Make Your Own Sea Otter

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In this activity about sea otters, learners make their own "otter whiskers" and use them to find objects underwater. Using simple materials, learners construct "whiskers" and locate underwater objects (even with their eyes closed or in the dark) to simulate the otter's ability to "feel its way" through dark or murky water. This resource includes background information about otters.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • Two-three twist-ties
  • Four-six pipe cleaners (or pieces of uncooked spaghetti cut in half)
  • Large tray or tub of water
  • Several objects that can be submerged in water, like plastic toys or seashells


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
    • Evolution
      • Mechanisms of Evolution
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Touch
      • Vision
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums


  • All rights reserved, New England Aquarium, 2011