The ant farm is a truly enjoyable and educational part of childhood. I spent many spellbound hours watching my busy ants at work. In fact, I think the ant farm my brother bought me for my birthday in part, molded the person I am today. It was also the first time the concept of work ethic became part of my everyday thought process. Keep in mind the alien ant farm is quite different than a ant farm.
One reason is that my brother hid the ant farm in my bedroom. It had been so messy I never even noticed it. Then on my birthday he told me my birthday present had been hidden in my bedroom the entire time. After I found my present we set down together to read the directions. It came with a little certificate to purchase the ants through the mail.
We set up the ant farm carefully following the instructions verbatim while waiting for the ants to arrive in the mail. I was so excited the day the ants arrived. We finalized the preparation of the ant farm and gently placed the ants in the farm.
It didnít take them long to get to work. Soon there were tunnels leading all over the place. I grew more fascinated by the day and was soon checking books out of the library. Slowly I began to change. My bedroom was not quite neat as a pin but was at least organized. I had already developed a love and respect for animals and my ant farm made this respect more substantial and fulfilling.
The first time an ant died I was amazed to watch an ant pick up the dead ant and moved the ant to an evidently preselected burial ground. I learned that death was a reality. As many children and young people I perceived life as forever Ė as immortal. I learned that I was vulnerable and valued safety just a bit more.
I learned about the social order of the ant colony. Though a queen isnít provided with the farm I learned of the different castes; soldier, messenger, and larvae attendant. How hard those ants worked. That is what impressed me the most. Ants are an amazing insect. Here are ant pictures for you to enjoy.
Black ants thank you to copyright-free-pictures.org.uk for the beautiful ant pictures.
The ant farm must be kept out of extreme temperatures. It canít be in direct sunlight. It canít get to warm or too cold. The ants will died quickly if they arenít kept at a comfortable temperature. Donít allow anyone to pick up the ant farm it will cave in the tunnels and again, the ants could die.
The ant farm is a great way to encourage standards, principles, and lifeís ethics. Ant farms are a gentle manner of introducing the concept of death and mortality. I frankly think children should experience an ant farm at least once in their lives. A child should never be denied this simple and inexpensive way to experience science in the making, to appreciate and to value life, to understand what can be accomplished if we work hard toward our goals, and to realized life is not forever.
The ant farm is also a wonderful conversation starter, especially in the office environment. Just make sure to put up a sign donít touch or move the ant farm! However, combining alien ant farm with ant farms is a good conversation starter is you wing it just right.
My two-year old granddaughter has a book about trees. There is a picture of a worm on one of the pages. This book is way above her level but she will listen to the entire book just to hear the part about the worm. We play with play dough she makes worms. She tells me about oak trees, redwood trees, seeds, roots, sunlight, and so many more things she has learned from this book. Never under estimate a child. Add books to your library and include more science in your childís life. My children were never without a microscope, a stethoscope, telescope, and many other items to nourish their need to learn and to acquire knowledge and to fulfill their natural curiosity.
Adults have held on to the fascination of ants farms developing into fascinating hobbies. An ant terrarium is called formicaries or formicarium where adults and kids raise full-blown ant colonies.
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Ant Shop Ė Ant Farms and Books
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Sorry, no alien ant farm
Uncle Milton Uncle Milton Giant Ant Farm
Close-up of tunnels
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