Uncle Milton Ant Farm Review: Grown your Own Ant Farm

Editor's rating:
9.3
Nela Cvetanovska
Reviewed by Nela Cvetanovska
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We like

Lightweight and escape-proof design

Stylish habitat with excellent viewing

Superior expansion capabilities

Comes with Ant Watcher’s manual

We don’t like

Doesn’t come with live ants; it comes with a coupon though, which you can use to purchase live ants

How it works

A lot of people don’t like ants. These bugs have a very nasty bite while some can readily swarm you into helpless submission. Some species of ants can have highly toxic substances on their jaws. And while a single ant cannot kill you, just imagine thousands of tiny bites all over your body and, if you happen to be hypersensitive to these particular substances, then you might end up in really serious trouble. But, to think that these creatures are harmful is a gross misunderstanding of their true value especially in the ecosystem.

That is why there are myrmecologists – entomologists who dedicate their lives to understanding the life and meaningful existence of ants – who study these animals intently. Myrmecologists consider the ant colony or society as the most ideal form of social organization. The unity, cooperation, cohesiveness, and camaraderie shown by these animals are worthy of a much closer look. We can always look for an ant hill to study the inner workings of this society. But a better solution is to get an ant farm kit. In this article, we are going to explore one of the market’s current favorites in terms of live ant habitat – Uncle Milton Ant Farm Live Ant Habitat.

Design

Design

The Uncle Milton line of live ant habitats, better known as formicarium or formicary, is specially designed for children ages 6 to 15 years old, although it could very well be a great starter kit for adults as well. Each of the 6 different types of formicarium from Uncle Milton are engineered for expandability, allowing children to really grow their colony by connecting multiple nests so that the lifestyle and behavior of these small creatures can be studied a lot closer. Each habitat is made of an ultra-durable clear acrylic in a unique, fool-proof design intended primarily to prevent any of the forms from escaping.

This way, you can be sure that the ants are there when you need them to so you can study their behavior a lot more closely. The acrylic construction of the casing is preferred to glass as it gives it portability in the form of its lightweight construction. Providing stability to the otherwise lightweight nature of the formic habitat is a tip-proof stand that squarely distributes the weight on all sides so that maximum stability and optimum balance is achieved while the whole structure is kept standing.

The Uncle Milton ant farm kit also comes with four different formic ports which are essentially useful in expanding the colony. For example, you may get the Rainforest Science version of Uncle Milton today and, if your kid loves it, then you will have to buy another variant – you can choose the Vintage, Ant-es Mountains, Light-Up Gel Colony, Giant, and Canyon Science – connect these to the existing habitat. Pretty soon you will have 6 different nests of varying eco themes connected in one continuous colony.

If such is the case, then you have better be mindful of the formic species that you are going to place inside as mixing different species is not necessarily a good idea especially if you’re going to mix an aggressive species to a timid social organization. The point is that Uncle Milton’s formicariums allow you to expand on the colony itself so you’ll get a better chance at understanding the unique social behavior of ants.
Materials

Materials

The Giant Uncle Milton Live Ant farm variant provides the largest viewing glass of its kind enabling you to put in more ants and marvel at how formics actually dig elaborate network of tunnels and mini nests within a large nest. It has a similar silhouette as that of the Vintage except that this one comes with a barn house where formics can work. It comes with an ant habitat with four connecting ant ports, 2 bags of tunneling sand, a tunnel starter tool, ant way connector tube and a guide that will help your little ones build the actual farm. You will also receive an online code that would help you order your live ants which will later on become the official citizen on this whimsical world.

Once the ants arrive, you will be instructed to place them in the fridge for around 15 minutes in order to make them more passive, so they can easily be transferred from the tube to the farm. Make sure you don’t make a deadly mistake and place them in the freezer instead since this will definitely harm the well-being of the little companions. Once they are out of the refrigerator, they should be at the bottom of the tube, all cuddled up together. There is no need for concern If they appear sluggish at first, since they are probably tired and dehydrated from their long exhausting journey through the mail. However, you will soon notice how they will come back to life and continue digging tunnels, building bridges and moving mountains.

Unlike children, ants are not picky eaters and they will eat about anything you give them. The best thing about this type of live farms is that the feeding process is incredibly easy and simple. All you have to do is put tiny bits of food and water directly into the farm and the hardworking champions will soon consume each individual piece.

Like humans, they prefer sweet treats so you might notice how they will stray away from healthy snacks such as carrots or veggies and will go crazy for biscuits and sweet treats. It is quite unfortunate that these little friends don’t live long, so you will have to replace them after a while, however, the farm is quite durable and can withhold many generations of ants to come. All you have to do is order more ants, repeat the whole process and soon before you know it, you have a new ant population in your farm.
Education

Education

Watching ants do their thing can be pretty boring for many individuals. However, if we can only spare them five minutes of our time to really appreciate what they are doing, we can actually learn a thing or two from the highly structured, highly organized social system of ants. And this can actually benefit kids and entire families.

This genuine set truly increases appreciation for engineering works, after all ants are one of Mother Nature’s best engineers. They can dig tunnels regardless of the pressure of the ground above them. They can build miniature pontoons to carry the whole entire colony across flooded plains. They can create superstructures that they call their home. And they don’t even go to school. The fact is that, if there is something we can learn from these remarkable creatures, it will be their ability to create mega colonies underneath the earth’s surface.

The Uncle Milton Live Ant Farm enhances understanding of communication. Maybe you have already noticed how one time you only spot a single ant on your table. Give it a few minutes and you’ll have an army of worker ants carrying morsels of food off your table. While we do not know exactly how they communicate, the mere fact of transmitting information from the source to the receiver is enough proof that communication exists in the ant world. You cannot see any gaps in the communication line since everyone is actually helping achieve the goal.

The complex process of ant farming also encourages comprehension of the idea of cooperation. In line with formics’ ability to communicate and their engineering abilities is their level of cooperation. Every single ant is devoted to the fulfillment of its, being its nature. They cooperate. And while we have been shown children’s movies that tell of ants that do not cooperate with the rest, this is very highly unlikely as formics are genetically programmed to work together cooperatively with others. That’s why they can achieve so much simply because they are working together for the common good.

This captivating habitat undeniably provides a model for a society living in harmony – We know what you will say, we are not ants. Comparing human society to that of ants is purely academic. But there are a lot of things that an ant colony can teach us about living together in perfect harmony. Everyone knows its place in the social order of things and everyone is content on what they have. Unfortunately, humans will always want to have more.
Entertainment Value

Entertainment Value

A lot of parents might be hesitant in buying this set for their children since it doesn’t really engage their little ones in any particular activity after the setup of the farm has been completed. In fact, most people feel as if observing insects is a waste of time and a boring and dull activity. However, we live in an era in which children are spending most of their free time in front of screens and they begin to lose touch with nature and reality. Giving them an opportunity to study these intriguing little creatures might fascinate them more than you expect. After all, ants have a unique way of communicating and working which is captivating even for adults.

We tend to watch them dig, eat, fight, play and the best part of this reality show is how cute they look when they clean their faces. Children will truly enjoy showing these adorable companions to their classmates, friends and relatives and engage in a dialog about the fascinating nature of these hardworking specimen. This would be a wonderful Show and Tell item you can take to school and share all your knowledge with your teachers and peers. Kids are known to be obsessed with ants and would be impressed with being shown all the glorious creations that the little workers composed. It is truly hard to stay indifferent to the ant tunnels. Many artists even make glorious works of art by placing molten aluminum into the ants’ nests. This however kills the ants and does not provide much educational content.

Being able to observe the ants through the glass and witness their amazing creations is truly mesmerizing and it does inspires the viewers. Children may embark in many play-pretend scenarios where they are working on a scientific project that aims to help the little citizen. They might even get motivated to draw or sculpt the farm from clay. The possibilities are endless when you are introduced to a real life community that interacts and builds on daily basis. It is quite unfair to claim that this invention is not interesting enough since it is the product of nature itself and you are lending a hand in the development. With this type of toy, both your child and the ants are the architects of a whole new miniature world with amusing activities and cooperation.

Conclusion

We can learn a lot of things from ants. We can study them in their natural environment and risk getting exposed to the elements. Or, we can get the Uncle Milton ant farm kit and study these wonderful creatures in a safer and more effective manner. Children will undeniably learn how to be more respectful and caring towards tiny creatures and will get a sense of responsibility by regularly feeding their little pets. Parents can take pride in knowing their little ones are not burning ants with a magnifying glass, as instead, they are creating a meaningful bond with these charming workers.

There is a certain sense of achievement that children will experience once they’ve carefully created the farm and provided the ants with a new habitat. It will also boost their confidence to embark on even greater STEM projects and further develop their knowledge about the mesmerizing fauna that the world has to offer. The escape-proof design makes it safe for children to observe their mini friends and gives parents a piece of mind. The whole educational adventure is not only secured, but quite exceptional as well. It will most definitely provide many fond childhood memories.
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