When I saw these tiny bones in the Halloween aisle at my local dollar store, I knew I had to use them to create a game. Below, you will discover what I came up with, plus a few twists that will ensure you can explore it time and time again with your group.
You will need:
- Tiny bones
- Boy (and/or girl) Fun Foam shapes
- A permanent marker
- Colorful wooden clothespins
- A die
To begin, remove one shape of each color from the packaging.
Use a permanent marker to draw 8 simple bone-like markings on each one as shown in the picture above. Your shapes now look like skeletons.
To play, have each child pick a skeleton (a Fun Foam shape) and set it in front of them, on the table. Children take turns rolling the die and, per the number of dots on the die, adding bones to their skeleton to cover the markings.
To make the game last longer, tell children that they must roll the exact number of dots to complete their skeleton. For example, if a child only has two uncovered bone markings on his skeleton, he can only add bones if he rolls a one or a two.
To increase the level of difficulty, have children use tweezers to deposit the tiny bones on the markings.
This may remind you of the popular Operation game…minus the stressful sound!
Here is another idea. Invite children to use wooden clothespins to set the tiny bones on the markings.
Instead of playing with a die, you could cut a copy of each Fun Foam shape into 6 pieces as shown (2 arms, 2 legs, 1 head, and 1 body).
Set the Fun Foam body parts in an opaque container.
Have children take turns picking a body part out of the container (without looking). If, as in the picture, a child picks the dark blue arm, the child who has this skeleton can deposit a bone on his character’s arm.
If, for example, a child picks a head out of the container, the child who has the corresponding skeleton adds both bones that are drawn on this body part, and so on. The first child who sets all the bones on his skeleton wins.
These simple manipulation games will make it possible to work on color recognition, counting skills, and body part recognition with your group. As we get closer to Halloween, these activities can also represent a great way to explore skeletons in a non-scary way!