Skeleton preschool theme? It’s only something I considered doing recently. In the latter part of October, my activities usually focus on pumpkins…bright orange, happy ones! My preschoolers are encouraged to dress up in non-scary costumes. Skeletons are not on the list to plan a theme around for my little students.
But I couldn’t help notice a glammed up skull on a shopping trip this fall. Inspired by its beauty, my thoughts turned to “Yes, I can introduce some skeleton activities, and do it in a way that is non-threatening to preschoolers.”
A focus for fall purchases became skeletons of all kinds. They were not hard to find … or expensive. Here’s what I bought and here’s what to do.
Introducing The Preschool Skeleton Theme
Books about human bodies
X-rays of body parts
Light table or a DIY lightbox (plastic tub with led lights)
Set out a variety of books featuring human bodies and skeletons.
Display x-rays of human bones on a light table.
Led string lights inserted in a covered, clear tub can serve as a DIY lightbox.
Stress that our bodies have skeletons and bones in them.
Felt Skeleton Activities
Felt skeleton (without bones)
Felt, hinged skeletons (with bones)
Cardboard skeleton (with bones)
ACTIVITY ONE: Add Bones To A Skeleton
Cut a few Q-Tips in half, and others into thirds. Leave some whole. Let children add toy and Q-Tip bones to the felt skeleton, using the cardboard one as an example.
ACTIVITY TWO: Skeleton Poses
Take turns moving a hinged, felt skeleton different ways. Discuss what it might be feeling and communicating.
ACTIVITY THREE: Put A Skeleton Back Together
Take apart the sections of a hinged, felt skeleton. Offer paper fasteners and invite children to put it back together, using the other skeleton as a model. This activity is great for enhancing fine motor skills.
Plastic Skeleton Activities
Three large, plastic hinged skeletons
Adult fingerless gloves
Children’s gloves and socks
Beaded jewelry strands
Sticker gems and pearls
Large roll of paper
ACTIVITY ONE: Compare Height With A Skeleton
Decorate one skeleton with sticker and pearl gems to “glam it up.”. Add some jewelry strands. Hang the skeleton on a wall with the caption: “ARE YOU TALLER THAN THIS SKELETON?”
Invite children to stand next to the skeleton. Measure and record who is taller.
Take a picture of each child next to the skeleton for a unique photo op.
ACTIVITY TWO: Dress The Skeleton
Set out a skeleton along with clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Invite children to dress the skeleton, offering help as needed.
ACTIVITY THREE: Traced Body With Skeleton
Trace each child’s body on a large section of paper cut from a roll. Take a hinged skeleton apart and set the bones near the body tracings. Encourage children to add bones.
Jumbo Skull Activities
Jumbo felt skull
Calendar pictures of animal heads
12 x 18 pieces of paper
ACTIVITY ONE: Guess The Animal
Slide the skull over each calendar animal head picture and ask children to “Guess The Animal.”
ACTIVITY TWO: Trace The Skull
Place the skull on a table along with large pieces of paper and pastel crayons. Encourage children to trace and decorate the skull.
ACTIVITY THREE: Jumbo Mask Photo Op
Take pictures of children holding the skull as a “jumbo mask.” The wall skeleton can be part of the backdrop.
Glitter Skull Math Activities
Two tree branches decorated with metallic skulls
Plastic, rubber or wooden numbers
ACTIVITY ONE: Make Patterns
Take the skulls off the tree branches. (The branches can be saved for other activities.)
Have children make patterns with them.
ACTIVITY TWO: Count And Sort Skulls
Set out the skulls, and numbers 1 – 9. Invite children to count them and add the correct number. Encourage skull sorting.
Neon Skull Activities
Neon skeleton party favors
ACTIVITY ONE: Sort And Match Skeletons
Have children sort and match skeletons according to their color.
ACTIVITY TWO: Make Patterns
Invite children to make patterns with the neon skeletons.
Download this cute skull printable that features basic shapes. Discuss the shapes. Invite children to glam it up with their favorite art medium and sticker gems and pearls.
Download the skull printable here. (This printable is for individual or one classroom use only.)
This skull is simple enough to use for a cutting activity.
My “go to” activities for late October are still pumpkins. But I’m sticking a few skeleton preschool theme activities in with the mix!
How do you feel about doing a Skeleton preschool theme with young children?
Are there some activities you would choose? Are there others you would stay away from?
Are there new activities you can suggest? Share below!
You may like: Ninja Picture Book Theme
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© Annette Kaminsky