Ant Motel

Ants are busy little creatures. You may not want them stealing your food at your picnic, but here's a way to watch them work in their own little home.

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration:
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Ants in soil
  • Dark construction paper
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Little bits of fruit
  • Two glass jars (One must be skinny like an olive jar and fit inside the bigger jar such as a pickle jar.)
  • Hammer and nail
  • Sand
  • Scissors
  • Small piece of sponge
  • A spoon
  • Sugar water
  • Tape
Collect Ants

Collect some ants in soil/dirt from outside.

Prepare the Glass Jars

Put the lid on the smaller jar and place it inside the bigger one. (This will help keep ants near the outer edge where you can watch them work.)

Fill the Jars

Fill the space between the two jars about halfway full with ants and soil.

Add Sand to the Jars

Now fill the top half with sand and mix with the soil. It doesn't need to be mixed completely.

Put on the Sponge on Top

Put the sponge wet with sugar water and the bits of fruit on top. Place the lid on the big jar tightly.

Make Air Holes

Use the hammer and nails to make some small air holes so that the ants can breathe.

Cover Jar with Construction Paper

With the construction paper, make a cone shaped roof and a cylinder shaped covering for the jar. Decorate these with crayons or colored pencils. The dark construction paper keeps the ants' house dark like their natural home underground.


Check on Your Ants

Check on your ants every few days to see how much work they have been doing. You will see them making tunnels to the top to get at the sweet water and fruit.

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