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10 Great First Pets


2
Ants
An ant farm lets your child view how a small community works together.
An ant farm lets your child view how a small community works together.
©iStockphoto.com/Tay0527

Ant farms have come a long way since their initial popularity in the 1950s. The first ant farms consisted of two pieces of glass or plastic, between which was a layer of sand. Ants busily tunneled through the sand, visible on both sides, and provided the viewer with an interesting perspective on ant life and society.

Today, there's a lot more variety; you can still get the original style, but now there are also farms with nutrient gel instead of sand, and 3-D setups instead of flat. Ant farm maintenance includes removing old food and debris, regular feedings (usually other insects, plus a honey mixture), and fresh water. Younger kids will definitely need parental assistance, but many ant farmers consider that a small price to pay for an in-home nature show.