Mason Jar Ant Farm

by Nathan Taylor | Oct 1, 2023 | 0 comments

ants with egg cases
Photo © Jordan Roper/

Supplies Needed:

  • Large mason jar with lid
  • Small mason jar with lid (small enough to fit
  • into the larger one)
  • Dirt
  • Sand
  • Drill with ⅛” drill bit
  • Piece of cloth
  • Ants

Have you ever wanted to watch the behaviors of ants from the comfort of your own living room? This fun, but easy project will let you.


  1. First, drill some holes into the large mason jar lid.
  2. Place the smaller jar with the lid tightly on into the larger jar. This forces the ants to tunnel on the outer sides of the jar, so you can see the tunnels.
  3. With the sand and dirt, make a mixture with two parts dirt, one part sand. Use less sand if your dirt is naturally sandy. This mixture will stay moist and will allow the ants to tunnel easily.
  4. Pour the mixture into the space between the large jar and the small one, leaving an inch or so of space at the top for air circulation. Don’t pack the mixture down, or it will be tough for the ants to move around.
  5. Now for the ants! You can either buy, or hunt for them yourself. Twenty will be a good start. When you have them, put them carefully into the jar. It is best to do this outside in case one escapes. To seal them in, put the piece of cloth over the mouth of the jar, and screw the lid on. You have now successfully built an ant farm!

Feed them once a week with a few drops of sugar water, honey, jelly, or jam. Experiment with what your colony likes best! Put one drop of honey and one drop of jelly, and see which one they go to first!

When you aren’t observing them, cover the jar with a towel or blanket because ants like to tunnel in the dark. Have fun with your new mason jar ant farm!

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