Craft Ideas for Columbus Day

Celebrating Columbus Day with crafts can be a lot of fun. Below are some craft ideas for various ages.

1. Boats

Boats (or, more accurately, ships) are a natural – both for Columbus Day and craft projects. There are quite a few ways you can make a model sailing ship of the type Columbus sailed; here are ideas for a few.

* Egg cartons are the basis for all kinds of crafts, including mini ships! For several small ships (remember the fleet of three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria), you can cut the egg carton’s segments into individual cups. Put floral foam into each cup. You could also use regular Styrofoam, or anything light that will hold up a toothpick.

Then, use toothpicks and paper to create sails – glue toothpicks to squares of white paper. Stick the toothpick sails into the foam inside the cups. If you are using foam egg cartons, you can float your little ships on water. If you use cardboard cartons, you can still float your ships but they will soften after a while.

Try having a boat race using your homemade sailing ships, a wading pool, and a fan!

* Egg cartons have a lid, too, and that can also be made into a ship. Simply turn it open-side-up and fill it with floral foam (or equivalent). Use popsicle sticks or shish kabob skewers to hold the sails rather than toothpicks. You can race these larger ships, too, and you can add as little or as much detail as you like. If you use cardboard, you can paint them.

You could combine these craft ideas and make the larger ship to be the Santa Maria, and the smaller ones that you made from the carton cups could be the Nina and Pinta. It’s known that the Santa Maria was the biggest of the three actual ships.

2. Maps

Making maps can be fun. Use the brown paper from used paper shopping bags, or some other antique-looking paper. Then create a map showing Columbus’s route from Europe to South America. These can be illustrated elaborately or simply.

Check your local library or the internet for a detailed description of Columbus’s route. Once your maps are finished, you can put them up on the walls or laminate them with clear contact paper and use them for display or as placemats (placemaps?).

3. Queen for a Day

Kids enjoy dressing up, so why not dress up as Queen Isabella? Research the fashions of the era, and find out how the Queen dressed. Use cardboard, glitter, and sequins to make a crown such as 16th-century Queens might have worn. Dowels can be coated with glitter and wound with ribbon to create scepters.

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