1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade Early Explorers History Kindergarten

Explorers for Kids – Columbus, Vasco de Gama, and Vespucci Activities

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.

FREE Early Explorers Lapbook and Worksheets for Homeschool History

Famous explorers for kids

If you are following along our Early Explorers for Kids lesson and would like to print the FREE lapbook / timeline elements from today’s lesson, scroll down to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> _____<<. The pdf file will open in a new window for you to save the freebie and print the template. The files includes the following early american explorers

  • Prince Henry
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Vasco de Gama
  • Vespucci

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)
  • Anchor
  • 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.

Draw Write Now Christopher Columbus Drawing for Kids 


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.
Learning about Early Explorer Ships for Homeschool Kids
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!)

Unifix cubes for early explorer math problems 


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.

Vikings for Kid s- this is a fun hands on history unit that will help make history come alive including history activities, history crafts, free history printables and more for learning about early explorers #vikings #history #homeschoolingDive into the history of exploration, with these fun and free Explorer coloring pages. These history coloring sheets are perfect for learning about famous exploreres for kids! Kids can color the pictures of explorers and then read about these Europeans who traveled and explored the world. The early explorers for kids include: Alexander Mackenzie, Amerigo Vespucci, Bartolomeu Dias, Sir Francis Drake, George Vancouver, Hernando de Soto, Jacques Marquette, Captain James Cook, Panfilo de Narvárez, Robert de la Salle, Samuel de Champlain, Simon Fraser, and Walter Raleigh. Simply print the explorer worksheets to read, color and learn with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd graders. Kids will have fun learning about early explorers with this 5 week, hands-on history lessons for kids of all ages. This Early Explorers for Kids unit includes fun early explorers activities, lapbook, free printable explorer worksheets, and more to make learning fun. Whether you are looking for a history for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. Learn about famous explorers for kids with these free printable European explorers worksheets to read, color, learn, and create a reader. Learn about thirteen different explorers for children who traveled around the world in ships, in search for new and distant lands. Use this free printable as part of a history, explorer or Old and New World study filled with facts about explorers for first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.

Facts about explorers

You may also enjoy these other great activities:

Vikings for Kid s- this is a fun hands on history unit that will help make history come alive including history activities, history crafts, free history printables and more for learning about early explorers #vikings #history #homeschooling lewis-and-clark-lesson-for-kids native americans for kids Learn all about the Sixties for kids with this American History for Kids reader for kids to color and learn! Learn about life in the 1960s with elementary age students from pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.  Simply print pdf file with 1960s for kids for kids to learn about life in the 60s while having fun coloring the cute pictures and learning about the birth of 'Smiley,' Barbie, and lava lamps.

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)
16 Printable Country Studies for Kids - children will have fun learning about countries around the world with this fun resource perfect for pre k, kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 including Kenya, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Mexico, China, Philippines, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Chile, Colombia, Australia, and Costa Rica. FREE Printable Maps for kids -blank maps of the world, africa, asia, australia, south america, north america, united states, antarctica, Europe and more. Include blank maps and labeled maps. Use them with any social studies / geography program with kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and 7th grade students to visualize the world at a glance or dive deep into finding countries, continents, rivers / mountains, oceans, etc. Includes both blank printable maps and labeled as well. tralia, united states, europe and more both blank and labeled for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, elementary, middle school, and high school #printablemaps #geography #homeschooling  Make geography come alive by using these free printable passport for kids. Childrne can pretend like they are traveling all around the world as they study and learn about other countries while keeping a record of where they've been. This free printable passport activity is fun for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students. Inside their passport for kids they can put their picture, personal information, signarure, and informatin about the countries they travel to. Simply print pdf the free printable passport for kids file and you are ready to go around the world! FREE Lego Challenge Cards - free printable STEAM education uses lego or duplo bricks to help students learn about famous buildings and landmarks from around the world. This fun learning activity is great for parents, teachers, school at home and homeschoolers from preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students.

Geography for Kids

Looking for more resources and free worksheets to teach students about geography for kids? You will love these coloring sheets, printable maps, books, activities and games:

us presidents coloring pagesIt is important to teach children about how we elect the president of the United States of America. This simple, no prep Voting for Kids reader will help pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. This printable election book is perfect for preparing children for November elections! Kids will have fun learning about the United States for Kids with these super cute state coloring pages. Each of the free printable, 50 states coloring pages includes a state map, state flags, state flower, state bird, state landmark, and more. Use the united states coloring page with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders. These Simply print 50 states coloring pages pdf and you are ready to play and learn about the usa for kids!  american-symbols-for-kids-read-color-and-learn

United States Lesson for Kids

Help children learn about the great country of the United States with these free printables and resources:


Early Explorers Printables

By using resources from my site you agree to the following:

  • This is for personal use only
  • This may NOT be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other site (including blog, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.)
  • All materials provided are copyright protected. Please see Terms of Use.
  • I offer free printables to bless my readers AND to provide for my family. Your frequent visits to my blog & support purchasing through affiliates links and ads keep the lights on so to speak. Thanks you!

>> Free Early Explorers Lapbook Part 3 <<

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

Leave a Comment