For Christmas my son got this really cool ant habitat from my brother and his wife, they're a super cool aunt and uncle because 1)they have no kids so they always get the kids things that "typical parents" wouldn't get and 2) because they are Nicholas' godparents and that pretty much makes them awesome. Typically a present that you have to order live animals in the mail would piss me off but this was really cool and Luis and I were just as excited about it as Nicholas was.
Anyway, apparently this is some amazing gel developed by NASA (you hear that Gin? NASA. Is this what you do all day, play with ants?) that has all the nutrients and water that ants need and its clear so you can see all the neat-o tunnels they build.
When you open it up it's pretty unremarkable, it just looks like a odd shaped tub of goo but it starts to get cool when the ants arrive. Those are the ants below.
We ordered the harvester ants because they're larger which makes them easier to see. After a few days in a test tube in the mail these babies are active too. I was going to have Nicholas dump them in the container but he refused saying the ants might kill him so I did the deed and man, was I glad I did. Those suckers are fast and wanted to get the heck out of that tube, I barely made it out alive...okay, I very easily made it out alive but this post needed some adventure.
The booklet that comes with the habitat says to allow 24-48 hours for the ants to start tunneling, at this point they're just eating I think (at least that's what it looks like). The coolest part is that it comes with this super magnifying glass that you can see all the little hairs on the ants and their creepy little faces, Nicholas loves it.
The kids are so in awe of this thing that they asked to eat their snack with it.
This is such a neat gift and really educational for the whole family. I wanted to share with everyone because I know sometimes as a parent you get stuck when trying to get a gift for a child or when you're looking for something fun and educational for your kids and I really think this is a great idea, even if it is a hassle to order ants in the mail.
I'll be sure to post some pictures after a few days to show you how the ants are tunneling (because I know you're as riveted as I am...what? I really am).