Columbus Day Boat Race

4.3 based on 4 ratings
Updated on Jun 27, 2013

On Columbus Day, kids learn about Columbus's ships the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria in school. Help your kids remember the names of these famous ships by building replicas of them using playdoh, plastic bowls, and construction paper. At the end, test which one is fastest by sailing them across the ocean (also known as your bathtub or swimming pool) in a race to the New World.

What You Need:

  • Pictures of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (find them online and print them out)
  • 3 plastic food storage containers
  • Construction paper
  • Contact paper
  • Straws or skewers
  • Tape
  • Play dough or clay
  • Bathtub or child swimming pool

What You Do:

  1. Make 3 balls of play dough and press one inside each of the plastic containers.
  2. Help your child make sails for each of the ships using construction paper. Cover each sail in contact paper so it doesn't get ruined by the water.
  3. Have her tape the sails onto the skewers or straws.
  4. Attach the sails to the boats by inserting the skewers or straws into the play dough. You may need to build the play dough up around the mast to stabilize it.
  5. Fill up a large bathtub or kid's swimming pool and place the boats in the water.
  6. Put on a mini boat race at the end. Encourage your kids to blow on the boats and see which one makes it across the water first.

Your Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria boats also make great toys during bathtime.