Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Down on the Farm

We are the proud owners of an ant farm. Booster received one for her birthday way back last summer. It took me awhile to reconcile myself to keeping ants, which under other circumstances we would seek to kill if they were in the house. By the time I got organized enough to order the ants, it was way too cold for the company to ship them.

So seemingly out of the blue, we received a small, test tube shape container full of ants last week. Excitement! Both girls were dying to get a look at the corps of ants crawling around in this very small container (I can't imagine what the ants were thinking during their journey, crawling over one another and nibbling on a little green food pellet.)

Since it was spring break, Montessori Papa happened to be home. This was a good opportunity to see our two styles in action. I like to read directions and plan out a course of action. He likes to experience the intensity of the moment. I had Booster place the ants in the fridge as the directions indicated and was prepared to wait the full 15 minutes for the ants to became placid and easy to work with. Montessori Papa was raring to go so we actually only waited a few minutes before our ants were out of the shoot and racing all over our coffee table. Quick as a jackrabbit, Montessori Papa was scooping up ants as we all tried to shepherd them into their habitat.

Happily, all ants were found and only one was lost due to his injuries.

Both girls have been fascinated with the ants, and we've had many questions, some answers and lots of observation time. The great thing about ants from a teacher's perspective is that they very clearly illustrate the three body part areas of an insect (head, thorax and abdomen). They're a good examplar of an insect.

More ant education will be coming to our house as the questions must turn to research at the local library. We can't resist; we have absolutely no self control at that place.
This post is written in honor of Why Mommy of Toddler Planet with great admiration for her love of science and learning, always questioning, always seeking to understand.


  1. I love ant farms! I even had one going in college. I have plans to make a souped-up version of the traditional green any farm in the fall for M. (okay, really it is for me), including tubes and extra chambers all over the living room. One of my tasks this summer is to make a new ant aspirator so I can catch them in the wild. I don't think the little guys would survive the ocean crossing in the mail.

    Have fun with your ants!

  2. AAAA!!! Ants on the coffee table!!!! AAAAA!!!!

  3. What Joeymom said! EEK! Best of luck to your ants, though!

  4. Don't tell your girls but I've killed a lot of ants lately. Sh-h-h! But when I was a kid, I would have LOVED and ant farm! Mom said no.

  5. Oh, man. Ant farms. I LOVE ant farms. Unfortunately, I am really bad at keeping the ants within them alive. Have fun with yours!!

    Thanks so much for taking part in the science fair!

  6. I have never had an ant farm -- I can't wait to read (or hear) more about this one! I totally can see Montessori Papa scrambling to get them all back in the habitat as they run away!

    You're so good at trying new things!