When I first shared this post it was as part of a Halloween series, but you guys are loving this one year round! And what’s not to love? Skeletons aren’t just for Halloween and these 9 Printable Skeleton Crafts are great year-round activities, whether you’re looking to add some skeletons into your lesson plan or just looking for something fun to entertain the kids.
So, whether it’s the Halloween season or not, here are our favorite skeleton templates from around the web!
9 Printable Skeleton Crafts
While your skeletal system is undoubtedly remarkable, comprising over 200 bones, the printables presented here possess a more modest number of bones, albeit still retaining their entertaining appeal. However, let’s delve deeper into the captivating world of bones and discover some fascinating facts. Did you know that humans are born with approximately 300 bones, but as we mature into adulthood, that number decreases to 206? Interestingly, this reduction in bone count doesn’t imply that bones vanish over time. Rather, many of our bones fuse together during the natural growth process, resulting in the formation of a more extensive skeletal structure.
Now, here’s a bone-related nugget to pique your interest. The smallest bone in the human body happens to be the stapes, found snugly nestled within the inner ear. This tiny bone, measuring only a few millimeters in length, plays a crucial role in transmitting sound vibrations to the inner ear, enabling our sense of hearing. Conversely, on the opposite end of the size spectrum, we encounter the knee joint, which takes the crown as the largest joint in our bodies. Comprised of three interconnected bones—the femur, tibia, and patella—the knee joint facilitates smooth and coordinated movements, such as walking, running, and jumping.
Truly, the world of bones is captivating. Not only do they provide structural support and enable locomotion, but they also harbor intriguing information about an individual’s age, gender, race, and even height. Bones possess the remarkable ability to act as silent storytellers, unveiling clues about our past and present. So, before you embark on your adventure with these printable activities, take a moment to explore the awe-inspiring world of the skeletal system. You might stumble upon surprising discoveries that deepen your appreciation for these extraordinary anatomical structures.
Let’s take a closer look at the remarkable insights bones can offer about a person. Forensic anthropologists, for instance, employ their knowledge of skeletal remains to unravel mysteries from the past. By carefully examining bones, they can estimate a person’s age at the time of death, identify their gender, make educated guesses about their racial background, and even estimate their height. The human skeleton harbors unique characteristics that vary among individuals and groups, allowing experts to discern vital details from mere fragments.
Age estimation is a critical aspect of forensic anthropology. As we age, our bones undergo specific changes that can be used as markers to determine the approximate age of an individual. For example, the fusion of growth plates in long bones, such as the femur and humerus, occurs at different stages throughout childhood and adolescence. By examining the degree of fusion or closure, experts can estimate the age range of an individual.
Gender determination through bones is another intriguing aspect. Although it may not be foolproof, certain skeletal features can provide valuable insights. Pelvic bones, in particular, exhibit significant sexual dimorphism. The shape and size of the pelvis can often reveal whether the remains belong to a male or a female. Other indicators include the presence of certain muscle attachments and variations in bone density.
Race is a complex and multifaceted aspect of human identity, and bones can sometimes offer clues about a person’s racial background. Although race is not a purely biological construct, certain skeletal features can exhibit patterns that align with specific ethnic groups. For instance, variations in cranial morphology, nasal shape, and dental traits can provide indicators of ancestral heritage.
Finally, height estimation, while challenging, can also be inferred from bones. Anthropologists use mathematical formulas and regression models to estimate an individual’s stature based on measurements of certain bones, such as the femur and tibia. These methods, although not without limitations, provide valuable approximations and contribute to the overall understanding of an individual’s physical characteristics.
While the printables you’re about to enjoy may have fewer bones than the human body, they are no less entertaining. However, take a moment to appreciate the incredible complexities of our skeletal system. From the fusion of bones as we age to the stapes in our inner ear, each element offers its own unique marvels. And don’t forget, our bones hold captivating stories about our lives and identities. So, as you embark on your printable activities, let the world of bones spark your curiosity, and who knows, you may uncover a treasure trove of knowledge that leaves you truly amazed.
As for these free templates, simply print them out, color them in (or leave them as is) and add a few brass fasteners to link up all of their pieces. Choose your favorite skeleton characters or grab them all!
Cut and paste together this free printable Skeleton Template. He’s part of a 12 page Build a Halloween Character series.
Here’s another movable skeleton craft and while the directions are in Spanish, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Grab this freebie HERE.
This Skeleton from Scholastic makes for a large skeleton when complete and even comes with a few skeleton activity ideas!
Grab this Mechanical Skeleton from DZ Doodles.
Hang these skeleton pieces from a hanger to create your very own skeleton puppet! Get this printable from Color with Leo.
Grab this Skeleton Toy and his friends (Mummy, Bear and Robot) from Woo Jr.
I absolutely adore this Skeleton Printable.
Of course, you could always make building a skeleton into a game like this one from All for the Boys.
Or create several of the same skeletons in different colors with this printable from Paper Zip.
Did we forget one? Let us know so that we can add it to the list!
And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Free Halloween Printables.