If you thought that Halloween was the only fun day to celebrate in October, then you are missing one of the most important holidays of all: Columbus Day! This holiday is meant to remind us of the man who first sailed over to North America from the Old World. And while not everyone celebrates it the same, it’s important to teach your children about this continent’s history. So as the second Monday in October (October 14th) arrives this year, try these four fun kids activities to teach your kids about Columbus Day so they understand a little more history about this nation that we love.
1. What Would You Bring?
In 1492, Christopher Columbus first traveled across to the New World on his three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. With him, he brought a variety of items that he thought he might need in the new continent.
Explain this history lesson to your children, and then try a fun kids activity by asking them to think of five to ten items that they would want if they were going exploring. This could be anything from a special book, to seeds for planting, to even a pet – but make sure it could fit on their ship!
2. Poem and Paper Ships
Christopher Columbus and his crew became famous for their travels to the Americas to seek a new land to colonize. With your children, first immortalize this trip by having them create a two-dimensional paper ship – you can cut out pieces of brown construction paper for the body of the ship and the mast, a different color for the flags, and paste them over blue paper for the Atlantic Ocean.
Beneath this, have your children write a small poem or short story about Columbus’s travels. It can be a few words on why he left home, what his ships were like, or what he found when he arrived in America. This kids activity will help your children learn a small amount of history of the land in which they live.
3. Head to the Library
If you are looking for a great resource to learn about Christopher Columbus this year, take your children to the kids section of the library – there you can find a variety of picture books that will detail everything from his early life, to his travels, to even what he did when he arrived in America. This information will excite your children over the prospect of adventure, and will help them understand a bit more about their own country.
4. The World Isn’t Flat
While Christopher Columbus’s achievements were truly magnificent, it was his ideals and beliefs that set him apart as a great thinker of his era. While many individuals were under the impression that the world was a flat surface, Columbus predicted that it was round, and that sailing away from Europe would help him arrive at a new continent.
Explain to your children this concept that he debunked, and focus on the importance of having great ideas, even if it means defying long-standing traditions. Spend this day giving a history lesson to your children that Columbus was most important for standing up for what he believed in, and willing to adventure to prove it all.
He Sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492
Christopher Columbus was one of the most important figures in American history. So spend this October 14th with your children, giving them a history lesson about this incredible man, and explaining all of the wonderful things he did to start this country off on the right path.