Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Post Number 31

Ant Colonies


 Hello Everyone


As l have told you before; my nephews Bill and Bob love doing scientific experiments. Their school teacher, Miss Pringle, set them a task last weekend where they had to go out into the garden and list all the wild creatures they could see. Then they had to find out more about one of them.


They found a slow worm in the compost heap which made them jump! A slow worm looks like a snake but is actually a legless lizard.


But although they thought it was pretty cool, they decided in the end to do their report on ants.


Ants are really tiny creatures but they are interesting to study. This is their report…


‘Ants live in groups called colonies. There can be thousands of ants living in a colony. Ants are found all over the World and can grow up to about 3cm in some places. They build their nests on or under the ground or even sometimes in trees.


Each colony has a queen and it is she that lays all the eggs that the baby ants come from.


Worker ants look after the eggs as they grow. The eggs turn into larvae and then cocoons from which the ants hatch. Worker ants collect food for the whole colony.


You can watch ants carrying pieces of food and building materials that are much bigger than they are. ln fact, ants can pull things 300 times heavier than themselves and lift things 20 times their own weight!


There are also soldier ants and these ants guard the nest. Workers and soldiers are all girls. The boys are called drones.


Ants work really hard together to make the colony a success. The nests are well-organized; they even have refuse chambers where they store waste material. A little bit like ant dustbins!


And ants in other countries do even more spectacular things.


For example, the South American Fire Ant will attack prey many times bigger than they are, and if their nest is flooded, they interlock all their bodies together creating a raft that floats across the flood or down the river. ln this way, they save their queen, eggs and larvae, transporting them to a new place.


But these ants have a terrible sting that leaves a burning sensation on the skin of any people they might attack.


lf you want to look at ants, drop a blob of jam in the garden and watch how they find it and form a line going backwards and forwards to the nest. They find their way back by following scent trails and go a long way out to find food. Each colony has its own smell and this is how the ants know how to get back home.


Ants really are very clever.’


Miss Pringle was very pleased with Bill and Bob’s report.


And she gave them a gold star. image003



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam






Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill: How many ants would you need to fill up a rented house?


Bob: l don’t know.


Bill: Ten-ants!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Slow worm 


An ant trail



Fire ant raft 


Hairy wood ants build huge nests above the ground 


The south side of the wood ant nest is flattened to create a slope for sunbathing 


Ants are very strong 


An ant nest entrance 


If ants make their nests under a path, it is protected from above






Bill and Bob have come to a big decision.

They have decided to join Beaver Scouts.

They were playing in the park the other day feeling a little bored when a boy in their class, Roger, came along.




He said he was on his way to Beaver Scouts.

Roger told Bill and Bob about all the fantastic things they do.

They are the kind of things that you don’t do at school and it’s all a lot of fun: games, adventures, activities and making things.

So their mother made inquiries and spoke to the leader of the Rocky Bay Beaver Scout Colony Mr. Crackenthorpe who explained how the boys could join up.

Now they will have to learn their Beaver Promise and Motto which is:


‘Be Prepared’.


They are so excited they can’t wait to get started.

They asked Henry their best friend if he would like to come along as well, and he said yes. He is still quite a new kid in town and he thought it would be a good way to meet new friends.

It is always nicer to start new things when you are with people you know. smile1 (2)









If you are learning to knit, here is another really easy outfit that you can make for the knitted doll from posts 21 and 22.



Using 4mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 35 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Change to mauve yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Repeat the last 8 rows 4 times (40 rows/11 stripes)


Change to orange yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 35 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Change to mauve yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Repeat the last 8 rows 3 times (32 rows/8 stripes)

Cast off


Using 4mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 35 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Change to mauve yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Change to orange yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch (12 rows/3 stripes)

Cast off


Take the yarn up the side of your knitting as you swap colours, don’t keep cutting it so that you have a lot of ends


Make sure you have the neatest sides of knitting at the bottom of the dress

With right sides together sew across the outer orange stripe to make shoulder seams

Sew the front seam up 10cm/4 inches from the bottom

Sew the side seams up 10cm/4 inches from the bottom

Crochet 40 chains into 2 lengths of yarn and attach these ties to the top corners of the front


To make a shorter version of the dress cast on 30 stitches instead of 35











Quick Quiz


  1. Which is the heaviest insect?
  2. Which is the longest insect?
  3. How long does a mayfly live?
  4. Why is it so difficult to swat a fly?
  5. How can flies walk on the ceiling?
  6. How high can a flea jump?
  7. Where does a grasshopper keep its ears?








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lt’s the Weekend!




If like ants you have a sweet tooth, then you will love this recipe.

Flapjacks are great for lunch boxes and picnics.

*You may need help from a grown-up with putting things into and taking things out of the oven and using the hob.


100g/4oz butter

75g/3oz golden syrup

75g/3oz soft brown sugar

225g/8oz rolled oats


  1. Put butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and leave on a low heat until the ingredients are melted
  2. Stir in the oats and mix well
  3. Spread into a well-greased, shallow baking tin (30x20cm / 12”x8”)
  4. Smooth level with a knife or spatula
  5. Bake 180°C 350°F mark 4 for 30 minutes
  6. Leave in tin for ten minutes
  7. Cut into 24 fingers
  8. Leave in the tin to cool completely
  9. Store in an air-tight container to keep the flapjacks fresher for longer

(You can add sultanas, chocolate chips or tiny chunks of apple if you would like to.)

These flap jacks will freeze, if you want to keep some for packed lunches.



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use or for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects on all of these blogs is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. A Goliath Beetle is nearly 100g or 3½ ounces.
  2. A stick insect can be over 55cm long or 22 inches.
  3. lt lives for just one day.
  4. lt can see in 4,000 different directions – so it can see you coming!
  5. They have sticky pads on their feet.
  6. lt can jump up to at least 33cm or 13 inches – some people think that it is even much higher than that.
  7. Some grasshoppers have ears on their front knees and some on their sides. (lnsects don’t have voices so they make noise in other ways like rubbing parts of their body together.) 

 image061A Goliath Beetle 


Consider this: 

lf you don’t like creepy crawlies, just remember that without them probably the only life on our planet would be wind-pollinated grasses! 

This is because we need insects to pollinate plants – and animals and humans need plants in order to survive.


A weightlifting ant

(Andrey Pavlov)





  • Bridget says:

    Hey! Great blog Salty Sam!

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