The youngsters in your life – and perhaps you, too – will get an intriguing look into the wonderful world of ants with Education Insight GeoSafari Ant Factory. The ant farm from Education Insight provides exceptional interactive "play value" and plenty of educational tools so children and adults can learn more about ants, ecosystems and science.
Included with the actual materials for the farm is an excellent 24-page manual that you, a teacher or a child can use to learn about ants, their food and water needs, their life cycles, and their overall daily work. The manual also includes information on ant anatomy, reproduction, overall life and activities, the hierarchy of colonies and the roles different ants play within them, and much more.
With this type of ant habitat, you fill the product with sand, which provides the extra benefit that you can re-use the product. All you need to do (or have the children do) is clean it out, add fresh sand, put in more live ants and voila! You have a new ant colony that, if all goes as planned, will begin tunneling away with all the ants toiling at their respective tasks.
This cool ant farm provides exceptional play value. In other words, children need to have hands-on involvement in making sure the ants stay alive. Kids can do this by feeding their ant colony with crumbs of food, adding drops of water for hydration and – this is not for the squeamish – removing dead ants that are consigned by colony workers to what amounts to an ant graveyard.
You also get a number of other tools to assist in studying the ants. For example, your young scientist could try an experiment to see what ants prefer to eat by simultaneously presenting them with small chunks of honey-covered bread and dog food. The manual directs you to watch carefully to see what the ants go for initially, how they use their antennae as they search for food and which item they end up carrying off and chowing down.
This colorful ant farm, which uses a trademarked type of sand called SugarCement Sand, provides a habitat that is much like what you would find in nature for ants to burrow their tunnels, build bridges, eat food and consume fluids, and generally go about their daily lives.
When you buy this ant farm, the price includes the first batch of ants; although, they do not come with the kit and the manufacturer does not sell them. Instead, you get a mail-in certificate to get harvester ants from a third-party company. You do have to pay for shipping and handling.
The GeoSafari is not a gel-filled kit, so there are no LED lights or replacement lights available, and of course, you will not be buying any refill gel. You do not get a magnifying glass or zoom lens with this kit. Since the ants in this environment are not eating the gel that comes with gel-filled ant farms, children must add food, typically a crumb or two at a time. They also need to provide water and can do so with a water dropper that you receive with the kit.