Invitation to Create Play Dough Skeletons or X-Rays

Table of contents for Halloween Invitations to Play

  1. Invitation to Create Play Dough Skeletons or X-Rays

If you enjoyed our Fall Invitations to Play series last month, you’re going to be excited to here what’s in store this month! I’m teaming up with Buggy and Buddy,Play Trains, and Twodaloo again to bring you a new set of Halloween Invitation to Play. We’re also really excited to have Fun-A-Day and Nothing if Not Intentional joining this series.

There’s one slight change. Instead of sharing the full series in one week, the series will run on Tuesdays. So check out what everyone has to share today. Then don’t forget to look for new posts on October 8 and October 15. Enjoy!

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This Week’s Halloween Invitation to Play: Skeleton Play Dough

Create x-rays with play dough

In the spring while we were learning about the letter X we set up this invitation to play so we could learn more about x-rays. It also makes a great activity for Halloween. Kids can make skeletons of familiar living things, or create their own unique and spooky creatures. This set up would be super fun for a  school Halloween theme, play date,  or Halloween party.

Invitation to Create-Play Dough Skeletons


  • Black play dough
  • Cotton swabs (I used whole swabs and also cut the ends off of some to give a variety of options for different “bones.”)
  • Assorted cookie cutters (Ours are from the Wilton 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set)
  • Rollers (optional)

When I first set out this invitation I made one dinosaur to give them an idea of how they might use the materials. Typically I do not share an example, but in this case I wasn’t sure how familiar they would be with the idea of skeletons. They didn’t have to actually create skeletons, but I did want to provide the gentle suggestion.

Dinosaur Skeleton

Ways Children Might Use the Materials

Below is a brief list of skills kids might practice using these materials. However, as I watch kids interact with new invitations I am always impressed by their creativity in using materials in ways that I may never have thought of. This kind of free exploration is one of things I enjoy most about invitations to play.

  • Fine Motor
  • Creativity
  • Patterns and Symmetry
  • Counting
  • Oral Language and Story Telling

Tinker really enjoyed poking the cotton swabs into the play dough. She did not quite have a sense yet of creating skeletons. Actually when the others created them, Tinker protested that they were “grumpy.” This Halloween may be a bit interesting for her sweet little self!

Toddler Fine Motor Halloween Play

Lovey and Big Buddy did make their own variations of skeletons, and they had long elaborate stories about their creations.

X-Ray Activities for Kids-Play Dough X-Rays

Thanks for joining us for our first post in the Halloween Invitations to Play series. Don’t forget to stop by and see what the other members of the series have planned for you today. Then visit us on October 8th for even more new ideas.

Invitation to Create with Beads, Straws, and Pipe Cleaners by Buggy and Buddy

Play Dough Skeletons by Fantastic Fun and Learning

Frankenstein Monster Pumpkin by Fun-A-Day

Creepy-Crawly Cauldron Play by Nothing if Not Intentional

October Moon Halloween Train Play by Play Trains!

Jack O’Lantern Collage by Twodaloo


Invitation to Create-Play Dough Skeletons or X-Rays


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  1. This would go so well with the FUNNYBONES story ; ) Thanks for sharing

  2. So cool. It amazes me how many ideas you come up with it! Thanks for sharing at After School 🙂

  3. Such a great idea, Shaunna. Would be so much fun for a human body unit! 🙂

  4. You are the coolest!!! This looks like sooooo much fun! I know my 6 & 8 yr old boys would even love digging in with this activity.

  5. I love this invitation to play – so fun, especially in the group. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  6. This is such a fun idea! I need to dig out my cookie cutters and do this activity with my son.

  7. We studied the human body last year, so did many similar projects. This is a great one like your stethoscope.

  8. Super cute! Pinned to my Halloween board. Love the idea of using q-tips for this!

  9. such a cute idea!

  10. This looks so cute! I can’t wait to try it with my boys.

  11. I wish I’d seen this idea years ago! Once, I boiled all the turkey bones for hours and stripped them for kidlets to make dinosaur skeletons but the bones didn’t stick to the glue well at all. Another year we did skeletons with newspaper strips which stuck even where we didn’t want. Tried the qtips on paper which was better than the other two, but this is so much easier for little hands and far more creative!

    • Oh thank you! And good for you for continuing to find ideas that will work for your kiddos. I bet they loved the activities no matter what version you tried!

  12. This is such a cool idea! Now I really want to make a skeleton train with the Little Engineer. 😀

  13. This is the BEST idea! I love it! What a creative way to get little ones interested in anatomy!

  14. What a FUN idea, Shaunna! I am definitely going to incorporate this into my preschool Halloween week! My son is going to love it, as well. Off to pin this now. 🙂

  15. What a great idea to use cotton swabs for bones! Great ideas, Shaunna! 🙂

  16. I LOVE this idea and can’t wait to have the kiddos try it out this month. So much fun! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve pinned it so I don’t forget.

  17. This is so neat!! We have been using cut-outs on black construction paper and didn’t even think to use glue!! I love this idea and I can’t wait to try it with my kids. 🙂

  18. Those are so cute, uh, I mean scary?! 🙂 Kids will definitely have fun making these.

  19. That is exactly what I was going to say Ann – very cool idea!! My Sammy is loving invitations to play. So glad your last series inspired me to try it with him.

  20. This is such a cool idea, Shaunna!

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