What is Columbus Day?
School and Community Activities for Columbus Day
By Cara J. Stevens
Average User Rating:
Celebrate Learning and Exploration
Columbus Day is a great time to celebrate exploration as a family. For preschoolers, it can be as simple as learning about maps or treasure hunts and exploring the backyard in a new way. For grade-schoolers, they can set out on an imaginary voyage, complete with a pretend passport, world map and discover real – or imagined – places.
If you have a large group such as a class or troop, start a discussion about navigation and exploration. Show children how to use a compass, then hand them a map with coordinates or directions, and then let them loose on a treasure hunt for prizes and items you've hid.
Children of all ages enjoy an opportunity to sample and create new foods, and Italian, Spanish, Caribbean, South American, Central American, Mexican, and Native American dishes can be easy to make and fun to share!
Parades, Festivals, and Fun
Many large cities have a Columbus Day parade, and in a city where there is a Little Italy section, celebrations abound. In smaller towns, Italian-American centers, local churches and schools often hold celebrations.
If your town doesn’t have a local parade or family friendly events, start one! Create a local celebration in a park. Invite neighborhood kids to put on a puppet show for younger kids and have booths for crafts such as flag-making or toy boat racing.
Hold a parade celebrating everyone’s heritage with flags, costumes, and music. Younger children love marching with drums and horns, while older children might enjoy showing off their special talents like juggling, cartwheels, or baton twirling.
You can raise money for a local charity or neighborhood improvement project with a barbecue or bake sale to feed the hungry performers and spectators.