Celebrating as a Family: Columbus Day Kids’ Activities

Columbus Day Kids’ Activities

Columbus Day

You can have fun and teach your kids about Columbus Day at the same time. Crafts and activities are a great way to give kids a hands-on experience that underscores their learning. Here are some ideas for kids’ activities for Columbus Day.

1. Boat Race

For this activity, gather the following items:

* Wading pool
* 3 egg cartons, Styrofoam or cardboard
* Floral foam
* Craft sticks or wooden skewers
* White paper
* Scissors
* Electric fan
* Permanent markers and/or crayons
* Hot glue gun

First, cut the egg cartons apart along the hinge. You will be using the lids. Lay slabs of floral foam evenly in each lid so that it’s balanced. Decorate the outside of the egg carton lids however you like. Maybe give them a wooden look with brown, gray and black crayons and markers.

Cut sail shapes from the white paper and decorate them with the names of Columbus’ three ships (the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria). Hot glue the sails to the craft sticks or skewers, then stick them into the floral foam sail-side-up.

Fill the wading pool with several inches of water. Keeping the cord and fan well away from the water, place it near enough to create a breeze on the water. Line up the ships, turn on the fan, and have a boat race.

Red Ted Art has 20 awesome ideas for boat building!


2. Spanish and Italian Feast

Christopher Columbus was a native of Italy, and his trip was funded by Spain’s Queen Isabella. Find recipes online or at your local library for classic regional foods and have an ethnic meal. Here are some ideas for various foods and dishes.

* Paella (traditional chicken and rice dish)
* Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup)
* Chorizo (pork sausage with paprika)
* Tortilla de Patatas (tortilla made with potatoes and eggs)


* Frittata (savory pancake with egg and various ingredients)
* Fresh pasta (making pasta noodles can be a fun activity in itself)
* Tiramisu (sponge cake-based dessert with chocolate and Kahlua liqueur)
* Risotto (slow-cooking skillet rice dish)

3. Make a Map

Use butcher paper, large sheets of brown wrapping paper, or even brown paper bags (cut along the seams to make a flat sheet) to make a big map. Research in order to get Columbus’ route accurate, and draw a map of the countries and the route. You could use construction paper to cut out three little ships to go along the route on the map.

The finished map can be put up on a wall if you like, and the ships moved a little each day.

4. Explore

You don’t have to go finding another country, but the whole family can go out exploring with a goal in mind. Put away the GPS and use a paper map and a compass to go on a drive or a hike. Circle the destination on the map and find your way using the old-fashioned implements. You could also replicate this spirit of exploration and map reading with a scavenger hunt.

You can find awesome scavenger hunt printables at Make and Takes and also Free HomeSchool Deals!

Free Hiking Scavenger Hunt Printables @makeandtakes.com


What Kids Should Know about Columbus Day

What Kids Should Know about Columbus Day
Columbus Day

Columbus Day can be a controversial holiday, and interestingly enough, it was not particularly well received in the early 20th century when it was first proposed by a New York senator. Nonetheless, many parents and educators consider the study and recognition of history important, and Columbus is a part of history. So what should your kids know about this holiday? Here are some things you might consider teaching your children about Columbus Day.

Why Do We Celebrate It?

A good place to start is finding out why Columbus Day is celebrated. Some suggest that it should be more a day of recognition than celebration. Either way, consider teaching your kids some of the “why’s” of Columbus Day, such as the following points.

* Columbus’ determination, navigational and sailing skills are admirable.

* His “discovery” of South America opened the door for exploration and recognition of the other half of the world that had been unknown.

* It’s a significant historical event of global proportions.

* Columbus Day can be a source of national pride for native Italians and Spaniards.

Columbus Day
Who Doesn’t Celebrate Columbus Day, and Why?

Regardless of your views on the matter, your kids should know that not everyone celebrates Columbus Day. Without sugar-coating it or relating uncomfortable details, frankly explain to your kids that some communities do not celebrate Columbus Day because they relate Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean with European conquest. Point out that some non-European cultures find this offensive or at least not something they want to celebrate.

Who Was Columbus?

Facts and tidbits about Columbus’ life are interesting, and help put his life’s work and journey into perspective. For example, you can teach your kids:

* Columbus may have been Jewish.
* He insisted until his death that he had found Asia, not South America.
* He vied for recognition and awards for his work.
* Columbus’ remains were exhumed and reinterred at least four times.

What Does It Mean for Us?

Show your kids the modern results of Columbus’ explorations. Chocolate, for instance, and some everyday spices were once unknown in Europe. Black pepper is everywhere now, but your kids might be interested to know it’s one of Columbus’s spice discoveries.

Conquest and Slavery – Getting Perspective

While it may seem shocking to our modern sensibilities, conquest and slavery were part of Columbus’s culture and time, and such concepts were hardly unique to Europeans. To help your kids get the proper perspective, you might make a list of societies and cultures that had slaves (it’s a very ancient concept). Explain that conquest was simply how tribes and people groups acquired land and power. If you like, discuss with your kids what alternatives they think might have worked better.

How do you celebrate Columbus Day?


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women-to-Woman: Advice about breast health and mammograms

{Taken from Essential Health’s October 6th press release}


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Women-to-Woman: Advice about breast health and mammograms.


Breast health is an important part of your overall health as a woman. It means being informed about mammogram screening for the early detection of breast cancer, knowing about your breast cancer risk factors and doing what you can to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time for you to schedule a mammogram and to work on living a healthy lifestyle. Mammograms are part of a lifelong breast care routine. Essentia Health recommends beginning at age 20, all women should begin monthly breast self-exams and should have a clinic breast exam every three years and then annually at age 40.

Two women physicians—Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Baxter Clinic family medicine physician Kristy Schmidt, MD and fellowship trained radiologist Kari Messner, MD— recently shared their advice about breast health and mammograms.

“Breast health and screening are very individualized,” said Schmidt. “They are based on a woman’s own set of risk factors and the current recommended mammogram screening guidelines.”

“Mammograms allow us to detect breast cancer at a much earlier stage than if we waited until it became clinically evident,” said Messner. “Early detection makes any treatment procedure or regimen simpler. Survival is much greater when breast cancer is caught earlier.”


All women are at some risk of developing breast cancer. The majority of women have an average risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Women of average risk have two key risk factors for breast cancer:

  • Gender—simply being a woman
  • Aging—a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer increases as she ages

A small number of women are at high risk. High risk means they have one or a combination of risk factors including:

  • A family history of breast cancer
  • A personal history of breast cancer
  • A personal history of high radiation exposure to the chest at a young age, for example cancer treatment with radiation therapy
  • A rare genetic disease inherited from a parent

“I tell my patients to practice breast awareness. Know how your breasts normally look and feel before, during and after your period so that you can notice any unusual changes and discuss your concern with your doctor,” said Schmidt.

If a woman thinks she has found something unusual or there is any concerning change in her breast, it is always best if she discusses it with her doctor.

“The first thing a woman should do if she finds anything out of the ordinary is call her primary care doctor for an appointment,” said Schmidt. “Your doctor will do a clinical breast exam and then, depending on what is found, a mammogram and an ultrasound may be ordered.”

If something is found, your Essentia Health primary care physician is here to be a partner in your care.

“I always want to be the one to talk with my patients and deliver the news,” said Schmidt. “Then I play a supporting role. Partnering with my patient and caring for her general health while she receives the excellent care she needs for her cancer at Essentia Health’s Cancer Center.”

To Schmidt being a partner in her patient’s health is built on openness, honesty and really knowing her patient.

“Your primary care doctor gets to know you. We know your risk factors, your individual history and your family history. We know which tests you’ve had and how often you’ve had them. We know what medications work best for you and which don’t work. We can hone in on your individual needs and provide continuity of care,” said Schmidt. “It is so important to be honest with your physician and to build a trusting relationship. Having a physician who understands you and your family really ties everything together.”

There are a few things Schmidt tells all of her women patients to do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, they include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Be active—exercise 30-60 minutes most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight—eat breakfast every morning to kick start your metabolism and avoid sugary drinks like juices, specialty coffees, vitamin waters and smoothies
  • Eat five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs

Call Essentia Health Radiology at 218-828-7646 to schedule an annual mammogram to review with your primary care physician. If you have not started a relationship with a doctor or nurse practitioner view their profiles at essentihealth.org or call 218-828-2880 to select a doctor and schedule an appointment. If cost is a concern, resources are available through the Minnesota SAGE program which pays for an annual physical and mammogram. Call 218.454.5935 to learn whether you are eligible.


See your health care provider if you notice any of these warning signs of breast cancer

• Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

• Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast

• Change in the size or shape of the breast

• Dimpling or puckering of the skin

• Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple

• Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast

• Nipple discharge that starts suddenly

• New pain in one spot that does not go away


Source: komen.org


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