Red wood ants busy at work

Learn About Ants For Kids

Red wood ants busy at work

Adults don’t like ants too much when they come in the kitchen, and they may seem like scary pests to some children, but these insects are actually an important part of our world. Here’s a chance for you to learn about ants for kids so you can be prepared to share all the wonderful ways ants are helpful.

Learn About Ants For Kids

How Do Ants Help The Earth

Ants help the earth in many ways. Here are just a few of the ways they  are helpful.

  • ants keep ecosystems balanced by consuming plants, dead animals, and other insects
  • they bringing air into soil and turning it over by digging tunnels through it
  • ants spread seeds

Learning About Ants

Take your child out on a nature walk to observe ants and learn more about these creatures.

What you need:

  • A place to walk where ants may be found
  • A notebook and a set of colored pencils.

Ant Cities (Lets Read and Find Out Books) (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)Ant Cities (Lets Read and Find Out Books) (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) What you do:

  • Find some ants to observe. Ant colonies are often located under rocks or logs (especially rotting ones). You can also sprinkle crumbs on dirt, wait to see if any ants come to collect them, and then follow the ants back to their home.
  • Tell your child that Beatrix Potter loved studying and sketching plants and animals to learn about them. Have your child take notes and draw pictures of what he or she observes while watching the ants. Suggest that your child try to identify different kinds of ants, what their bodies look like, and what kinds of jobs they do.
  • Some ants have painful stings, so be careful not to get any ants on you!

What you can talk about:

  • In general, the three types of ants are the queen (who lays eggs), the males (who help the queen make eggs), and the female workers (who do work such as catching and scavenging food, taking care of the queen, caring for flocks of aphids, or building and maintaining the colony’s nest). Discuss these types with your child and try to identify examples of each.
  • Ants can do lots of amazing things, such as lift objects many times heavier than themselves and use pheromones to indicate the way to food and water. Have your child try to identify examples of these and other interesting feats.

For more detailed information about the jobs different ants do, you can read Ant Cities by Arthur Dorros.

Now that your child knows about ants, you might want to teach them about anteaters.

Ants Coloring Page

Printable ants coloring page

Children’s Books About Ants

Help your child learn more about ants from these beautiful, colorful books about ants.

The Life and Times of the AntThe Life and Times of the AntHey, Little AntHey, Little AntAre You an Ant? (Backyard Books)Are You an Ant? (Backyard Books)

Learn About Ants For Kids and a printable ants coloring page

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