Investigating Ants

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This post is sponsored by Safari LTD – check them out for all your science projects! 

It’s summertime, which means most days, my kids are outside from the point where they finish their chores until the street lights come on at night. I’ve told the kids that we are “off” of school for the summer, but luckily for me, they *love* science and don’t mind exploring outside and learning more about nature and the world around them.

This week, poor Emmy got a few gnarly fire ant bites on her foot while playing outside. After the (expected) fit she threw, we decided maybe it would be fun to learn more about ants, so we could see them as the cool creatures they are, rather than the biting monsters she made them out to be.

We found a really cool giant ant hill at the neighbor’s house and then asked Daddy to help us catch a few of the little guys (since no one else wanted to get bit today) in our new magnifying bug jar. These particular ants are the tiny, black, harmless variety, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in our neck of the woods!

Once we got them in the house, the kids spent a long time watching them move back and forth in the jar. They took turns using the magnifying glass and looking at the top of the jar to see what the ants were up to.

We ended up with more than one type of ant- we decided that we had a soldier ant and a worker ant in the jar due to their different sizes and head shapes.

We talked about ant anatomy and checked out our model ant to practice labeling the ant’s body parts.

And then Bug read to us about the life cycle of ants from our Safari model set. The kids loved being able to get their hands on large versions of eggs, larva, pupa and adult ants.

Once we finished learning as a group, I sent Bug off with our newest interactive notebook to do a little more research about ants.

Some websites to learn more:

National Geographic Ants

Pest World for Kids – Ants Guide

Magic School Bus Ants in Your Pants

Ask a Biologist – Ant Colonies

Ant Family

The Ant Interactive Notebook is two finished pages and includes:

Ant Life Cycle
Ant Anatomy
Life in an Ant Hill
Roles of Ants
Leaf Cutters
Ants and Aphids

Get your ant lesson supplies at Safari LTD:

The World’s Best Bug Jar

Mega 10 Magnifier

Life Cycle of an Ant

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