The Fountain Of Youth and 10 Facts About Ponce De Leon For Kids

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What is Ponce De Leon Day and the Fountain of Youth?

Did you know that April 8 is Ponce de Leon Day? What do you and your children know about this man, and why is April 8 dubbed his day?  Finding out and studying interesting facts about a particular day, event or holiday is a great way to introduce children to a new world of adventure and learning. 

You may have heard of the Fountain of Youth, but did you know it was Ponce De Leon's search for gold and his discovery of the stream of the Gulf of Mexico that inspired the legend.  The story describes an explorer in constant search for an illusive fountain or stream that would prevent him from aging.  Of course, the fountain is believed to be completely imaginary.  Yet, still there are those said to be in search of the fountain of youth.  Even if it's not a literal fountain of youth, it's a concept that most aging people long for.

Following are 10 facts about Ponce De Leon that your children may or may not know.

  1. Ponce de Leon's full name is Juan Ponce de Leon.
  2. He was the first governor of Puerto Rico.
  3. He was born in Intervals, Spain in 1460, but the exact date is unknown. Some believe he may not have even been born until 1474. He died in 1521.  Depending on the actual date of his birth, he was either in his 60's or 40's when he died.
  4. He was a Spanish explorer and soldier.
  5. He is the first European to step onto Florida land. He named it Pascal de Florida which means the feast of flowers.  Some accounts believe this was because it was Palm Sunday when they had spotted land on April 2, 1513.  Other accounts say it was because of the numerous flowers on the land.  Of course, it could be a combination of the two.
  6. He discovered the Gulf Stream which would become important for Spanish trips from Europe to America. On April 8, 1513, he claimed the land of Florida for Spain and headed south in this current.  No doubt, the reason for the celebration of Ponce De Leon Day on April 8 in recent years.
  7. He is known for searching for his fountain of youth to cure his aging, though most believe he was actually searching for gold instead.
  8. As a soldier, he fought Muslims in the southern portion of Spain.
  9. He joined Christopher Columbus on his second expedition to the Americas. This journey took place in 1493.
  10. He was asked to step down from office because of his brutal treatment of natives.

Whatever you choose to do with the above information, children are bound to find at least one of the facts interesting enough to learn more.  If it's the fountain of youth that spurs excitement, have fun with it.  Depending on the age of your child, you could do an activity that involves making a scrapbook of your child from birth on and watching the aging progression begin.  Or, it could entail a detailed book report study on various beauty products designed to slow down aging.  Have your child select one of the ten facts that inspire him or her and use your imagination to become an explorer yourself.  Only, you and your child will be an explorer of facts.

1 comment

Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
Posted on Apr 9, 2011