These are our top picks for fun science gifts. Explore our fascinating and wonderful world!
Hello, fellow myrmecologists! Are you ready to study ants?
Ants are fascinating to observe, but there’s only so much of an ant’s life you can see on the ground. To take you to the underground life of an ant, try an ant farm.
We tried out the Giant Ant Farm. It’s so large, making it perfectÂ for more than one child to observe ants, whether at home or in a classroom.
This is what came in the box:
There are cotton puffs blocking the holes so the sand won’t fall into the top area.
Next, add water to the farm:
The farm is nearly ready! The harvester ants, feeling air coming through the sponge, are futilely trying to escape.
Finally, push down the cotton puffs to allow access to the sand and to give the ants some tunnel starters.
Before opening your package of ants, put them in the fridge for 15 minutes. (NOT the freezer!) This slows them down so you don’t have a stampede.
To put the ants in the farm, nudge one gently with the straw. It will grab onto the straw.
And put it into the farm. You may need to encourage it to grab onto the plastic shapes in the farm.
When the ants are in, close up the lid and let loose your miniÂ myrmecologists.
Ants are wholly fascinating creatures. But before we dive into the details, let’s look at a few important facts about ants: ant genders and roles, species, and social behaviors.
There are 3 types of ants: males, fertile females, and sterile females.
Fertile females are queens and have wings. Their job is to lay eggs.Â Queen ants are not dictators. They lay eggs but do not manage or direct the work of the colony. In fact, there is no one ant or one type of ant centrally controlling the colony. Individual ants make decisions on what to do.
Sterile females are workers or soldiers. Most of the ants you see out and about are sterile females.
Males mate with queens, then die.
There are over 12,000 species of ants that have been classified. Ants show an incredible diversity in species, from tiny ordinary ants out on your sidewalk to army ants marching across Africa.
All ants live in colonies, which range from a few dozen ants to millions.
Watching ants work together is fascinating for children and adults. People who study ants are called myrmecologists.
This roundup of resources may help you teach the butterfly life cycle, whether youâ€™re in a classroom, in a homeschool, or encouraging your childâ€™s interests.
Butterfly Student Kit. Hands-on is the best way to learn and this particular activity is absolutely fascinating.
Monarch Butterfly Manual, with lesson plans and activities for K-12 students.