• chalk
  • chenille pipe cleaners 6 per student (smaller children only need 3)
  • masking tape

Background Information

Many species of mammals have stiff whiskers on their faces. These whiskers are called vibrissae. The animal receives messages through their vibrissae as to the shape and size of its surroundings. The animal is able to judge distances and spaces.

The total width of the vibrissae, (measuring both sides of the animal’s face), is equal to the widest part of that animal. Vibrissae are essential to a quick escape from a predator. The animal knows which spaces it can fit into so it can quickly flee.


The children can work in pairs.
One child lies down on the floor. The other child uses the chalk to make a mark on both sides of the first child’s hips, (usually the widest part of a person).
They switch and repeat.
The children place three pipe cleaners on each mark and twist the six together.
Then tape over the twist in the center. (It’s good to write names on the tape.)
Small children have no hips so three chenille works for them.

Now the children can explore to see where they could fit if they had vibrissae and needed to escape quickly

Activity provided by:

Fontenelle Forest
1111 N. Bellevue Blvd.
Bellevue, NE 68005

_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
✓ 3-4
✓ 4-5
✓ 5-6

Category: Games

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.2, 9.1, 9.3, 9.4, 10.4, 12.3, 12.5, 13.1

Related Kindernature Resources: