Paint Bones! Painting with a Twist

Let’s face it, painting can get boring. Seriously… it can feel like the same thing over and over sometimes for my boys. That’s why if you really want to switch things up, it’s time to get creative. And we decided to paint bones!

 Painting with a Twist Bones!

Painting with a Twist: Paint Bones

Every year, the family heads out to a Central Colorado ranch to spend a week or two.

It’s amazing to take the kids out of their typical comfort zone and drop them into a landscape that is so utterly different from the Midwest.

It’s not unusual to see cattle walking along the fence line.

The bellowing of these cows is unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

We absolutely love disappearing. There’s nothing like Colorado country!

Because it is such remote country, there’s a ridiculous amount of wildlife around us.

We often find deer bones or elk antlers as we head up into the hills.

To be honest, it’s an amazing excuse to talk to the kids about the circle of life and the fact that yes, animals do actually hunt other animals. It’s one thing to talk about it in a classroom.

It’s a completely different thing to have a child look around and wonder what it takes to actually survive out in the wilderness.

Every time my son finds a bone, they love trying to figure out what part of the body it belonged to, as well as the story of that animal. It’s not macabre. It’s just life!

So now we have all of these bones and we didn’t know what to do with them.

So what does a mom do???

She paints some of them with the kids. Ha!

Process of Painting Bones

We grabbed our paint kits and puffy paint (affiliate), threw down a protective layer on the outside deck and enjoyed painting the bones we had found.

There really are no rules for painting bones. (You didn’t think there would be, did you?)

We let the boys just follow their creativity.

Although I would recommend having them practice using the puffy paint before actually applying it.

We messed around with designs on our paper plates before the boys decided on what they wanted added.

Process of Painting Bones 2

My oldest son had found a jaw bone that he was fascinated with.

We decided to paint both sides… he could decide which one he liked better later.

Completed Painted Bones2

We used one of the already existing holes to put leather necklace cord through it so we could hang it up later.

Completed Painted Bones1

My other son found a more beat up bone. It didn’t have any natural holes so we tied the cord around either end.

Currently, both of their finished projects are hanging up in their rooms.

Completed Painted Bones3

These painted bones are a wonderful reminder of our love of Colorado and of our trips.

I honestly hadn’t thought of it as a souvenir, but they definitely have turned into that.

Painting Bones Square

Halloween Art Project

This project would actually be a hoot to do at Halloween!

And no, you don’t need real bones! Why not get some plastic bones for the kids to decorate?

Aren’t you tired of painting boring old pumpkins?

Turn painting on its side and paint bones… the kids will definitely remember this activity!

Here are the materials you will need (affiliate). Have fun!

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Paint-A-Thon 2016

This post is part of Paint-A-Thon 2016 – a collection of more than 200 painting ideas for kids! Stop by to get tons of art inspiration for your kids!



  1. Oh my! WOW, this is certainly unique! I love this – a fantastic creative and colorful way to talk about and embrace the circle of life!!

    1. When you really get out into the wilderness, your perspective definitely changes. And you come across so many bones, that it’s hard not to have them just become part of the landscape and nothing out of the ordinary. But tell that to the kids when they bring in their bones for show and tell. Ha!

  2. The bones look so cool. I even didn’t know that those are bones without watching closely. Kids look enjoying the painting time. Thank you for sharing at Family Fun Friday.

  3. That’s got to be the most creative painting idea I’ve seen in a while! The last time I looked, I still had some bones in my glove compartment. (Don’t ask — I’m really not sure HOW that seemed like a good idea at the time. But in my defense, they were well weathered and dried out and I think we were going to try to figure out what they might’ve belonged to.)

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