Ant farms are a great gift idea for children, and if you have not yet indulged your children with an ant farm then they are missing out on a great educational opportunity that you should indulge them in.
Ants have been tunnelling and digging through the dirt for the past 100 million years. At some point during this time someone had the idea to capture the ants and put them into a smaller environment where they can be watched and observed.
The technical name for an ant farm is a vivarium; which is simply the enclosed structure that ants are placed into so that they can be observed. The very first ant farm was actually sold in 1929 by Frank Austin the inventor and to make them more interesting to children he included wooden scenes filled with farms and palaces above the ground level.
The most famous ant farm without a doubt is the ‘Uncle Milton Ant Farm’ which has sold more than 20 million ant farms since it was created in 1956. Today Uncle Milton also still owns the ‘ant farm’ brand name.
Soil, sand, and sawdust are all materials that used to be placed in ant farms traditionally, but lately a new semi-transparent gel that was created by NASA is used since it offers the ants moisture, nutrition, and nesting areas.
The most popular ants that are used in the farms are harvester ants since they harvest the grass to build mounds and can be very interesting to watch. The farms are a great idea to give to children since they can literally watch the ants for hours.
While watching they will also get the chance to learn about the environment that is living around them. Given the fact that ant farms are also a novelty it is something that any child will love to have so that they can show it off to their family and friends.