Do your kids love ants? Learn more about the life cycle of ants when making this play dough ant life cycle activity. Play dough can be educational as well as fun and this hands-on life cycle activity is a fun way to introduce life cycles to kids. Kids of all ages will enjoy making their own ants from the play dough.
Recommended Grade Level:
Materials for the Ant Life Cycle Play Dough Activity:
- Paper Plate
- Play Dough
An ant has four segments of life. Egg, larvae, pupae, and ant. Adult ants can be worker ants (female), drone ants (male), or queen ants. Only queen ants will produce eggs.
Ant Life Cycle
Egg: Eggs are tiny and sticky. An egg will remain an egg for up to 14 days.
Larvae: Ants are in the larvae stage for about 24 days. They will grow in size and shed their skin about 3-4 times before becoming a pupae.
Pupae: The pupae stage of an ant is similar to a cocoon, but there isn’t as much of a layer around the body. The ant looks like a waxy, curled up ant, but you can see all its parts. The ant remains in this stage up to 30 days.
Adult: The job and sex of an ant depend on how its fed in most cases. Worker ants (female) are fed regularly when growing. Soldier ants (female) are fed more. Queen ants are fed a lot more. Male ants are only produced when an egg is unfertilized. The queen can determine if one particular egg with be fertilized or not. Most ant colonies have a lot more female ants than male ants. The male ants tend to have shorter lives than the females. Important to note is that even though our queen ant doesn’t have wings, all queen ants and male ants do have wings. The worker and soldier ants do not have wings.
A play dough ant life cycle is super easy and fun to make. Kids will love forming the play dough into the various ant life stages. Most kids will love making the larvae the most, which is gross, and appeals to their interests. The adult ant is a little trickier to make, as she has three body segments, two antenna, and six legs!