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Day of the Dead Skeleton Activities with Free Printable

El Día de Muertos or el Día de los Muertos is the perfect time of year to study the human skeleton without any scary associations. 

Our Day of the Dead Skeleton Activities with Free Printable are the perfect resource to use with your students!

In our home many are frightened by the scary and gory figures associated with Halloween. They have requested that we focus studies on and celebrate el Día de Muertos and Harry Potter instead.

El Día de los Muertos is cultural holiday from Mexico that honors the dead. It is not associated with Halloween. 

Skeletons and skulls are used in Day of the Dead festivities and decorations to represent the dead and celebrate them.

Where Halloween is celebrated October 31st in the United States and other countries, el Día de Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and other countries.

Day of the Dead Skeleton Activities with Free Printable

To bring more awareness to El Día de Muertos/el Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead and the amazing holiday it is, I have created the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle for Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms at home and at school.

Day of the Dead Mini Bundle

This 169-page bundle is perfect for those looking to expand cultural holiday studies and/or replace Halloween with a more meaningful holiday that is not scary.

All of the Day of the Dead Skeleton Activities below, with the exception of the free printable at the bottom, are included in the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle. If you don't own a copy yet, I highly recommend it!

And if you've never watched Disney's Coco, which is all about the Day of the Dead, I highly recommend it! 

Day of the Dead Skeleton Activities with Free Printable

Meet Alex Bones!

Meeting Alex Bones

To kick off our study of the human skeleton, I knew I needed to find a non-scary skeleton my kids would enjoy, big enough to help with learning.  Thankfully Walmart had just what I needed for only $9.99.

Before we began our study, I introduced the kids to the happy skeleton and asked that we give him a name. The kids decided on Alex Bones, so that's what we've called him ever since.  All of the kids love him and are having loads of fun learning about him.

Parts of a Skeleton Labeling Activity

Skeleton Bone Labeling Activity

The first activity we did after meeting and naming Alex Bones, was learn the names and locations of all of his many bones, using the printable in the picture above.  A control was provided, which helped the kids locate each bone on Alex, and then label it on their paper.

Bone Labeling Activity in Action

I loved how Alex is the perfect size for exploration and brought such a fun dimension to the kids' studies. It was a very hands on activity which is always a win!

Source: The printable used in this activity is included in the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle

Bone Structure Coloring Activity

Bone Structure Coloring Activity

Now that the kids are a little older, it wasn't enough just to study the parts of the skeleton. Dinomite, Bulldozer, and Princess wanted to know more, so I introduced bone structure.  We talked about how bones are not just solid and include soft layers as well as marrow.  The kids found it all fascinating.

Bone Structure Coloring Activity in Action

They enjoyed the coloring activity. It helped them understand the complexities of bones in an easy and fun way.

Source: The printable used in this activity is included in the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle.

Bone Fractures Cutting Activity

Bone Fracture Cutting Activity

Last January or February, Dinomite dislocated and broke his pinky toe. Not a month later, Bulldozer broke his pinky finger. A month after that, Bulldozer broke one of his toes. Princess also sprained a finger and ended up in physical therapy due to Sever's Disease.  

To say the least, I was concerned as to why all of my kids were literally falling apart. Doctors and physical therapists assured me that all was typical for their ages as their bodies were changing at rapid paces, including their bones.

All of these broken bones led to a fascination about how bones actually break, which was the inspiration for this activity.  The boys loved identifying which breaks they had experienced.

Bone Fracture Cutting Activity in Action

To ultilize the bone fracture nomenclature cards in a more hands on way, the kids created the breaks using bananas as bones. They had so much fun doing this, even though Dinomite despises bananas and needed to use a fork so he wouldn't have to touch them.

Bone Fracture Cutting Activity in Action 2

The examples above are just a couple of the breaks the kids recreated. It was so interesting to see how fascinated they were with the process of creating the breaks to look like the cards.

This activity really gave them a better understanding of exactly what happens to bones when they do break and why it's so important to follow the doctor's instructions for healing.

Dinomite especially understood why he needed his bone put back in place, as opposed to his brother, who did not have to go through that same experience, even with two broken bones.

Source: The printable used in this activity is included in the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle.

Animal Skeleton Match Up Cards

Animal Skeleton Match Up

The Day of the Dead not only honors people who have died but also animals. Animals also play special roles in El Día de los Muertos traditions. Needless to say I had to include a skeleton activity related to animals in my mini bundle.

At our house, the older kids matched animal skeletons without words to animal figures we have in our collection. They were fascinated by how the animal skeletons looked compared to the actual animals. No one could believe a crow has such a long neck!  Lol.

If Sunshine were home, she'd match animal skeletons with names to animal photographs with names, and then match up animal figures if she so desired.  Or, if she was simply fascinated with the skeletons, which is entirely possible, we would just use the animal skeleton cards.

The sky is the limit!

Source: The printable used in this activity is included in the Day of the Dead Mini Bundle.

FREE Day of the Dead Parts of the Human Skull Activity

FREE Day of the Dead Parts of the Human Skull Activity

As we learned with our skeleton friend Alex Bones, the kids showed interest in learning more about the skull and what each of the parts are called. For this reason I created the FREE Day of the Dead Parts of the Human Skull Activity.

It includes three pages:
  • A colored diagram of the parts of the skull labeled using a side profile
  • A colored diagram with blank squares for students to fill in the blank
  • A black and white version of the image that students can color and label if desired.

I'm super excited about the kids' interest in the skull as it will transition perfectly into a study of the brain which is coming soon!

Source: The Day of the Dead Parts of the Human Skull Activity is FREE. To obtain your copy, click on the link below.

For those who are looking for more Day of the Dead activities and printables and/or human body printables and activities, be sure to subscribe to our FREE newsletter.

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