My children love bugs, if they find them in the house or the garden they always want to keep them as pets which of course isn’t ideal and they can never understand why that pet spider is sadly dead by the time they wake up the next day – a matchbox doesn’t make a great home, especially without air holes.
They have recently been sent an Ant World from Interplay to review which of course they were over the moon with and so was I as it meant I at least knew where the bugs were housed – safely where they couldn’t escape.
In the kit is:
Plastic ant house
connectable magnifying bowl
You will need to collect your own ants or you can buy them direct from interplay here.
To set up you place the plastic ant house into the surrounding frame, leaving one side off as you will tip the sand into the hole left here (it is advised you mix the sand with soil which has been sifted). Once the sand/soil mix in in the tank you need to use the stoppers to block the holes. Dampen the soil using the pipette by opening the top hole and make sure you close again after or the ants will escape. We found adding the sand/soil mix was rather messy – they do show in the instructions it being poured directly in from the bag it comes in (just cut off a small corner) but Emmy wanted to mix it properly with her soil so we added it all to a bowl with soil, stirred and added with a spoon – messy but the kids enjoyed it.
With your ants inside the connectable bowl, fix the plastic tubing to the bowl and fix the other end of the tube to the tank.
It will take up to a week but the ants will travel from the bowl to their new home, once all safely inside you can remove the tubing and place on the stopper. Put on the shades so the ants can make their tunnels in peace – after all this part is usually underground so they are used to the part – you can uncover again to watch them working.
After just a few days you will see the tunnels they have created in their new home. Keep the soil moist by watering it using the pipette and then after about a week you can week your ants by placing small amounts of food in the connectable bowl and connecting once again the tank using the pipe.
Emmy and Harry have loved watching the ants make the tunnels, watering them – the ants go a little bonkers when you add the water and run around even faster, and of course they have loved watching them go up and down the pipe carrying the food into the tank.
This is such a great way of introducing bugs to children as they can see what they do in their natural habitats and for parents it is also fascinating but means you don’t have ants running all over your house (unless they take the stoppers off – yes Harry has done this!). I have found that the sides of this frame don’t slot down completely so somewhere (I have no idea where) there is a tiny gap and every so often I have found an ant running free so have had to add it back into the tank.
Priced at just £14.99 for the ant world and £3 for the ants (of course you can collect your own which children would love to do).
Disclaimer: We received this item in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.