The waves knocked against the side of the boat, creating a soothing sound as the rest of the sailors slept. The wind rustled gently over the ocean, carrying a saltwater mist into the air. Juan Rodriguez Bermejo struggled to keep his eyes open. He scanned the span of the sea. Watched the waves rise and fall around the ship. Suddenly, off in the distance, he spotted something he wasn’t sure if he’d ever see again.
“Land! Land!” Juan cried out, alerting his crew. The very thing they were hoping to find, after spending five weeks at sea. The day had finally come. At 2am, on October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus and his crew had finally found a harbor. It wasn’t the land they thought they would find, but the discovery of the New Land would change the world as they knew it.
What did Christopher Columbus truly discover? He wasn’t the first person to reach what is now known as the American continents. What he discovered wasn’t new land, it was new information. Until he took the risk to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, the European nations had no idea these continents were even here. Their world became a much larger place as soon as Columbus broke soil on the New Land.
Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October each year, to honor the day that changed the way we see the world. While it is honored as a Federal holiday in the United States, not all schools are closed. However, if you happen to have the day off work, and your kids have the day off school, you are one of the lucky ones to get a short break in the middle of October!
1. Teach Your Kiddos To Use a Map
Spend the day doing activities that will help your kids continue their education! Columbus couldn’t have sailed across the ocean without using some form of a map, perhaps you can teach your kiddos how to read a map with some of our educational maps and globes! With GPS systems, reading a map is a lost skill! Keep your kids sharp by teaching them the “old fashioned” way to get around town!
2. Plan a “Voyage”
You can even do a geography lesson! Columbus was trying to get to the continent of Asia, but found himself in the Americas! Oops! Using their newfound skills with a map, have your kids plan a “trip” or pretend voyage to a country of their choosing!
3. Learn About Fall
Maybe you just want to enjoy your day off! Take advantage of the time you have before the cold weather fully returns! You could use the day off to check out local parks or nature reserves for leaf peeping! If you are lucky, you might get a chance to observe multiple types of trees that have been affected by the weather in different ways. You could read some fall themed books such as God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Tawn Bergen and David Hohn to teach your kiddos about hibernation and celebrate the fall season!
4. Visit a Museum
If you’re not experiencing outdoor weather in your part of the world, consider visiting local museums or doing fun fall themed activities with stickers and American history puzzles! Just because school is out for a day, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find time for fun learning opportunities. Many museums have ways to make learning an exciting and enjoyable experience.
5. Just Have Fun!
It may feel like school just started back a short time ago, and you may already be planning your next adventure for fall break. Perhaps it would be best to make this a time to find relaxing activities you can do at home with your kids. Consider assembling a puzzle as a group activity. Bring the family together for a board game that’s appropriate for all ages. You might even take this opportunity to ask your kids what activities they enjoy, and find ways to connect over shared interests.
Everybody spends their days off differently. Maybe you like to learn, maybe you just like to relax! Do you have Columbus Day plans this year? How do you plan to spend the day with your family?
I began my career with Mardel in 2006, while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. While I love to write fiction and convey stories through novels, I also have a passion for studying philosophy, theology, and apologetics. I enjoy the faith-building resources available at Mardel, and look forward to sharing what new topics and information I’m learning.