Christopher Columbus is known for discovering America. At that time there were people living in America, called Native Americans, but it was Columbus’ voyage that marked the exploration and colonization of America by Europeans. To learn more about Christopher Columbus and to teach your children about this voyager, we have covered some simple and interesting information on him. Read this article to learn some facts about Christopher Columbus for children.
Who Was Christopher Columbus?
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. His father was a weaver by profession, and though young Christopher helped his father at his shop, he harboured dreams of becoming a sailor. In 1476, he sailed with ships that were attacked by French pirates. He swam to the nearest shore, Portugal, when his ship sank. He then ran a small shop that sold maps with his brother and got married to his Spanish wife. Columbus believed that the Earth was round, although, in the olden days, they believed the Earth was flat. Indies was a popular place to procure spices and silk. Columbus wanted to sail west to reach Indies as he believed that one could reach quickly. Sponsored by Spanish royalty, Christopher’s attempts at exploration was a counter to the seafaring exploration techniques by the Portuguese. He and his crew set sail for Indies but when they sighted land, they realised that it was something else. They had reached an island off the coast of Florida, which he named San Salvador.
Why Is Christopher Columbus Famous?
One of the main reasons for Christopher Columbus’ popularity is his explorations of the West. He is believed to be the first man to discover the South American mainland. Although he has not discovered America, he has discovered several islands closer to the continent.
How Did Christopher Columbus Discover America?
Christopher’s knowledge led him to believe that he could reach the Far East by sailing through the West and not the Mediterranean. He believed that via the Atlantic Ocean, he could reach China, India, Japan, and the Spice lands. His journey was sponsored by the Spanish Kings, and he set sail with his crew. Within several days of navigating, the frustrated sailors threatened Columbus of their return if they did not find land. Finally, they saw wood and grass floating in the ocean. Columbus reached an island next to Florida and named it San Salvador. After continuous exploration, they reached Cuba and Santa Domingo.
Columbus believed this to be America and returned three times and explored places like Jamaica, Honduras, Panama, Puerto Rico, and many others. Columbus was convinced that he had found a new route to Asia and died without knowing that he had discovered a new continent.
Another Italian sailor, Americo Vespucci, realized that these lands belonged to another continent, and America came to known so.
Other Fun Facts and Information About Christopher Columbus for Kids
There are many facts about Christopher Columbus for kindergarten children and preschoolers. Kids will love to learn about his quest for undiscovered lands and how he used his knowledge to explore the world. A few fun facts about Christopher Columbus and his discovery are given below. Share these facts with your kids!
- Columbus wanted to find a new route to the East by sailing the west. In doing so, he landed in America and was convinced that he was in the East Indies and named the people there as Indians.
- Columbus approached the monarchs of England, France, and Portugal for assistance to sail, but it was the Spanish monarchs who helped him in the end.
- In his early life, Christopher studied astronomy, mathematics, cartography, and navigation. All the lessons he learned helped him in these voyages.
- Columbus is said to have documented every bit of his first voyage from his daily life with the crew and all their various encounters in a diary.
- The three ships that he set sail to reach the Indies were provided by the Spanish monarch. These ships were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
- He was not the first European to set foot in the New World. Vikings led by Erik the Red found America but never made settlements there.
- Columbus was a hero for Europeans who could rule America, but for the natives, he was a person who wiped out the native culture forever.
- Columbus set out to find Asia in August 1942 and landed in the Bahamas post 36 days of sailing. The friendly natives he met there traded parrots, spears, and beads with them.
- After discovering Indies, Columbus left 39 men to build a settlement on the coast of Hispaniola before he returned to Europe.
- Columbus was conferred an honorary title when the Spanish sponsored him, and he agreed to keep 10 per cent of the riches he conquered during his travels.
- After his first expedition, Columbus returned to Spain as a hero. The king and queen, impressed with his bravery, sent him on further expeditions. They wanted him to establish colonies and make the natives adopt Christianity.
- Although born an Italian, Columbus lived in Portugal for several years. He was a book publisher and a sailor. He also learned to make maps.
- Columbus was married to Felipa Moniz Perestrello in 1477, who died giving birth to their son Diego in 1479 or 1480. Columbus died in the year 1506 in May.
Christopher Columbus had a keen interest in geography and loved to sailed. He thought way ahead of his times and was also responsible for the presence of Europe in America. We hope the information covered in this article kept you interested. If so, share it with your kids, and encourage them to learn more about Christopher Columbus.