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Columbus Day family activities

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Columbus Day is Oct. 11

Columbus Day is Oct. 11. Take advantage of the opportunity to teach your children about the history of Christopher Columbus with a few of these family-friendly activities.

Christopher Columbus Day is Oct. 11, 2010

Monday, Oct. 11 is Columbus Day, a day set aside to remember Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the new world.

Columbus sailed the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria to the new world, landing in what is now the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492. President Benjamin Harrison first declared Columbus Day a holiday on the 400th anniversary of the holiday in 1892, though some had already celebrated the day for decades prior.

Though the true history of Christopher Columbus is surrounded by myth, the holiday serves an important purpose - - to teach children about the important of world history.

Looking for Columbus Day activities to share with your children? We've got you covered.

Learn the Columbus Day Poem

A poem developed over the years to teach schoolchildren about the history of Christopher Columbus. Check out the poem and practice repeating it. Soon your children will know the history of Christopher Columbus by heart.

Create a Christopher Columbus volcano

It's rumored that Columbus passed a volcano on his voyage to the new world. Follow these directions to help your children make a volcano of their own:

  • Make dough by using water, flour and salt.
  • Mold the salt dough into a volcano shape.
  • Place a bottle cap on the top of your volcano (the crater.)
  • Fill the cap with baking powder.
  • Add red food coloring to a bit of vinegar.
  • Drip a teaspoon of red vinegar onto the baking powder using a straw or eyedropper.
  • Watch as the red lava "foams" down the sides of the volcano.

Sample some of Columbus' food

Columbus stores one year's worth of food on his ships. Foods included water, sardines, anchovies, cheese, lentils, chickpeas, rice, honey, almonds, raisins, biscuits, garlic, oil and vinegar. Create a mini "buffet" with these foods and experience life the way Columbus and his crew did.

Build a telescope

Columbus used a telescope to spot land on the horizon. Have your children make their own telescopes with paper towel rolls, masking tape, construction paper and paint. Crush one end of the paper towel roll slightly and fit it gently into the other one and tape in place. Cover the top of the towel roll with construction paper and decorate it with paint. Add a magnifying glass to the end of the telescope to create a more "realistic" effect.

All ideas sourced found here.

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