Make Your Own Ant Farm

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In this outdoor/indoor activity, learners collect ants and dirt to create an ant farm in a cup that they can observe over time. Learners feed and water their ants and watch as the ants work together to build a nest of tunnels. This activity can be used for lessons on insects, animal homes, or underground life.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • small, clear plastic cup or container with a fitted lid
  • needle or pushpin
  • dirt with live ants
  • stick
  • shallow pan
  • water
  • water dropper or spoon
  • small amount of birdseed, leaves or bread crumbs


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 2007