Creative Child

12 Columbus Day Crafts, Activities, and Snacks

by Rebecca Eanes

October is here, and that means that Columbus Day is near. Whether you are homeschooling or are just looking for some great activities, I’ve pulled together some of the most fun and simple Columbus Day activities, crafts, printables, and snacks for you to enjoy with your little one.

1. This Christopher Columbus Pack by 3Dinosaurs is a fun and educational pack perfect for ages 2 to 8. The pack contains basic prewriting, puzzles, matching, coloring, sorting, puppets, and more!

2. Create an egg carton boat that really floats with this craft by Fun Littles. Bonus: It’s a toy your child can play with in the tub or a water-filled bin! You’ll just need an egg carton, craft sticks, scissors, foam sheets for sails, and tape!

3. Make handprint replicas of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Either dip your child’s hand in paint or trace their hand and cut it out. Glue a couple of sails to the fingers and paint/draw some water underneath. This is a simple and cute craft that makes a great handprint keepsake.

4. Get your crayons and check out these Columbus Day coloring pages! Coloring improves motor skills, stimulates creativity, contributes to better handwriting, teaches color awareness, helps children learn about boundaries and special awareness, and is a calming activity.

5. Create your very own spyglass telescope using a paper tube, construction paper, and scotch tape. See what your child can discover in the sea through the spyglass from her pretend perch on the Santa Maria!

6. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, how about painting with spices? As a nod to the spice trade route Columbus and other explorers of his time set out to find, MVEM put together this activity of using spices to color/paint a drawing. It’s a great sensory activity, too!

7. Make tiny walnut ships to sail in the tub. Using half a walnut shell, fill with playdough and place a toothpick into the dough with a small triangular sail taped to it. Use the little boats for imaginative play at bath time. Teach your child the following song to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat. “Sail sail sail your ship. Sail it night and day. Look for land. Look for land all along the way.” (Author unknown)

8. This boat collage from Crayon Freckles is perfect for scissor practice. Cut out and glue various shapes to create the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Watch your child be creative with different patterns and materials to make a unique piece of art!

9. Had enough ship crafts? Try making a Christopher Columbus paper hat! You can use these instructions at or print this template from Layers of Learning. The template is more simple while the ehow instructions is a bit more challenging so you can choose which one is age appropriate for your child.

10. Eat a simple apple sailboat snack in between your crafts! Just take a slice of apple for your boat, a cube of cheese for the sail, and a toothpick to hold the cheese in place. These adorable little snacks will be gobbled up in no time!

11. These Jell-o snacks by Gourmet Mom on the Go are super cute. You’ll need blue Jell-o, orange slices, toothpicks, and flags. You can even print the adorable Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria flags she designed. These would be great for the classroom, homeschool co-op meeting, or just a special snack for your little one.

12. Veggie boats are a healthy and fun snack for Columbus Day as well. You can see them here at Oh Happy Day. Use your child’s favorite veggies and hummus to create little sailboats and maybe, just maybe, they’ll actually want to eat their vegetables!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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