There is absolutely nothing that I hate more than to help my kids memorize factoids for a test. I figured out from my two older kids that their 4th grade social studies curriculum includes learning to spell and locate the 50 States, with state capitals as extra credit.
Trying to learn one section of the country every few weeks can be stressful, so I got the jump on it long before my son reached fourth grade. We played the Scrambled States Game, a board game, and did many, many rounds of geography trivial pursuit at dinner using map placemats. Beautifully illustrated atlas map books also make learning a pleasure. My kids would also credit this song about the capitals in South America and online learning games.
From my webpage: 70+ Free Education Games. This is the Geography section:
- Name Countries of the World
- Name the U.S. States
- Name U.S. State Capitals
- State Capitals of USA Game
- Printable World Maps Free printable maps of the world’s countries. Each map is a blank outline, the better for quizzing students on cities, counties, and terrain!
- 50 States Detailed information about each of the 50 states including abbreviations and capital cities. Excellent for teaching U.S. geography!
- Where’s That U.S. State? This fun geography game times your students as it asks them to locate each state. How fast can your students locate each of the 50 states?
- State Capital Crossword Puzzle
How about you? What are fun ways you and your kids are learning geography? Thanks for sharing!
Hands On Geography Fun for Kids
Barefoot Books World Atlas by Nick Crane, illustrated by David Dean
This is my go to atlas book. With large beautiful illustrations of maps and interesting details on the sidebars, some of which fold out, this is a book to savor and enjoy. There’s also a fold out atlas in the back perfect for mounting on a wall. You can use the wall atlas to point to a location and then look it up in the book, or just browse through the book continent by continent. There is also an accompanying app! [nonfiction atlas book, ages 4 and up]
Atlas of Animals Adventures: A collection of nature’s most unmissable events, epic migrations, and extraordinary behavior by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland
For animal lovers, here’s another way to look at an atlas. This book celebrates how animals survive in the wild through both migration but also through animal behavior. Animals are grouped by continent and country. This oversized book is also gorgeously illustrated and begs to be browsed. You can also make this book into a game with the Can You Find? “Where’s Waldo” section in the back. [nonfiction animal atlas book, ages 4 and up]