You can have fun and teach your kids about Columbus Day at the same time. Crafts and activities are a great way to give kids a hands-on experience that underscores their learning. Here are some ideas for kids’ activities for Columbus Day.
1. Boat Race
For this activity, gather the following items:
* Wading pool
* 3 egg cartons, Styrofoam or cardboard
* Floral foam
* Craft sticks or wooden skewers
* White paper
* Electric fan
* Permanent markers and/or crayons
* Hot glue gun
First, cut the egg cartons apart along the hinge. You will be using the lids. Lay slabs of floral foam evenly in each lid so that it’s balanced. Decorate the outside of the egg carton lids however you like. Maybe give them a wooden look with brown, gray and black crayons and markers.
Cut sail shapes from the white paper and decorate them with the names of Columbus’ three ships (the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria). Hot glue the sails to the craft sticks or skewers, then stick them into the floral foam sail-side-up.
Fill the wading pool with several inches of water. Keeping the cord and fan well away from the water, place it near enough to create a breeze on the water. Line up the ships, turn on the fan, and have a boat race.
2. Spanish and Italian Feast
Christopher Columbus was a native of Italy, and his trip was funded by Spain’s Queen Isabella. Find recipes online or at your local library for classic regional foods and have an ethnic meal. Here are some ideas for various foods and dishes.
* Paella (traditional chicken and rice dish)
* Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup)
* Chorizo (pork sausage with paprika)
* Tortilla de Patatas (tortilla made with potatoes and eggs)
* Frittata (savory pancake with egg and various ingredients)
* Fresh pasta (making pasta noodles can be a fun activity in itself)
* Tiramisu (sponge cake-based dessert with chocolate and Kahlua liqueur)
* Risotto (slow-cooking skillet rice dish)
3. Make a Map
Use butcher paper, large sheets of brown wrapping paper, or even brown paper bags (cut along the seams to make a flat sheet) to make a big map. Research in order to get Columbus’ route accurate, and draw a map of the countries and the route. You could use construction paper to cut out three little ships to go along the route on the map.
The finished map can be put up on a wall if you like, and the ships moved a little each day.
You don’t have to go finding another country, but the whole family can go out exploring with a goal in mind. Put away the GPS and use a paper map and a compass to go on a drive or a hike. Circle the destination on the map and find your way using the old-fashioned implements. You could also replicate this spirit of exploration and map reading with a scavenger hunt.