Are you looking for activities to start your 2021 on the right foot with active toddlers? These Marching Ants free printables are a great spring activity designed to help teach your toddlers to count while giving them some exercise.
Want more printables for getting the kids active? Click here.
Christmas is over. I just can’t believe it. This year went by so quickly. It was as though each day at home was agonizingly slow and monotonous, but the month just flew by. Normally I would be in the stores, checking out their 90% off Christmas decor sales and watching with gloom as the workers begin to stock the shelves with Valentine’s day goodies. But this year, we won’t be going to the stores. How will we bring the spring in this year without bundling up for playdates?
One of my greatest goals during COVID self-isolation has been to keep the kids active. Our backyard still needs improvement before it’s a good place for the girls to be. It has also been my goal to make sure my children are learning and having rich experiences every day, aside from their favorite cartoons.
One of the ways I get my kids active is by playing nursery rhymes. 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on The Bed is a favorite that gets them jumping in their cribs. Another is the Ants Go Marching. This free printable activity was designed to help you teach your children to count, identify numbers, identify sizes, and keep them moving.
What’s Included in the Marching Ants Free Printable
The printables are at the bottom of this page. You will receive 3 different sets of printables with one download!
The printables include miniature ants which are grouped in an army with the number of ants for each portion of the song. There are 10 armies of ants.
Numbered Marching Ants
The second set of printables is the ants by themselves with their designated number, 1-10. There is a version with attached legs and a set with their legs detached. These little guys can be built to be truly marching ants. All you need are some mini brads and a hole punch to secure the legs in a way that makes them swing to the music.
Little Ant Action Sight Words and Images
There is a set of square images with the sight word of each image. These represent the actions the little ant in the song takes.
These printables are based on the version of the song found in Cocomelon. The little ant:
- Sucks his thumb
- Ties his shoe
- Climbs a tree
- Shuts the door
- Checks the skies
- Picks up sticks
- Eats a lemon
- Feels great
- Checks the time
- Says the end
Suggested Activities for the Marching Ants Free Printables
I can drone on and on all day about the benefits of exercise and learning. If you’re interested, head over to my other posts about healthy food and exercise. Otherwise, we will stick to the activities in this post!
There are endless possibilities for activities with this marching ants free printable. But here are some I tried with my two toddlers.
Match the Action with the Ant Number Activity
A great way to teach your child about sight words is by singing along. You then can create an association with the word cards I’ve hand illustrated in this marching ants free printable. Cut out the little ant armies with their number. As you and your child sing along to the song, find the correct number of ants. Then pair the ants with the correct image of what the little ant is doing.
Find the Little Ant Activity
A simple and easy game for younger children is to find the small ant in the ant armies. As the song goes, “the little one stopped to…” Each set of ants above the 1st ant has a little ant that your children can find.
Count The Ants
One of the simplest ways to use the marching ants free printable is to use it for counting. Have your child count the ants and associate them with their number. I’ve included the number of ants in each army next to the ants. You can either cut it off separately and have your children match the number or keep it on the army. The marching ants also are numbered. You can have your child count the number of ants in each army to the number on the large marching ants.
Marching Ants Activity
Cut out the ants you’d like to use– either the armies or the numbered marching ants. Take a file folder, cut it into quarters so that each portion still has the fold in the middle. Using white glue, form the file folder into a pocket to hold the ants. I used painter’s tape to secure 10 folders to the walls in my tiny living room. I placed them in sequential order with their number on the outside.
Once the pockets are secure, I place a set of ants in each folder. I started with the numbered ants and then switched them out and replaced them with the little armies. I taped the images of the “little ant’s” actions on the floor. So when the little ant goes to “tie his shoe,” the girls needed to find the shoe. This turned into a great game! I helped the girls play the first time and then they continued on without me, singing badly at the top of their powerful toddler lungs. This activity encouraged them to learn the numbers of the ants, identify the numbers by how large the group of ants on the cards were, and to identify the objects on the floor. All the while practicing their words by singing along!
You can also place the images of the little ant’s actions onto the folders and have your children place the correct number of ants into the folder with that action.
The possibilities are endless! If you come up with a game with the ants, please share below in the comments!
How to Assemble the Numbered Marching Ants
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- You’ll need the Marching Ants Free Printables. You can either print them on cardstock or print them on regular paper. I recommend cardstock as it will ensure the dolls are more resilient for playing. I prefer to print my stuff at FedEx because of the quality of the laser prints and their printers can handle the thicker paper better than my wimpy home printer. I then laminate them at home with self-laminating sheets to ensure my little ones get to enjoy them for longer.
- You’ll need mini brads to connect the limbs of the ants.
- Jumbo popsicle sticks.
- White Glue or Hot Glue
- 1/16th Hole Punch (or you can use a hammer and nail if you prefer low-tech).
Assembly of the Legs
- Print out your Marching Ants Free Printables. Laminate now if you are going to.
- Cut out the Marching Ants.
- Using your 1/16th hole punch (or if you’re low tech, a hammer and nail) punch a hole in the designated white circles on the ant’s body.
- Punch a hole on each leg where there is a white circle.
- Layer the body on top of the leg. Line up their holes.
- Place a brad through the hole with the top on the printed side of the printable.
- Tighten the brad enough to allow the legs to swing.
- Now you can either glue a popsicle stick on the back of the ant or leave it as is.
Thank you visiting! I hope you choose to download the printables below! I greatly enjoyed making them and watching my children dance around the room with their ants. Please let me know what your kids thought and if they enjoyed the activity.
Stay safe and healthy!
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