Learning has many layers. The learning that happens when a child sees, touches, and experiences something often makes an impact that will remain with them for a longer time than just reading about it.
This replica of the Nina and its companion ship the Pinta were in Kentucky recently. Its schedule has it sailing into several ports in the Southeastern US. You can follow this link to see if they will be near you. The Columbus Foundation
Our tour explained everything from where Columbus' crew slept (on the deck soaked by water until they discovered hammocks from the natives) to why it's called a "poop deck" (believe it or not, it is derived from religious icons and dolls kept to protect the sailor.) I am not a sailor. I barely know my port from my starboard, yet just seeing the rigging and feeling the boat sway slightly below me was exciting. This ship has modern safety additions such as an inflatable lifeboat in order to make it seaworthy, but every effort was made to keep her as authentic as possible. A real sailing museum.