Columbus Day Party

At Nannypalooza this past weekend Patty Sachs, author of Pick a Party The Big Book of Party Themes and Occasions included signed copies of her book in the welcome bags for conference attendees.

Monday October 12, 2009 is Columbus Day and there is still time to coordinate a quick Columbus Day party for your charges. Here are ideas shared by Patty Sachs from her book Pick a Party.

If you do not have enough time to send invitations simply send email invites and call friends to schedule the party for Monday.


  • Write the party details on a map of the original ocean journey.
  • Format the party details as a Help Wanted ad, reading :Wanted! Crew members for a four-month ocean cruise leaving Spain August 3 (destination to be announced). Choice of three ships, great meals, adventure, and robust exercise. Contact C. Columbus, c/o Isabella, Queen of Spain.
  • Send invitations in clear envelopes filled with bits of sand and shells.


  • Ready to sail the ocean blue
  • Authentic period costume
  • Pirate costumes


  • Maps, drawings of ships, and sailing items
  • Travel posters, with flags marking the places passed on the voyage
  • Bare plank-board picnic tables, to resemble a shipboard mess hall
  • Travel posters
  • Anchors, life preservers, netting, deck chairs


  • Play Columbus’ Cruise trivia game.
  • Match countries to such cultural contributions as foods, animals, and traditions. For example, tomatoes were an American contribution to Europe.
  • Arts and Crafts with a nautical theme.
  • Watch movies of Columbus’ voyage (or simply have the movies running on the VCR as background noise).
  • Provided Columbus or Isabella costumes and take pictures of the guests modeling the costumes. (If nothing else try to find some appropriate hats and take head shots).


  • Multinational menu: foods from Spain, Italy, Africa, and Asia
  • Foods and beverages labeled with origins of ingredients


  • Instant photos of guests in Columbus or Isabella costumes
  • Recipes of menu items served
  • Gift packs of LifeSavers candy, gold fish crackers, captain hats, and so on.

Tell us what fun things do you with children on Columbus Day.


  1. I have googled pirates and columbus day crafts in the past. I print free arts and crafts, word searches, coloring pages, crossword puzzles with the theme of the day. With homeschooling more popular these days you can find plenty of educational fun crafts for free online. I will definitely incorporate these ideas on Monday.Marsha WhitingNewborn SpecialistNanny of 12 yearsMemphis Suburb

  2. I used to print free activites from websites like Marsha above but the parents never seemed to care. I feel like they think it is just a mess so I don't bother anymore. We will probably go to the zoo for the day off from school.

  3. Make pirate telescopes using cardboard paper towel rolls with paint or markers for the kids. You can make sailor hats. Pirate patches. Granted Columbus was not a pirate but the kids will have fun being pirates anyway.

  4. Regarding Columbus Day, my current charge is a little young to get in to all the holidays but I have done things all the time with former charges who were older. The one other poster wrote about the parents not carrying. Well, do it for the kids. You don't have to go over the top with it. But having fun with it breaks the monotony that we all can face once in awhile. I actually have found calendars and sites that list all types of special holidays around the world, special weeks, author birthdays, etc. And, what one can do with honoring things like this is take pictures for one's nanny portfolio.

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