Isn’t it interesting how one year kids are terrified by certain things, and the next they are suddenly very intrigued by them? In the past all things considered even slightly spooky were of no interest to my girls. Now that all the Halloween decorations are out this year the girls have been asking about things like monsters and bones.
This chalk skeleton craft was inspired by their new enthusiasm. Not only is it a great learning activity, it also makes a fun Halloween decoration!
When I saw this self-adhesive chalkboard liner (affiliate link), I knew I wanted to do something fun with it, and this was the perfect chance to test it out. We started by rolling out the liner and taping the corners to the ground on a hard surface.
My only complaint is that I wish the rolls came in wider sizes. My girls are young and still able to fit on the 18 inch wide surface, but if you are working with older kids you might have to use two rolls side by side and then merge the two together when you hang them on the wall.
We traced around the girls’ bodies. If you’ve never done this with kids, they always get a kick out of seeing their body images traced–on paper, sand, etc. Try it!
After I cut out the body, we placed it on a vertical surface. We started on the wall.
Tip: When sticking the body to the wall, start at the top and peel the backing off the top half of the head first. Then slowly smooth the body to the wall as you gently pull the backing down toward the floor and roll the body onto the wall. If you have a steady helper, that helps too!
Then you’ll need to grab some chalk. We just used some from our outdoor chalk supply. Here you’ll have to decide whether you want to go for a more factual or artistic approach to designing your skeleton.
Younger kids and little artists might like to take time creating their own bone designs. Others might enjoy creating a “real” model of a skeleton.
Lovey is my fact finder. She chose to look at some books about skeletons. When she found a good diagram that she liked she used it to help her draw her skeleton.
As she drew each section of bones we took time to try and feel them within her own body and talk about the role of the specific bones she was drawing.
She took her time drawing as many bones as she could.
And she was thrilled with how it turned out. So was I!
When you’re done you can leave your skeleton as is and use it as a fun Halloween decoration. You can also erase your chalk and start over. This time maybe try using colored chalk and create a new bone design or draw the skeleton model from memory instead of using a guide.
We’ve also erased ours and used it as a functional chalkboard for our school activities. It’s a great place to list vocabulary words, sight words, the alphabet, numbers, etc.
We did end up moving our skeleton though. Once we started using colored chalk I wasn’t sure how the paint around the body would handle it. With a little help from Lovey we peeled the body off the wall and moved it to our sliding glass door. There clean up is easy if the girls draw outside of the contact paper.
BUT I should warn you that if you are walking around at night alone, the silhouette of a dark shadow on your door might be a little alarming–even after the 15th time you’ve jumped out of your skin from the same sighting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉
More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!
Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.
It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.