Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492. In most of the New World, it's celebrated on the 12th of October, the day Columbus actually discovered the Bahamas. But in the United States, the holiday is observed on the second Monday in October.
No matter which day you celebrate Columbus Day, celebrate it with some great Columbus Day activities, like recreating the mighty ships from the famous voyage. The three ships were called the Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña. The Santa Maria was the flagship of the voyage (a carrack), and the Pinta and Niña (originally called the Santa Clara), were smaller caravel sailing ships.
Below are some great tutorials for recreating miniature models of these famous ships. Try them out!
For this craft project, you'll need easy-to-acquire materials, such as egg cups, brown paint, white paper (for the sails), toothpicks, clay and glue. It's a fun and easy project, great for the kids.
Check out the video below for instructions:
Howard Shirley has a some great instructions on recreating a caravel sailing ship from the 15th Century. His model closely resembles the Niña and Pinta ships from Columbus's voyage, but it's actually based upon the replica ship Matthew, built to recreate the voyage of explorer John Cabot, discoverer of Newfoundland. You can modify this design to mimic Columbus's caravels, or keep it as is.
CLICK HERE for his Paper Caravel Models. On his page, you'll find instructions for building the caravel model, along with the printouts for Cabot's Matthew English caravel, a caravel pirate ship and a blank caravel model, which you can use to replicate the Niña or Pinta.
This one is an easy one, and a great way to teach your children about Columbus Day. It's an easy and fun ship-in-a-bottle project, using a 2-liter plastic bottle, card stock and some craft materials, along with the printable ship diagrams.
For those of you looking for something a little more difficult— if you have Amapi 7 Pro, you can recreate the Santa Maria ship using the NURBS tool, which stands for Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines.
Amapi is used for the conception and creation of 3D models, often used for product design and architecture. But in this case, it's used to celebrate Columbus Day!