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Tips from a Typical Mom: Columbus Day Preschool Theme Ideas   Preparing ahead for our lesson plan for Monday. Since it’s Columbus Day ~ Why not do something related to the topic?   Columbus Day honors the day Christopher Columbus discovered America. The official holiday falls on October 12. As with all Federal holidays, when a holiday falls on a Sunday – it is usually observed on Monday. When it falls on a Saturday – the holiday is usually observed on a Friday. Most schools hold programs and special events on that day.   The first Columbus Day celebration was held in New York City in 1792 – the city celebrated the 300th anniversary of the landing. Columbus Day has been celebrated annually since 1920.   Many Latin American countries also celebrate October 12 as the Día de la Raza (Day of the Race). The Spanish heritage is honored of people of Latin America. Celebration ceremonies feature speeches, parades, and colorful fiestas.   Columbus Day- Ship in a Bottle Freebie!   Of course here’s some {free} worksheets to go with your lessons:   Cardboard Tube Telescope  

Cardboard Tube Telescope

Here’s a great craft project inn honor of Columbus Day! Recycle a few household items, like paper cups and cardboard tubes to create a telescope. Look through the lens and help discover new worlds, just like Christopher Columbus!
Silver Glitter
Cardboard Tube
Pencil or Ball Point Pen
Paper cup
Construction paper (brown, orange, blue)
Craft knife **Adult Assistance may be required
Step 1. Gather your supplies.
Supplies to create a telescope craft
Use a recycled cardboard tube to create a telescope craft Step 2.
Place your cardboard tube on the bottom of your paper cup and trace around the tube using a pen.
Paper Craft Telescope Step 3.
Remove the tube. Draw a line dividing the circle in half, draw another line to create quarters and  (2) more lines to split the circle into (8) sections.
Kids Craft Columbus Day Arts and Crafts Telescope Step 4.
Have an adult use a craft knife to cut the lines inside the circle to create (8) flaps.
Columbus Day Arts and Crafts Project Step 5.
Push the flaps inward. Check to make sure that the cardboard tube will now fit into the hole that was created with the craft knife. The tube should fit snug, but still be able to move and turn. Remove the tube and set aside for later.
Arts and Crafts Project For Columbus Day Step 6.
Now you will decorate the lens of your telescope. Trace the top of your cup onto a piece of acetate. Acetate is a clear material you can find in the office supply section, or recycled from the fronts of products, like toy packages. For your telescope You will need to create (2) circles. Cut out the circles and set aside.
Kids craft for Columbus Day Step 7.
Trace the top of your cup onto an orange foam sheet using your pencil. Turn the cup over and center the cup inside the circle you just traced. Trace the bottom of the cup. Cut out the large outer circle.
Columbus Day Art Project Step 8.
You will need to cut out the inside of the foam circle without cutting the outer edge of the circle.  Gently fold your foam circle and use your scissors to cut the middle.
Use acetate and foam to create the lens to a telescope. Step 9.
Run the craft glue around one side of your foam circle and glue one sheet of acetate to the foam circle.
Columbus Day Paper Craft Step 10.
Turn the foam circle over and sprinkle some Patriotic Star Sequins into the middle. Line the outside edge with glue and adhere the second acetate circle on top. Set this piece aside.
Kids Art Project for Columbus Day Step 11.
Paint your cup with Acrylic Paint and let dry.
Columbus Day Art Project Step 12.
Wrap construction paper around your cardboard tube and glue. Leave about 3 inches at the end of the tube uncovered so you can insert your cup. You can wrap different colors of paper on top of each other to create a design as shown.
make a Columbus Day Telescope Step 13.
Put craft glue along the top edge of the cup and glue the foam circle on to the top of the cup.
Paper Craft Telescope Step 14.
Decorate your cup. Apply glue around the top rim of the cup and sprinkle Silver Glitter to accent. Add Acrylic Jewels around the cup for added decoration. Insert your cardboard tube into the hole. Once dry you’ll be ready to explore your surroundings with your Telescope craft! Spin the cup to see different views with the star sequins inside your lens!   Columbus day activity with a great freebie!  


  • Math-It took Columbus 69 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.  To help students understand the length of time, cut out 69 ships.  Number the ships from 1 to 69.  Tape a ship on a bulletin board or across the blackboard every day.  On the 69th day, have a celebration of some kind.  Some other math activities that you can do with the students are:   create Columbus word problems using the ships; have students determine how many days till the 69th day; write down the numbers that are odd or even; count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s; review place value.

  • Writing: Read “The Log of Christopher Columbus-The First Voyage” by Steve Lowe or any other journal/log book on Christopher Columbus.  Explain to students that they will make pretend they were on one of the ships and to keep a log of a day in their life on the ship.  Students can choose the ship and their job on that ship.  This assignment can consist of one day or one week.

  • Writing II: Students make a list of things they would take to on a long sea voyage.

  • Journal Time: Columbus was just one of many explorers who was on a quest of discovery.  Ask students what they would personally like to discover.

  • Health/Nutrition: Make a list of New World foods and Old World foods.  Print them on index cards.  Make two pockets out of construction paper.  Label one “New World Foods” and the second “Old World Foods”.  Have students place each food in the correct pocket.  Other activities include sorting by food groups, colors, etc; play a concentration game using the flashcards.

New World Foods: corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts, pecans, blueberries, papaya, pineapples, wild rice, chocolate, pumpkins, cashews, vanilla, peppers, beans, and avocados. Old World Foods: onions, pigs, sheep, honeybees, lettuce, chickens, barley, watermelons, olives, grapes, peaches, sugarcane, cattle, okra, bananas, pears, and wheat.
  • Grammar (Adjectives): Using the Health/Nutrition activity, have students pretend they are Europeans or Native Americans and they have to tell their people about the new foods they have discovered.  Students must describe these new foods using describing words (adjectives).

  • Science: In this activity, students will understand how sails were used to propel ships through the ocean.  In a large plastic tub/container filled with water, place a toy boat or self-made boat with a sail.  Have students blow on the sail to propel the boat forward.  Have students race their boats using their breath.  You can also use fans to propel the boats forward.

  • Social Studies/Map Skills: Show students a map of the world and review the purpose of Columbus’ voyage.  He wanted to go west to get to the Indies but ended up landing in the Americas.  Have students draw a map of what Europeans thought the world looked like in the 1400s.  They should label the continents and oceans as well as adding a compass rose.  Have students compare their map with current map of the world.

  • Vocabulary/Word Search: Click on the picture to download and print the Columbus Day word search.

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