Today’s Bonus Friday lesson: Geography!
“Daddy, Colorado took way longer to get to than California or Wisconsin, so it’s farther away!” “No, Colorado took longer to get to because you drove from Texas instead of flying, like you did when we went to California and Wisconsin.” “What’s Texas?”
Last summer, K had absolutely zero concept of geography. Once she understood what a state is, and that we live in Texas, she still couldn’t understand how Colorado wasn’t farther away than Wisconsin or California if it took her way longer to travel there than the other states.
Surely (hopefully) my daughter isn’t alone with her geographical ignorance. To help out others struggling, I’m sharing three of my favorite geography games to teach your littles how big their world really is while still having fun! Two of these are games I’ve purchased and thoroughly enjoyed playing with K, but the third is an original Kandy Apple Mama game.
Yes! We have all sorts of educational games here at Kandy Apple Mama to help your little ones learn Beyond the Classroom!
Geography Game 1:
United States of America Puzzle
We love love love our Melissa & Doug wooden USA puzzle. K pushes herself to see how fast she can complete the puzzle, and we always follow the rule that she needs to say the name of the state before she places the puzzle piece.
Once the puzzle is completed, we talk through the different places we’ve visited or lived, the places we plan to visit, and everything in between! We sometimes play “Can you find…?” and list off a few states for her to locate. Once she developed a firm enough grasp of the states, I even started removing a few states and asked her to tell me which were missing.
Using the puzzle instead of a standard map allows a much more interactive experience.
Geography Game 2:
Brain Quest States Card Game
We bought this game for K for Christmas, and it’s really helped develop her state knowledge beyond the basic geography she learned with the puzzle. This is essentially a large matching game that includes all 50 states, their capitals, and cultural and historical facts.
The developer brags, “It’s the most fun card game this side of the Mississippi (no matter which you’re side you’re on)!”
It’s really helped K to learn not only the states and their capitals but also to help her memorize the states’ nicknames and interesting trivia, for example – much of Alaska’s land is still unexplored, and nearly every known gemstone has been found in Idaho!
Geography Game 3:
State Capital Matching
To finalize the trio of geography games, we have the Kandy Apple Mama Original, State Capital Matching!
It’s super easy! Print out the cards, cut them out, and place all 100 cards face-down on the table. Okay, maybe that’s a bit ambitious. Maybe you’ll want to start with 50 cards first.
Take turns flipping over potential matches, and if the state matches the capital, you get to keep it and take another turn! It’s just like the matching game you played growing up. Once all matches have been made, the person at the end with the most matches wins!
You can download the game and corresponding answer key here.
Now, go crazy!
Whether you choose one, two, or all three, I hope your child learns what Texas is, and understands that Wisconsin is farther away from Texas than Colorado with the help of these geography games!
We have so much fun when we play with these, and I know my daughter is really developing a strong understanding of and pride in the country she lives in. Plus, it’s an excuse to get on her level and have some fun! How can you go wrong with that??
Do you have any other games you play with your kiddos to help them learn about the world? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!