Christopher Columbus Sets Sail

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This is an artist’s impression of the ships Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta, in which Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on the 3rd of August 1492. Research and write a biography of Columbus. You might find our fact cards useful.


  • Who is in the crows nest?
  • Why are there three ships?
  • How many crew do you think there would be on each ship?
  • Where were the ships made?
  • What would you ask the sailors if you could?
  • The ships carry flags with the initials of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish king and queen who funded the voyage. Design your own ship’s flags.
  • Plot Columbus’ journeys on a map of the world. Which countries did he visit?
  • Columbus brought back spices from his travels. Make up some spice jars with muslin over the top and covered sides. Put different spices in them and see if the children can identify them just by their smell. Encourage them to describe what the smell is like.

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