So it's summer and where I live summer means ants. Thank the universe I have been blessed as to not have to do battle with them in my kitchen. However they are all over my front yard and that provides a good opportunity to teach my daughter about them.
Did you know there are more ants than any other animal on earth. Oh yeah. Crazy. They are social and live in colonies. When an ant finds a food she rushes back home, leaving scent trails the whole way. Then all the rest of the ants aer able to follow the trail to the food. How cool is that?
Now for the ant cafe you're going to need:
white paper plates
any food your kids might think ants eat
a large piece of paper
Ok so here's what you do. Have your kids put foods they think the ants will want to eat on the plates then place the plates all over your yard. Just not so close to the house. The ants might think this is an invitation to come on in. Get your journals out and have the kids record the observations, which plate they liked best, where was it located, was it sunny, time of day, kind of weather. Don't forget to ask what kind of food the ants will like best, how the ants know where the food is, why they stay in a line, and what would happen if you rubbed your finger across the line.
After all that you could go on an insect hunt. See if you can find where an insect has been living and eating. Talk to a professional entomologist or a 4-H entomologist.
Ants are pretty cool. Unless they're in my kitchen.