Ant Observation: A Simple Science Activity

Ant Observation: A Simple Science Activity

If you have ever had a picnic in the park or opened the pantry to some unexpected visitors, you would know ants LOVE our food! During bug week in my classroom, we conducted a simple ant observation to find out what food they like to eat the most. The setup was easy and the kids loved putting on their scientist hats and observing their tiny friends! 

preschool ant observation

Setting Up the Ant Observation 

Setting up your Ant Observation is a pretty simple two step process. First, I found a safe spot outside where the kids wouldn’t trample our setup. I printed and laminated the “Ant Observation” sign, which is found in my Bug Week Weekly Curriculum, and put it up. 

ant observations preschool activity

Then, I pulled out my dollar store paint pallet and filled it with the following items:

  • Honey
  • Cereal
  • Popcorn
  • Orange Slices
  • Candy
  • Carrots
  • Apple Slices
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese 
  • Chocolate

ant observations preschool activity

I let the kids take turns putting the food on the tray and making guesses about what they thought the ants would like to eat the most. 

Ant Observations

After we set up our ant observation station in the morning, we went about our normal activities, and the kids would periodically run over to check if any ants had arrived. It was so cute hearing their excitement every time they spotted a new ant!

They were so protective of their little ant friends and kept reminding each other not to touch them or the food. 

preschool ant observation

Once we had a decent amount of ants congregating, I gave the kids each a coloring sheet that had pictures of all of the food items on it. They used the "What Do Ants Eat?" sheet to record their observations by coloring in the foods they saw ants eating.

preschool ant observation

Extending the Ant Observation Activity 

If you are looking to extend the observation activity further, you can have students rate the different foods from “Ants Did Not Like This”, “Ants Liked It” to “Ants Loved It” on their recording sheet (also found in the Bug Week Lesson Plans). 

preschool ant observations

There were lots of great discussions that came from this activity, such as why we thought the ants liked certain foods more than others. This was a great opportunity to revisit our taste vocabulary words from our 5 senses week

Why I Love Ant Observations 

I love doing this ant observation activity with my kiddos for so many reasons! It is such a fun activity as we move from our winter holidays and activities into spring. 

preschool ant observationAnother reason the ant observation activity is popular is we get to be outside! Kids thrive in the outdoors, so I love being able to move our classroom into nature whenever possible. Our little ones are shown how much they can learn just by observing the world around them. 

This simple science activity is great for all age groups, even your littlest learners will love watching the ants and predicting what they will love to eat the most! It's easy to set up and the kids will be engaged all day checking on their experiment. 

preschool ant observations

If you are looking for more activities for your bug unit, check out my Bug Week lesson plans for five days of book recommendations, hands-on activities, and more. 

If you are looking for more ideas or to share what you are doing in your classroom, we would love to have you in our Facebook community. It's a place where teachers and parents can share ideas, ask questions, and connect on all things preschool! 

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