We’re back talking about creative collective nouns and this time we’re going to be making the cutest little ant craft. If you love this then do have a look at the last #CreativeNounCrafts series a did with a group of other crafts bloggers. There were some gorgeous craft ideas all based around collective nouns. I made an adorable Bask Of Crocodiles.
So onto Ants …
Ants live in large groups and the collective nouns used are colony, Army, Swarm or nest.
A colony contains lots of different types of ants (castes) that all have vey specific jobs … these are; Queen, worker, soldier, princess and drone. They are very strong and industrious, being able to survive pretty much anywhere. The only places on earth indigenous ants haven’t been found are Antarctica and a few remote, inhospitable islands!
Ants are invertebrates (they have an exoskeleton) and belong to a group of animals known as insects and evolved from wasp like creatures way back in the Cretaceous period.
They have three main body parts (head, thorax and abdomen) jointed legs and elbowed antenna.
For Your Ant Craft You Will Need
-4cm polystyrene balls,
-5cm polystyrene eggs,
coloured craft sand,
30cm pipe cleaners,
craft match sticks,
paintbrushes, sharp pointed object (cocktail stick, sharpened pencil, nail, large needle etc)
For each ant you will need two polystyrene balls and one egg. Make a small hole in each of them using your sharp object.
Cut some of the craft match sticks in half or thirds.
Dip one end of a stick in glue and push it into the hole in the poly egg. If the stick gets pushed in too far take it out and cut a larger length stick.
Dip the protruding stick into the glue (I pour my glue into a bowl) and slot it on to it one of the holes in a poly’ ball. Leave for a few minutes for the glue to go tacky.
Make another hole in the polystyrene ball at an angle of around 45 degrees as if you were looking at it face on (see photo below). This is where the head will be glued on to.
Add glue to another stick and push this into the other ploy’ ball that hasn’t been used. Then dip the protruding end in glue and insert into the hole you have just made for the head.
Leave to dry (this is important as when you cover the poly’ shape in glue the connections will break if the glue has not set. You could use a glue gun but make sure it is low heat and that you don’t get any over spill of glue showing. I prefer to use PVA white glue as it’s easier for children to wipe away any spills and splurges.
When dry it’s time to cover in sand. You want to do each segment of the body seperately. I start with the abdomen (egg shape), then the head and finally the thorax.
So, starting with the abdomen, use a paintbrush to cover the polystyrene evenly in glue. Sand isn’t very forgiving and will show lumps and bumps plus if there is too much glue you will find you get run marks when it dries. Take care not to get the glue on eny of the other segments. You can use a damp cloth to wipe away any spillage.
Pour the sand over the glued area. I put the sand in a pot and have a clean sheet of paper underneath to catch it on.
Carefully repeat the above steps for the head. If you get any whit showing through wait until it has dried before carefully touching up to fill the gaps or you will end up dislodging even more sand! The glue and sand is quite fragile and easily marked so watch out for nails. Younger kids may want to wait until the two end have dried (radiators are great for this) before sanding the middle.
Make a hole in the middle side of the thorax area and place either a crafts stick or cocktail stick in there to act as a handle to hold the ant so you can paint glue onto the last area. This hole will house one of the pipe cleaner legs when it’s dry.
Holding the stick paint the glue carefully on and cover in sand. Now leave it to dry.
Cut your 30cm pipe cleaners into three equal lengths (10cm) until you have six legs.
Using your sharp tool make three holes along each side of the thorax area.
Push your pipe cleaners in and bend them into shape.
Make two more holes in the top of the head where you want your antenae. Cut 5cm lengths of pipe cleaner for short antenna and 10 cm lengths for large ones … push them into the holes.
Finally add your googy eyes and a smiley face.
Do search the tag #CollectiveNounCrafts on social media to find the other Collective Noun Crafts in The series or follow the blog trail. Clares Little Tots has a wonderful pig craft. Do you know what a group of pigs is called?