over the aquarium. This will make the ants feel as though they are underground. To view ants, simply remove the cover.
Feed the ants small bits of honey, sugar, tiny pieces of fruit or bread dipped in sugar water. Provide water via a soaked cotton ball, every other day. And just plain enjoy the new farm full of ants!
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