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Although Skip likes lettuce for lunch, he knows that ants might have other favorites. But what? He’s created an experiment to find out. Want to do it too?

Ant picnic plate diagram

What you need

  • Plate
  • Pen
  • Six different foods (lettuce, sugar, crackers crumbs, crumbled cheese, banana, peanut butter, for example)

Ants marching

What you do

  1. Divide the plate into six sections by drawing three lines that create a “six-pieced pie.”

  2. Have your child set it outside on a warm day in a spot where you’ve seen ants.

  3. Tell him or her to put a different food in each section of the plate.

  4. The ants will find their picnic. But how long will it take? Keep checking back throughout the day. Once they’ve discovered their good luck, start watching what they do.

  5. Ask your child: Which foods do they like best? How do you know? Are they eating the food now? If so, how do they seem to eat it? What do they do with food that’s hard to handle?

  6. You and your child can also follow the ants from the plate back to their mound. Ask your child how they carry the food back home. Once you find the mound, have your child imagine what lies below their front door.

More fun ant facts to share!

  • Ants have strong legs and can run very quickly. If we could run as fast as ants can (for our size), we’d run as fast as a horse.

  • Ants have two stomachs. One stores the food the ant uses. The other is for food the ant will share with the other workers at home.

  • Some ants drop pebbles down other colonies' holes to keep those ants from getting nearby food.


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