Mad Scientist Day 5: Can You Make Ants Change Color?



Welcome to The Christian Mama’s Guide Pin-Tastic Summer! If you’re just joining us, click over to our intro post to find out what we’re doing and to see what other crafts, activities and projects we’ve done.

This week, we’re having Mad Scientist week. Scroll down to learn how to turn ants purple then click over to find out what other awesome mad science projects we’ve done this week.

Confession right up front:  We totally failed at this one.  The inspiration for the project was this blog article, but as you can see when you compare their pictures with mine, theirs worked, ours didn’t.  But, don’t let that deter you!  My kids and I hypothesized that perhaps our ants (Texas Fire Ants) weren’t quite as color friendly as other ants so we’d love to hear if this works from some of you who have other types of ants. Regardless, it was fun to watch the ants swarm the sugar water and to make observations to see if they changed color.


What you need:

  • Ants (we found an ant pile in the yard)
  • Medicine droppers
  • sugar
  • water
  • food coloring
  • magnifying glass (optional)
  • journal (optional)

What to do:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 1 part water (we used 3 tablespoons of each) into a cup.  Add a few drops of food coloring so the water gets dark.
  2. Use medicine droppers to place drops/puddles of water near your ant hill.
  3. Wait ten minutes (or so) and go back outside to see if the ants are swarming the sugar water (ours were).  Use your magnifying glass to see if your ants have changed color.
  4. Check the ants again at 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes.  Are you noticing anything different?  Are they changing color?  (As I said, ours didn’t so if yours do, please let me know in the comments!)


  1. It appears the blog did not point something out — their ants were ghost ants.

    • Oh, MotherLydia– that’s good to know. Where would one find ghost ants?

  2. Sorry. I just got back to this. Since I’m also in Texas… I have NO idea. :) Sorry.

  3. I need to buy ghost ants for the same thing let me know if you find out where to get them!!!

  4. Ok thank you for your help


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