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A Mini "Skeleton Unit Study" for Halloween!

I love doing holiday-themed activities with my kids and this year I decided to choose one Halloween-y topic to dive deeper into with my kids! I picked skeletons and we had a lot of fun with it.

Books on Skeletons

The core of our unit studies are always books. Here are the books we read together:

Understanding Muscles and the Skeleton by Robert Snedden

This book has a lot of information spanning the skeletal system. Because my kids are young, I didn't read all of this with them, but rather picked out the parts that were the most interesting. I liked that it had so much information in it.

Amazing Body Systems - Skeletal System by Karen Latchana Kenney

We read everything in this book together and the kids learned a lot from it. I really liked the way the graphics went with the text and the "Did You Know" sections that gave interesting little tidbits.

Your Skeletal System Works by Flora Brett

This was similar to the previous book and had some overlapping information, but not all the information was the same and I think it's good to repeat the information at times. My favorite part of this book was a graphic that showed a human skeleton and highlighted/labeled the different joints.

Bones by Steve Jenkins

This was a fascinating book to read together. It teaches about each different part of your skeleton and shows to scale how our skeleton compares to other animals. It includes the skeleton of turtles, storks, elephants, and even dinosaurs. Of the books we read about skeletons, this was my favorite.

Bone by Bone by Sara Levine

This was another book comparing our skeleton to that of other animals, but it went about it slightly differently. It starts with a human skeleton and then asks what kind of animal we might be like if we had a different skeletal makeup. The kids can guess and then you turn the page to find out. It's a great way to learn the differences that make up all the different animals and I actually learned a lot that I didn't know before. It was a really fun book to read together.

Dem Bones by Bob Barner

I always like to include some books that aren't purely nonfiction. This was a great in between book. It goes through the song (and we sang through the book once as well!) but each page also gives facts about that bone.

Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson

This is a fun story about a skeleton who wants to do the "Halloween Hustle" but keeps falling apart. It's not realistic at all (they glue him together at the end of the book, which obviously wouldn't allow movement) but it's a fun little story and my kids enjoy it.

I Spy a Skeleton by Jean Marzollo

We also got this book from the library because it features "Skeleton" in the title. It doesn't have a lot to do with skeletons, but my kids had fun with it, and it does have some skeletons and bones in it.

Videos on Skeletons

We also love to supplement with YouTube videos. We only watched a couple for this topic:

SciShow Kids - Your Super Skeleton

We love SciShow Kids and this video was great. It has an overview of your skeletal system in a way that keeps the kids interest.

PeekaBoo Kidz - Bones

This video goes through the different parts of your skeleton and gives some facts about it.

Happy Learning - The Human Skeleton: Amazing Facts

This video shares five different facts about the human skeletons that aren't facts you normally hear about.

Magic School Bus Episode

I also like to find some sort of show to watch that relates. For skeletons, we watched the Magic School Bus episode Flexes Its Muscles (in season 2). It shows the kids making a robot and delves into how a body works together to move. I thought it was the perfect way to tie up what we'd learned about the skeletal system.

Skeleton Learning Activities

Q-Tip Skeletons

After learning about skeletons, we did a couple of activities. The first one was the kids favorite. We made little skeletons out of Q-tips. While we made them, we listened to the song Dem Bones.

Paper Skeletons

Then I found these paper skeletons that the kids cut out and glued onto black paper as a Halloween decoration. As we did, we learned some of the technical names for different bones. I also printed an extra and laminated it so the kids could play with it over and over again. When they were first putting it together, they went and found a picture of a skeleton in a book to make sure they were doing it right.

Twigs and Rocks Skeleton

The final activity was making a skeleton out of rocks and sticks outside. It was a more active one because we first had to find the twigs and rocks. I love any activity we can do outside, and the kids had a lot of fun with it!

Overall, this mini unit study was a short but fun way to learn more about the skeletal system and it was perfect for Halloween time!

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