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Friday, October 2, 2015

Columbus Day Activities for Kids

Columbus Day Activities


"When Christopher Columbus -- a son of Genoa, Italy -- set sail across the Atlantic, no one could imagine the profound and lasting impact he would have on the world. In search of a westward route to Asia, he instead spotted the Bahamas. As dawn broke on October 12, 1492, Columbus's crew set foot on a Caribbean island and changed the course of history. For much of Europe, this marked the discovery of the New World, and it set in motion the more than five centuries that have followed.

In a new world, explorers found opportunity. They endured unforgiving winters and early hardship. They pushed west across a continent, charting rivers and mountains, and expanded our understanding of the world as they embraced the principle of self-reliance....

...On Columbus Day, we reflect on the moment the world changed. And as we recognize the influence of Christopher Columbus, we also pay tribute to the legacy of Native Americans and our Government's commitment to strengthening their tribal sovereignty. We celebrate the long history of the American continents and the contributions of a diverse people, including those who have always called this land their home and those who crossed an ocean and risked their lives to do so. With the same sense of exploration, we boldly pursue new frontiers of space, medicine, and technology and dare to change our world once more...."

~President of the United States
(Read this proclamation in its entirety HERE.)

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1.  Art

Use half of a walnut shelf or section of an egg carton.  Place clay in the bottom of the "ship".  Glue or tape a triangular-shaped sail to a toothpick.  Stick the toothpick into the clay.


2.  Social Studies

Trace Columbus' journey from Spain to San Salvador on a globe or world map.  Discuss the voyage.  It was a long tiresome journey for the 100 sailors of the Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria. How did the sailors feel?  What do you think Columbus may have said or done on the ship?  Describe their health.  Describe the reactions when they spotted land.  Dramatize the voyage.


Ask five students to stand perfectly still at the front of the room.  Discuss that the sailors were on a ship for many days for nothing to see but water and sky.  We can imagine they were constantly looking for some signs of land...for anything different!  Have the students observe the five students up front. For extra motivation, give them each a toilet paper tube telescope!  Next, have the students put their heads down.  Change something about the students. (Put a hand in pocket, put one foot forward, take glasses off, rearrange order, etc.)  When the students look up,  they must determine what is different.  Students take turns being up front.


4. Song

(Tune: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)

I saw three ships come sailing by, come sailing by, come sailing by.
The Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria to find Japan, China or India.
Who's in the three ships sailing by, sailing by?
Some hundred sailors making a fuss and their fearless leader, Columbus.
I saw three ships sight the land, sight the land.
Birds and branches gave them a clue on October twelfth, fourteen ninety-two.


5. Columbus Day Alphabetical Order

Click HERE to play.


Printable Resources from Our Store:


You may also like items from our Amazon Associate store:

 Christopher Columbus explorer costume for kids

 wooden ships for Columbus day crafts

 telescope toy for kids Columbus day games

 treasure map for kids

 columbus day activities explorers treasure chests

 dry erase world map


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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!

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