Ant keeping with kids

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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gaet59
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:27 am

Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 48863Post gaet59
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:35 am

Hello,

I have always been fascinated by ants and I stumbled across AC's youtube videos which are awesome!

I was wondering what you think would be the right age to start up a colony with a kid, learning along with them. My kid is about three and she already loves watching ants roaming around our house and outside. So I was thinking that while it will be too early to understand it all it could be fun for her to start taking care of them with me and seeing the colony expand. In one of the video they say that easy species are rather slow to develop which would be perfect.

Have you guys had any experience with kids ?
What are your recommendations ?

Thanks!

AntnoobSG
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:33 am
Location: singapore

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 48864Post AntnoobSG
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:09 am

do not give stinging species
Keeper of :
Camponotus albosparsus x2 :o
Camponotus Irritans ;)
Hoping for pheidole colony :D

gaet59
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:27 am

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 48865Post gaet59
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:21 am

haha agreed, the youtube channels mentions two species (I'd have to find it back) that are harmless and slow developing :-)

AntsDakota
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 49255Post AntsDakota
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:08 pm

gaet59 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:35 am
Hello,

I have always been fascinated by ants and I stumbled across AC's youtube videos which are awesome!

I was wondering what you think would be the right age to start up a colony with a kid, learning along with them. My kid is about three and she already loves watching ants roaming around our house and outside. So I was thinking that while it will be too early to understand it all it could be fun for her to start taking care of them with me and seeing the colony expand. In one of the video they say that easy species are rather slow to develop which would be perfect.

Have you guys had any experience with kids ?
What are your recommendations ?

Thanks!
Start up a colony now and watch it grow. An ant colony usually lives from ten to twenty years so it will always be there, even maybe when she leaves for college.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

Hunter36o
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:57 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 49353Post Hunter36o
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:05 am

Where are you from, would help narrow down what ants are available to you following laws and from the list we can tell you the easiest.

For Europe we have Lasius Niger (black garden ants) they are hardy, not to fast but not slow at growing and are considered our most basic ant for keeping and ideal for beginners.

I know America has Lasius neonigers but I honestly do not know how close to L. Niger they are for care. Someone from America with experience would have to tell you that one.
Officially caring for 4 Lasius colonies :D :D :D

Founding stage:
11x Lasius Niger
1x Myrmica Rubra
1x Myrmica ??

Hunter36o
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:57 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 49354Post Hunter36o
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:06 am

Also as far as I am aware L. Niger hold the record for number of years a single colony (in captivity) has survived. 29 years.
Officially caring for 4 Lasius colonies :D :D :D

Founding stage:
11x Lasius Niger
1x Myrmica Rubra
1x Myrmica ??

oOFutteOo
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 2:45 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 49361Post oOFutteOo
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:02 am

My youngest are 7 years and he were afraid of creepy crawlers, including ants. So i thought it would help him to see and learn about ants. We found some ant mounts in our garden and started looking for queens, in the beginning he kept som distance but soon his nose were close to the ground as he squatted just above the entrances to see the adlets moving around and the queen just inside. a coupel of month later he helps feeding the ants and lets the crawl on his fingers. My daughter is 11 years and find them interesting and ask about their life and how they live.
Long story short kids benefit greatly by caring and keeping animals, but you should never get a pet as a parent unless you want to take care of it your self ;)
And they will learn different things at different times.
PS. check out the GAN program to see if there are some ants available in your country/area

gaet59
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:27 am

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 51473Post gaet59
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:07 pm

Thank you all for your inputs, I leave in Quebec, I'll start my learning curve seeing what's around, how to get a queen and all that. I just wanted to have an idea about how young I can/should start.
I do know that I would have to take care of them more than my kid but it doesn't bother me, it's always been something I wanted to try out.

Thanks again!

oOFutteOo
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 2:45 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 51479Post oOFutteOo
Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:56 am

It is not that you have to take care of them the kids might do all the "work" but it is more of a philosophy of mine, my daughter goes horseback riding 2 times a week and i spend a lot of time in cold stabels cleaning boxes preparing food for the horces, but we have a grate time becorse i like horses and occasional get to ride my self. But i see a lot of parent giving their kids pets and saying that the kid have to take care of it. Then the kid loos interest for some reason and it will become a conflict and i worst case the pet get neglected.
I'm not writing this to raise a finger or any thing it is just advice and it seams you are all in to the hobby yourself ;) so i think you will have a grate time with your kids and the ants.
I my opinion the most importent thing is do stuff with your kids not for your kids.
Wow that got deep fast :D

gaet59
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:27 am

Re: Ant keeping with kids

Post: # 51583Post gaet59
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm with you on this, the idea is to do it (and learn) together for the whole experience, rather than me knowing-it-all and teaching. It's going to be an experience we share, hence my question about the age ;-)
Or maybe she wouldn't like it and it would be fine too!

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