How to Celebrate Columbus Day With the Kids

5 ways to celebrate the Columbus Day holiday with the grade-school set
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How to Celebrate Columbus Day With the Kids

5 ways to celebrate the Columbus Day holiday with children

-Myrna Blyth and Chriss Winston

Columbus Day Parade

Columbus Day was once a day filled with pride for Italian-Americans throughout the country, a day for school children to honor a great explorer, and a reason for another really big parade. For years, Columbus was portrayed in our history books heroically, as a great visionary and adventurer. In 1892, the 400th Anniversary of Columbus’s voyage of discovery was such a big deal that there were festivities in every State of the Union organized years in advance. But in 1992, the 500th Anniversary was practically ignored, and Columbus and the other early explorers received far more condemnation for their actions than praise for their achievements.

One thing we didn’t know — and you probably don’t either — the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written for school children to recite as part of the 1892 Columbus Day celebration. That first time, twelve million children put their hands on their hearts and spoke the 23 words of that first Pledge of Allegiance, and school children have been reciting it ever since with a slight modification.


Christopher ColumbusIf you want to downplay the debate that Columbus Day now often ignites but celebrate the holiday as something more than another sales day, there are plenty of activities, especially for younger children that can make the day both educational and fun.

? Read a book about Columbus:

Follow the Dream by Peter Sis (Knopf Books for Young Readers), ages 4-8.

Meet Christopher Columbus by James T, Dekay, (Random House Books for Young Readers), ages 9-12.

Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad (Scholastic), ages 9-12.

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