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Ant Farm Observations
Bring in an ant farm as a preschool ant activity for your students to observe. Place it in the science center and provide hand lenses for the children to use to get a close look at the ants. Also provide paper and crayons so that they can draw pictures of what they see. After all of the children have had a chance to observe the ants, bring the class together and make a list of their observations about the ants. If you don't have access to an ant farm, here are some other ideas on bringing a few ants into your classroom.
Are you an Ant? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries is a great nonfiction book to go along with this ant activity.
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Crickwing by Janell Cannon is a charming story about an injured cockroach that after being teased and picked on by other animals in the jungle, decides to take out his frustrations by bullying a group of leafcutter ants. The ants end up helping him and teaching him an important lesson along the way. This book will introduce your preschoolers to some of the jobs of ants like the worker ants and the queen, as well as two types of ants, leafcutter and army ants.
Read and discuss the story with your class and then let them draw a picture of their favorite part to share. You can also let them "play with their food" the way Crickwing does in the story by making ants on a log for a special snack. Just spread some peanut butter onto a fat pretzel rod and add a few raisins for the ants. Preschoolers will love making art out of their snack.
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Teach your preschoolers how to make their own fingerprint ants with this easy art activity. Give each child a large unlined index card and a black ink pad and show the class how to line up three fingerprints to make an ants body. Then let them draw six legs, and two antennae on the bodies to make their ants. Let them make several ants on their cards and then draw in a background if they want. This is a great activity to use when you are teaching preschoolers about the parts of an ant.
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Ants have become famous for marching into picnics and stealing food. Let your preschoolers make their own ant picnics in this fun ant activity. Give each child a paper plate and a magazine or grocery store ad. Then have them cut out some pictures of foods that they would like to take on a picnic and glue them onto the plate. When the glue is dry have the children use a black markers to draw ants on their picnic lunches. I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince is a great book to go along with this activity. Your preschoolers will love this funny, rhyming story about an ant wandering down a railroad track in search of a snack. For a fun dramatic play activity to go along with this craft, the children can pretend that they are ants at a picnic.