Skeleton Hiccups: a Halloween book and activity

hic hic hic

Halloween is just around the corner.

Time to head to the library or local bookstore to find some fun-spooky reading.

One of (the many) books that we read in my kindergarten class sometime in October is Skeleton Hiccups. 

Skelton Hiccups
author: Margery Cuyler
illustrator: S. D. Schindler
publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002
age range: 3 - 7

Poor Skeleton wakes up one morning with a serious case of the hiccups. 
Having hiccups can be bone rattling enough for those of us held together with skin.  In the shower, Skeleton (hic hic) looses his soap,
his jaw flies off while (hic hic) brushing his teeth, and his arm becomes undone (hic hic) during bone polishing.  Raking leaves and pumpkin carving are also compromised due to those nasty hiccups. Ghost recommends the traditional remedies; a lack of skin and organs make them ineffective.
But ghost does have a solution, and those hic, hic hics hop away. 

Read more about the author

book love
The text is light, funny and can make a class of 5 year olds and their teacher laugh.  The illustrations are clean and stand out against the muted dark background.  And there is always a little quirk to make you laugh some more.  Check out the bat slippers when Skeleton is in the shower.  

A final reason why I choose to read this book with my kindergarten kids is that it is not a "Halloween" book.  It does not even end with a  "happy Halloween". But it fits perfectly in October as we fill our classroom with spiders, bats and skeletons.  Spending 6 hours a day, 5 days a week with 22 five year olds, we have to pace ourselves and not use the "H" word too soon.

Read more about the author Margery Cuyler on her website [here], and illustrator, S.D. Schindler has a website [here].

get out your scissors and glue
I don't know whether this skeleton can get the hiccups, but I do know that with a little breeze, he becomes a mighty fine dancer. 

You will need a styrofoam meat tray.  Right now I have a stack of black trays from my friendly butcher.  Other years I have also had blue and white.  I figure that they all work. Purists might want white.

You will also need 22 strips of 1 1/2" x 9" paper.  Once again, purists would want white; I put out mostly white paper for my kindergarten kids, but also add it a variety of other colours.  Sometimes we get patterned skeleton. Other time the skeletons have specially coloured hands and feet.  And there is the occasional rainbow skeleton. 

Each skeleton leg needs a 6 link paper chain.

The arms have 5 links.

Making paper chains is great fine motor and spatial relationship work.  And for wee ones, it's also practice counting to 5 and 6.

Add a skull shape, and the skeleton is ready for assembly.

Staple on the arms, legs and skull, and your skeleton is ready to dance!  The kids draw on a skull face.  I decided to spare you my version; I don't do creepy-cute nearly as well as a five year old.

Check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!



  1. Sounds like a fun and silly book - and I love the craft to go with it!

  2. The book is so fun to read with little ones! What a great craft to go with it.

  3. What a fun book and activity! Thanks for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! We hope you stop by again next week!

  4. Oh, how fun!! We will have to check this book out. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!


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