How to Make Q-Tip Skeletons

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The head bone’s connected to the neck bone, the neckbone’s connected to the backbone … who doesn’t know the famous Dem Bones children’s song?

And that’s the song we played as we made our Q-tip skeleton craft. As part of our homeschool human anatomy unit study, we are exploring the different bones in our bodies. Making a skeleton out of cotton swabs was a lot of fun and perfect for Halloween!

QTip Skeleton Complete

Before we jumped into the craft, we read our favorite human anatomy book, Look Inside Your Body. Then we used the skeletal drawing in the book to model our Q-tip skeleton.

QTip Skeleton Look Inside Your Body

Cotton Swab Skeleton Craft

Materials:

QTip Skeleton Materials

Instructions:

1. Cut 6 Q-tips in half for the skeleton’s ribs. For more accuracy, you can trim some of the ribs shorter. 

2. Glue 1 Q-tip on the black construction paper. This will be the spine. I cut an additional section to make the spine slightly longer than the ribs.

3. Glue the 6 pairs of ribs on both sides of the spine. Make sure to leave a little room up top for the neck bone.

QTip Skeleton Ribs

4. Cut two sections off a Q-tip for the hip bones. They should be slightly shorter than half of the Q-tip. Glue them on the construction paper.

QTip Skeleton Pelvis

5. Trim the ends off 8 Q-tips. These will be the arm and leg bones.

6. Cut the ends off 5 Q-tips. These are your fingers.

7. Cut the 2 ends off 1 Q-tip (though leave a little more stem). These are your feet.

8. Arrange all the Q-tips you cut in their proper locations and glue them on the black construction paper. Be creative with your skeleton’s pose!

QTip Skeleton Limbs

9. Draw a skull on the white paper with a black marker and cut it out.

10. Glue the skull above the skeleton, right above the neck bone.

QTip Skeleton on Desk

Did you decide to make a scary skeleton? Or a friendly one? Since the idea of a skeleton is a little scary for my preschooler, we made our skeletons all happy ones.

The cotton swabs are a little difficult to cut, so you might want to cut them ahead of time. My 6-year-old son was stubborn and cut all the Q-tips he used by himself, and he did so successfully. But mommy had a mini heart attack every time a Q-tip went flying.

QTip Skeleton Cutting QTip

For my kids, I just wanted them to understand the major bones of our body. I didn’t get into the names of every single bone, but they at least know that our leg bones are not connected directly to our backbone. We also talked about the concept of joints versus just bones. 

QTip Skeleton with Book

I hope your kids enjoyed this craft. You can hang your Q-tip skeletons up on the wall, the fridge, or even the door for Halloween!

For more fun Halloween crafts, check out:

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