The ant is one of the strongest animals. That tiny crumb it’s carrying could be 50 times the ant’s weight! So could an army of ants carry YOU across the U.S.? For starters, about 1,800 ants can lift 1 pound. So a 70-pound kid would need 70 of those armies, or 126,000 ants. The fastest ants can run about 900 feet in an hour. So to travel 2,680 miles, even the speediest ants would need 15,722 hours for the trip. Maybe it’s easier to take a plane!

*Wee ones:* Ants have 6 legs, like any insect. What numbers would you say to count them?

*Little kids:* If 1 ant takes 5 months to cross Texas and another ant takes 11 months, which ant walked more slowly? *Bonus:* If the ants start their trip in April, what is their 2^{nd} month of walking?

*Big kids:* So how long would this trip take? About how many hours are there in 1 year? *Bonus:* Given that number of hours, about how long is that ant trip across the U.S.?

*The sky’s the limit:* If really slow ants take 50 years to carry you across America, and your age at the end is 6 times your starting age, how old were you at the start?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

*Little kids:* The ant that took 11 months. *Bonus:* May.

*Big kids:* Lots of ways to estimate…for example, you could round to 25 x 360, which is 1/4 of 100 times 360. That comes to 9,000 hours. That’s pretty close to the more precise answer of 8.760! *Bonus:* About 2 years.

*The sky’s the limit:* If your starting age was just 1/6 of the total, then the 50 years added the other 5/6 of the total. 50 is 5/6 of 60, so you began the trip at 60 – 50 = 10 years old.