Make learning about explorers for kids fun and memorable with famous explorers for kids lesson. Using hands-on history activities and free early explorer printables, we will learn about Columbus for kids, Vasco de Gama for kids, and Vespucci for kids. This history lessons for kids is perfect for preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. Simply print pdf file with explorer lapbook and scroll down to see the fun history activities for kids we used and you are ready to play and learn!
Explorers for Kids
This fun, hands on early explorers lesson helps kids learn about European Explorers including Christopher Columbus, Verpucci, and Vasco de Game. We love making history come alive for kids by using engaging history lessons for kids and these famous explorers for kids lesson includes lots of fun ideas including explorer games , free explorer printables, and of course lots of creative early explorers activities. This famous explorers for kids is perfect for preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students.
Famous explorers for kids
- Prince Henry
- Christopher Columbus
- Vasco de Gama
Captain Says History Game
We played ‘Captain says’. You play by having the captain instruct the other sailors to walk/hop/run/skip/crawl to the following areas of a ship. If it is warm enough outside, do this on a driveway and drawn a ship in chalk. If you do it inside you can use masking tape to make a ship outline on the floor.
- Bow (front)
- Stern (back)
- Keel (bottom spine)
- Mainmast (middle mast)
- Mizzen sail (back sail)
- Crow’s nest (lookout at top of mainmast)
- Rudder (in back of ship, used to steer)
- Helm (steering wheel)
- Fore sail (front sail)
- Mainsail (middle sail)
- Keel (bottom spine)
- Starboard side (right)
- Aft of the boat (back toward the stern)
Port side (left)
- Amidship (middle)
- Hull (main part of the ship)
Christopher Columbus Video for Kids
We watched the animated video by NEST on Christopher Columbus (This is an excellent series with both famous people and Old & New Bible Testament stories straight from the Bible) Your library may have some. I bought a lot of the VHS off of Ebay for super cheap (we can suffer through the old medium for a good price!) Goofy really enjoyed the story and remembers so much more because he heard it and saw it!
Retelling History through Acting
We acted out the story when Christopher Columbus asked the King & Queen of Spain to go, sailing, and landing in America.
What does your name Mean History Connection
Christopher’s name means christbearer – what does your name mean activity?
Drawing the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria
Use the Draw, Write, Now book #2 to draw Columbus’ three caravel ship – Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. I think this how to draw series is great! It helps teach kids some basics of drawing, they can practice writing, and it goes along great with Social Studies at the same time. Goofy was thrilled that drawing with Mommy was ‘school’ =-)
Note: 1+1+1=1 has a great FREE printable to go along with the Draw Write Now series.
Ship Learning with FREE Printables
We learned more about ships – the method early explorers used to get to the new world. We used the free printable from Enchanted Learning for our labeling.
We also practiced addition and colored by number Columbus’ ships. (I love how Goofy used our Unifix Cubes to do the math problems – I was so proud!)
Making a boat Extension Activity
We made several kinds of ships: wood, metal, cloth, paper and tried sailing them to see which would float.
Hour Glass History Craft
The ship’s boy kept track of time with half-hour glass. We made our own similar device for keeping track of time. We used 2 funnels, card stock (for opening on funnels), tape (we used packing tape), and sand. After finishing it we timed it & turns out we have a minute glass. Goofy thought it was great fun to make & has been enjoying telling me when a minute is up =-)
Columbus for Kids
We talked about what they ate on the boat? Answer: dry biscuits, salted meat, cheese, chickpeas, honey, rice, almonds, onions, raisins. Because of the lack of fresh fruits & veggies the sailors ended up getting scurvy. Side note: in 1795 sailors took daily ration of lemon so they nicknames Limey. Goofy that it was cool that they had biscuits on board. To help him understand that the biscuits wouldn’t be fresh from the oven we made a biscuit and let it sit out for days. Now imagine what that would be like after 2 months!!
I intended to practice different basic knots, but we rain out of time.
Christopher Columbus Books for Homeschoolers
Here are our favorite books about Columbus. Check them out from your local library or click to find on Amazon.
Vasco de Gama & Vespucci
There weren’t lots of books or activities about the following explorers, but I wanted to at least touch on these important explorers!
I used The Picture History of Great Explorers by Gillian Clements. This is a wonderful book to own. It gives one page of information about each major explorer from Ancient Explorers and Vikings to Armstrong and Earle. Each page is easy to read and filled with great information. There are several illustrations per page. I love the ease of use and chronological order.
- Vasco de Gama – established trade route for Portugal to Indies by sea going around Africa
- Amerigo Vespucci – discovered that America was indeed a new, separate continent.
Facts about explorers
You may also enjoy these other great activities:
- Leif Erikson for Kids Reader to Read, Color, and Learn
- Viking Activities for Kids – build a viking ship, read about famous vikings, find Vinland, and more!
- Learn about European Explorers for kids such as Amerigo Vespucci, Vasco de Gama, and Columbus with this hands-on history lesson
- James Cook Study
- Explore with Henry the Navigator and Marco Polo activities in this fun history lesson
- Work on math and litearcy skills with these free printable explorer worksheets
- Join Drake, Cartier, and Henry Hudson for kids as they explore the new world in this fun history lesson
- Learn about Magellan, the Aztec, and the Spanish Conquistadors for Kids
- Don’t miss all our resources for learning about early explorers for kids
- Learn about 13 Famous Explorers for Kids Printable Reader to read, color, and learn
- Famous European Early Explorers Printable Notebook Pages
- Early Explorers for Kids Pennant Posters
- FREE Printable Famous Early Explorers Coloring Pages
History Lessons for Kids
Check out one of or MANY engaging, Free history lessons for kids
- Explore American History for kids including lots of fun, hands on activities and free printables
- Dive into Mesopotamia History to learn about Gilgamesh
- 4 week lesson about Early Explorers for Kids
- Learn about castles, knights, and more in this exciting Middle Ages for Kids
- Make a teepee, dig for arrowheads, color our printable books and more in this Native Americans for Kids lessons
- The Colonial America for Kids lesson takes kids on a journey back to the first permanent settlement in America – Jamestown. Students will learn about colonial life with lots of hands on projects like eating Gruel, making a Wattle & Daub house, and creating a tin lantern will make the settlement come alive.
- We will make westward expansion for kids come alive for kids as they learn facts about the time period from about 1783-1898. In addition to learning about the Oregon trail, pony express, gold rush, transcontinental railroad, students will also learn to match animal trails, map the united states, and learn about North American animals too.
- Civil War for Kids – students will learn about slavery, famous Americans from the Civil War, famous battles, and how our nation stayed together. Lesson includes printable worksheets, mapping activities, printable civil war board game and more!
- Learn about US States for Kids – state coloring pages, president coloring pages, state report forms, states and capital printables, and so much more!
- Pennant History Posters to see US History At-a-Glance
- Learn about the Roaring 1920s for Kids – Printable Book to Read, Color, and Learn
- Rosa Parks for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
- Martin Luther King Jr for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
- Titanic for Kids Reader to Color and Learn
- Learn about the Roaring 1920s for Kids – Printable Book to Read, Color, and Learn
- 1930s for Kids – Printable Book about the Golden age of Hollywood, Great Depression for Kids and more to read, color, and learn
- Life in the 1940s America for Kids Reader
- Learn about the trading of goods that began in 1941 with this Columbian Exchange for Kids printable reader.
- Anne Frank for Kids Printable Reader to read, color, and learn about this Jewish girl who lived behind the wall in Holland during World War 2
- 1950s for Kids Reader to Color, Learn and read about what life was like in America in 1950
- Life in the 1960s for Kids Printable book to read, color and learn about life in the 1960s
- Learn about platform shoes, disco, the beginning of Star Wars and more with this 1970s for kids Reader
- 1980s for kids Reader to read, color, and learn!
- 1990s for Kids Printable Reader filled with information about fashion, technology, Presidents, and more!
- Learn about life for early 2000s Kids with these american history printables to read, color, and learn!
- Review what you’ve leanred with these American History Worksheets (Notebooking)
Geography for Kids
- Grab this realistic looking Free Printable Passport for Kids
- Free Printable Maps including world map, continents, and country maps with and without labeling
- Ready to dive more in depth? Check out Country Study for Kids – look at 16 countries around the world up close
- Kids can research to learn about other countries with these country worksheets.
- Around the World I Spy Worksheets – learn about 36 countries
- Use Lego to explore famous landmarks in countries for kids
- Research and learn with these free Children around the World Worksheets
- Roll into Geography – Printable Geography Games
- Geography Treasure Hunt Activity
- Landforms Worksheets pdf free
- Snap Geography Games for Kids
- Read, Color and Learn about other countries with FREE country studies including: Vietnam For Kids and Greece for Kids and Peru for Kids and Kenya for Kids and Israel for Kids, plus many more!
- You can find all our FREE printable country coloring pages covering over 36 different nations – or jump right to Spain Coloring Pages, China Coloring Pages, Italy Coloring Pages, Chile Coloring Pages, Germany Coloring Pages, and Costa Rica Coloring Pages
United States Lesson for Kids
Help children learn about the great country of the United States with these free printables and resources:
- Free Presidents of the United States for Kids
- Cute, Free Printable State Coloring Pages
- Printable USA Presidents Coloring Pages
- Voting for Kids – How Americans elect a new president
- Free Presidents Worksheets – Learn about all the American presidents
- US States I Spy Worksheets
- Help kids understand where do I live with this clever printable activity
- Learn about American symbols with these Patriotic American Symbols for Kids
- United States I Spy Worksheets
- How much do you know about USA for Kids? Color the flag, look at a map, discover famous landmarks like the statue of liberty,and more!
- American Symbols Worksheets
- Fireworks Patriotic Craft
- 50 States Worksheets
- State Animals USA Printables Scavenger Hunt
- United States Scavenger Hunt of State Birds
- FREE USA State Flowers Scavenger Hunt Printables for Kids
Early Explorers Printables
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