Here's a project for when you don't want to go farther than your backyard:
2 jars (one small enough to fit inside the other)
Jar lid with tiny air holes (smaller than the ants!)
Paper towel or sponge dampened with sugar water
Small pieces of fruit
A piece of dark construction paper
Place the smaller jar inside the larger one. This will narrow the area of soil so you can see the ants at work.
Time to go on an ant expedition. Ants from separate colonies will wage war on one another, so be sure to collect ants from the same mound.
Fill the bottom half of the space between the jars with ants and soil. Fill to the top with sand. Then place your sweetened paper towel and fruit at the top. Close the jar lid tightly.
Staple, tape, or fold the construction paper to make a roof to shade the ants. Decorate as elaborately as you like.
Watch as the ants make tunnels to get to and from the food.
The average life of an ant habitat is usually between six and 12 weeks, unless you collect a queen (it's the largest one in the colony). With a queen, your colony can continue to thrive for as long as you'd like.
Be sure to release the ants back into the "wild" after four to six weeks. It's both ecologically responsible and only fair.