We’ve got a bunch of fun and easy Columbus Day Crafts to celebrate the spirit of exploration! We’ve got ships, activities, and much more!
When we plan a trip these days, we choose our destination first and then go on to book flights and hotels. But what if all you knew about your trip was how you were setting out, but not where you were going? Well, that’s the kind of trip that Christopher Columbus took over 500 years ago, and how the rest of the world discovered the Americas!
Columbus was the first European explorer to land in the Americas, and he made four full voyages from Spain to America. This was the beginning of the exploration of the region, and many others followed in the footsteps of Columbus. You can say that was the beginning of globalization!
The first time Columbus set foot in America was on 12th October 1492, which means we’re celebrating its anniversary this week, through Columbus Day! Since 1971, Columbus Day is an official holiday in the United States and is observed by institutions like the postal service, banks, and other government agencies. Well, now you can also join in the celebrations, by making these fun Columbus Day crafts!
Columbus Day in the United States coincides with the United States Navy anniversary, as well as Thanksgiving in Canada. With so many occasions, this day is surely worth celebrating, and you can do it with this fun craft from I Heart Crafty Things!
Columbus needed money for his voyage, but he had a hard time finding sponsors. Finally, after six years of convincing, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain agreed to fund his journey, just as Columbus was about to give up. Learn more about the explorer and his journeys with these printables from 123 Homeschool4Me.
Since these Columbus Day crafts are all about exploration, why not try this compass rose activity from Kids Activities Blog? A compass rose shows the four cardinal directions, North, South, East and West, along with the intermediate directions, North-West, South-West, North-East and South-East. It’s a great way for kids to learn more about directions.
We love these accordion fold boats from All about Hope, which are perfect for Columbus Day! This day is known by different names in different regions – it is Día de la Raza in Mexico, Dia de la Hispanidad or Fiesta Nacional de España in Spain, Día de los pueblos originarios y el diálogo intercultural in Peru, and Día de las Américas in Belize and Uruguay.
When Columbus first set out on his voyage to the New World, he had three ships with him – Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta. Unfortunately, Santa Maria, the best of the ships, sank on the way onward. You can recreate edible versions of the three ships following the directions over at Creative Kid Snacks.
Teaching with Children’s Books brings us a full printable activity pack set that’s a great addition to this list of Columbus Day crafts! It contains printables to help learn phonetics, nouns, skip counting, and much more!
Although Columbus landed in the Americas, what he actually wanted to find was a shorter route to the Far East. The countries in that region were known for their silk, jewels, spices, and other treasures, and Columbus promised to bring some of it back for the King and Queen of Spain. Well, we all know that’s not what happened! Learn more about the Silk route and Spice route with the perfect craft for the purpose – a spice painting activity from My Very Educated Mother!
Since Columbus’ plan to reach the Far East turned into an accidental discovery of the Americas, it got named the New World. From that point on, there were many expeditions between Europe and the New World, and this led to a great exchange of ideas, people, and things – something that is known today as the Columbian exchange. Think about how this must have happened as you make these cute paper boats from Do Play Learn.
We know that Columbus had a hard time getting sponsors for his trip. But his troubles didn’t end there – he also had trouble finding a crew! People in those days believed that the earth was flat and that after a point the ship would just fall off the side. Thankfully, today we have globes that prove otherwise, as well as maps to help us find our way – and you can make your own vintage map like this one from Elementary Shenanigans!
Okay, this project from Crayola has got to be the cutest among all the Columbus Day crafts for kids! It features the three ships on Columbus’ first voyage to the New World. Since he is credited to have discovered the Americas, he has been honored by naming places after him, like the country Colombia, the District of Columbia, and British Columbia.
Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and this papercraft from Glued to My Crafts captures the color beautifully! Columbus traveled a lot, and even after his death, his remains moved about quite a bit. He was first buried in Valladolid, Spain, and then shifted to Sevilla, Spain, three years later. Then he was again shifted to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and later to Havana, Cuba. Over 100 years later, his remains were again moved back to Sevilla in Spain!
Columbus was a true explorer – he always had a thirst to travel, first going out to sea at the age of fourteen. He made money for his travels by selling maps and charts, and he went on to make four full voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, from Europe to the Americas. Learn more about the man Christopher Columbus with this craft from Welcome to Room 36.
Parenting Healthy Babies brings us a Columbus day craft you can play with – a spyglass! When you’re an explorer, it is important for you to know a lot about the sea, the stars, and other subjects. Columbus wasn’t formally trained for this; he taught himself astronomy, geography, and history as well as languages like Latin and Portuguese.
Little kids will enjoy making this simple boat craft from Reel Mama, as they hear stories about Columbus the explorer! The place Columbus first landed in the New World was Guanahani, an island in the Bahamas. Although he is said to have discovered America, he spent most of his time in the Caribbean and Central America – he never actually entered the United States mainland.
While Columbus was a great explorer, he wasn’t that great a governor. When he was handed the rule of some of the places he discovered, he couldn’t manage the situation well, resulting in chaos and his eventual return to Spain. In 2021, U.S President Joe Biden announced that October 11 would be Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It is interesting to study the various facets of this day and the man behind it while making Columbus Day crafts like this one from Teachers Mag.
Along with making Columbus Day crafts, another great way to learn about the explorer is through books. Here are some suggestions for children’s books about Columbus:
We’re sure that by now, you’re quite intrigued about the explorer named Christopher Columbus and his place in history. His voyage changed the course of events in the world, and its impact can still be seen today. Learning about him and his voyages is sure to be an interesting exercise!