Activity Introduction

Quick summary: The aim of this activity is to encourage children to think more deeply about ants, and in particular the ants in the yard at your centre. All children will observe the types of food that ants like by laying a plate of food outside for the ants and observing which types of food are the most popular. Younger children will then participate in an ant parade around the yard, while older children will create their own ant trail and create an ant restaurant. It is hoped that children will have a greater appreciation of how even the smallest of animals – such as ants – are involved with the daily actives of finding food and water.

This activity is designed to help connect children to the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning.

EYLF Learning Outcome


Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

3. Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Outcome 4: Children are involved and confident learners

1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

Equipment needed: 

  • All ages: a range of food items, such as salt, cheese, bread, honey, sugar, tea leaves, curry powder, milk and peanut butter. You will only need a small amount of each item. Lay these items out on a plate.
  • Ages – 2 to 3: Ant antenna template or pipe cleaners, scissors, sticky tape or glue, string to tie antenna onto head.
  • Ages – 3 to 5: Ants template, scissors, coloured pencils (optional).

Other resources:

Cool Australia Presents Biodiversity from Cool Australia on Vimeo.


The team at Cool Australia continually reviews and refines our Early Learning resources in line with expert advice and current educational practices.


Teacher Worksheet

Background information:

Content information: It’s about as easy to overlook ants as it is to step on them. Until they give you a nip that is. But these little critters are pretty impressive:

  • There are an estimated 22,000 species of ant although only just over half of them have been classified;
  • There is approximately 1 million ants for every 1 human;
  • They’ve been around for up to 130 million years;
  • They live in colonies, some made up of only a handful of individuals while others can be highly organised, covering large territories and containing millions of individuals;
  • They have colonised almost every landmass on Earth, with the exception of Antarctica and a couple of other inhospitable islands;
  • In some places they make up between 15 and 25% of the total number of animals;
  • Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals and an ability to solve complex problems (much like human societies!);
  • Most ant species have a system in which only the queen
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