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Halloween Human Organ Donation Station

by Tom Johnson on Oct 27, 2012 •
categories: technical-writing

If you need an idea for a fun Halloween activity, try making a "touch and feel box," as they are sometimes called. Yesterday at work I made a Human Body Parts Donation Station. Kids reach in and feel brains, guts, eyeballs, hearts, and so on.

A bookshelf works well for this. Find some posterboard or cardboard and create three long rectangles to cover the shelves. Cut several holes for kids to reach their hands through. Cut some squares from a garbage sack and tape on the reverse side to block the view into the food. Add some labels above each hole.

Here's what works well for the food:

  • Brains: Tofu
  • Ears or lungs: Borax and glue. (See this recipe.)
  • Skin: Moistened tortilla
  • Eyeballs: Peeled grapes. (Tip: Boil the grapes 5 minutes and the peels come off easier.)
  • Fingers: Vienna sausages
  • Fingernails: Slivered almonds
  • Stomach guts: Top Ramen and spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti only half way.
  • Heart: Peel and boil a semi-hard tomato. Alternatively, this could be a spleen, but cut in half.
  • Hair: Silk from corn husks.

Kids love hands-on activities, and their imaginations do the rest.

If your bookshelf has a hole in the back somewhere, hide someone behind the bookshelf and have them grab a hand that comes through one of the holes. I didn't do this because my bookshelf was solid metal, but if I could, it would make this activity a hoot.

(In fact, you could put some of the borax+glue mixture inside a thin rubber glove and call it hand. Then every so often switch out the fake hand with the real hand -- this would avoid kids from anticipating the real hand.)

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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