Friday, October 8, 2010

Columbus Day, Toilet Paper Tube, Spyglass

I had hoped to transition smoothly from pumpkins, on to Columbus Day, with Jane Kurtz' What Columbus Found: It Was Orange, It Was Round.

From the back of the book:

In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to America. Once there he found many new things, especially pumpkins. Read on to learn how he was able to bring Europe its very first pumpkin.

It sounds perfect, doesn't it? Unfortunately, my library system doesn't carry it, the local bookstore has never heard of it, and Amazon takes 6-9 days getting it ready to ship - so I'm not going to have it by Columbus Day.

I do have a number of other Columbus books due in at the library today, though. So, when the girls discovered my stash of toilet paper tubes, and demanded a craft, I figured we might as well make the spyglasses I had planned.

I didn't Google ahead on this craft, so I'm not sure if anyone else has done a similar version, or not - but what I wanted was a collapsible, handheld, mariner's telescope.

We used three toilet paper tubes, and cut two of them lengthwise, then overlapped, and taped them back together... they fit, snugly, inside each other.

To keep them from slipping apart, we (mainly I, at this point) added a roll of tape, sticky side out...

...and an additional layer of tape, to hold that on, on both ends of each tube.

The tape on each of tubes bumps together, and keeps the tubes from being pulled out too far (as long as they aren't really yanked), or slipping through backwards, when collapsed.

I had big plans for fancying them up with construction paper covers, and plastic wrap lenses, but the girls had a different idea.

I sent them out in the yard, in search of the riches of the New World. They found gold the fall leaves, the golden (dying) grass, the pumpkin blossoms, and the sunflowers. Which, if I remember right, was about the type of "riches" Columbus, and his men encountered in the 1490's.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

Yes they did as well as a wealth of other goodies: tomatoes, potatoes, so on and so forth.

And other random amusing fact: Columbus never actually set foot on America, he only landed on some of the islands.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Ticia - I think on a later voyage Columbus made it to South America - thought he didn't recognize it as a continent.

Christy Killoran said...

Great idea for a craft! It's too bad you couldn't get that book in time; it sounds perfect. This reminds me that I have nothing at all planned for Columbus Day. I'll have to figure out something for the kiddos.

Unknown said...

Ooh thanks for sharing this book! I also wanted to thank you for sharing your no cook applesauce recipe. The children and I had a grand time yesterday using this recipe. I blogged about our "cooking" and linked back to you. Once again thank you for sharing.

Phyllis said...

That is adorable and would make a nice pirate telescope, too.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Phyllis - I think the girls thought so too. They started marching around the yard, telescopes in hand, singing songs from Dora's Pirate Adventure.

Debbie said...

Selena would love the telescope!

Unknown said...

Great craft- and, at least you will be SUPER prepared for next Columbus Day when you get your cool book!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is such a neat mariner scope! I have to see if our library carries this book, but I do have another one planned for Columbus day which seemed to be in the right age category. I am looking forward to Columbus Day.