How to Build an Ant Farm

An ant farm can be fascinating to watch, especially for children. Although some pet stores sell ant farms, building one is an easy project. All you need for this project are things most people have at home [source: Hoffman]. Here's how to build your own ant farm.

Materials needed:


  • Two clear plastic CD cases
  • Sieve
  • 3 cups of dry soil, from the area where ants were collected
  • Container for sifted soil
  • Knife to cut plastic
  • Clear packing tape
  • Spoon
  • Eyedropper
  • Strong clear tape
  • Black construction paper

Here's what to do:

  1. Set aside the plastic moldings from the CD cases.
  2. Make a slit on the spine of one of the CD cases.
  3. Make a similar slit on the bottom of the second CD case. This will be the top of your ant farm.
  4. Make a T-shape with the two cases, lining up the slits that you made.
  5. Slide the paper into the bottom CD case, which is the lower part of the T-shape. It's fine if some paper sticks out of the CD case. The paper will block out the light so the ants feel as though they're underground.
  6. Tape up any tiny holes there may be in the lower CD case. Leave open the hole that you made.
  7. Pass 3 cups of soil through the sieve, into the container. You will have about a ½ cup of sifted soil.
  8. Spoon sieved soil into the lower CD case, by putting it into the slit you made. Use the spoon for this step.
  9. Tape the lower CD case to one of the plastic moldings from the original CD cases, with the strong clear tape. The case should stand upright on the molding base.
  10. Align the two slits you made and tape the top CD case to the lower CD case. The cover of the top CD case should be facing up.
  11. Tape the second plastic molding to the top CD case to seal up any additional openings.
  12. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the ant farm, using a dropper. Add the water through the slits that you made and lined up in the two cases.
  13. Open the top CD case and put the ants in the case. Shut the lid so the ants don't escape [source: Clark]. //]]]]> ]]>