Homemade skeleton model

Updated April 17, 2017

The human skeleton is literally the backbone and frame of our bodies. We need it to keep our bodies upright; without it we would be a puddle on the ground. Kids of all ages are both fascinated and a little scared of the skeleton. These models can be made in the classrooms, at home school or for a fun craft on a rainy afternoon. Each can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, depending on the amount of detail you put in.

Easy Skeleton Models

For young children or a quick skeleton model, try making one with q-tips or macaroni. Both start with a paper template. For the q- tip skeleton, draw the skull on black paper. Using the q-tips, add in as many bones as you want. The cotton ends can represent the joints and the sticks are the bones.Help young children to trim the cotton ends or cut the q-tips in pieces to make shorter bones such as fingers. For the macaroni skeleton, have fun finding as many different pasta shapes as you can, Choose pasta shapes to match bone shapes as closely as possible, such as tubini or ziti for larger bones, spaghetti or fettuccine for ribs and two elbow macaroni to form the pelvis.

Moderate Skeleton Models

For children with a little more dexterity, try a chenille stem skeleton. Twist white chenille stems, available at craft or department stores, into a skeleton shape with as much detail as you want. Add a wooden bead or white pom pom for a skull. To make your chenille stem skeleton sturdy enough to pose, wrap white self-adhesive bandages around each stem. Make a paper skeleton by drawing bones on sturdy card stock. Cut out the bones and attach to each other at the joints with metal brads. This will allow you to pose your skeleton in a variety of positions. Another idea is to trace and cut the bones of the skeleton from white foam craft sheets. Draw as many details and label the bones as you wish. Using string or fishing line, tie the ends of the bones together to form a finished moving skeleton.

Challenging Skeleton Models

If you are ready for a little more challenge in making your skeleton, try one of these suggestions. Using nine clean, recycled milk jugs, some string, a glue gun, scissors and a hole punch, you can have a skeleton in a little over an hour. Glue the spouts of two bottles together with hot glue. Trim one bottle to become the rib cage. Add a half bottle at the bottom of the ribs for the pelvic bone. Cut bones from the rest of the jugs, hole punch the ends and tie together to make a completed skeleton. You can also make a similar skeleton using painted wooden spools and white wooden beads to be the joints. This particular skeleton can be quite expensive and time-consuming so you might want to just try a section of a skeleton, like a hand.
Purchase a black sweatsuit, black gloves and socks and white knitted cap. There are many ways to add a skeleton to the sweatsuit, such as painting directly onto the suit with white fabric paint, sewing fabric bones onto the suit or using a bonding material to stick fabric bones on the suit. You can also use white electrical tape or medical tape to make the bones. Add as much detail as you wish, including the hand and foot bones on the gloves and socks. Children can watch how bones move by performing actions while wearing the sweatsuit or watching each other move.

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About the Author

Susan King is a teacher with 27 years experience with all ages, grade levels and ability levels, including teaching in China. She has written a book, "The Road to Rebecca," about adopting from China. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She also has a ThM from Colorado Theological Seminary in Christian Counseling and recently received her PhD.