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Learning Geography Through Play

While I like to dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s”, my children like things to be more fun than that. When I was their age I did not enjoy geography. I did not see the point, and I did not care. As I have gotten older my views have changed, and I don’t want my kids to ignore geography like I did. So instead of making it boring memorization, we have found ways of learning geography through play.

learning geography through play

 

Throughout our years of homeschooling, we have amassed a large array of resources and methods for learning things. Geography has been a subject we have explored through hands-on activities like salt dough maps and hand drawing countries to games such as BINGO, scavenger hunts, and puzzles.

Learning Geography Through Play

 

One of our favorite ways to learn geography is by playing games.

One of our favorite games is the Scavenger Hunt Game.

You will need a large map and a list of things to find.

Giant Wall Map

We have a large wall map with a world map on one side and a United States map on the other side. Using these Scavenger Hunt Printables, one person serves as the “Caller,” and he or she reads off a location or landmark from the list. The rest of the players have to find the location or landmark on the large map and point to it. The first person to find it gets a point. Depending on the number of players or the time we have, we will typically play a few shorter rounds to give more people a chance to win.

 

Apps also help make learning geography fun.

If you have access to a tablet or Apple device, there are two fun apps to help with learning the states as well as the countries.

Stack the States and Countries

  • Stack the States – As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags, and more, you can actually touch, move, and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level. You earn a random state for every successfully completed level. All of your states appear on your own personalized map of the United States. Try to collect all 50! As you earn more states, you begin to unlock the four free bonus games: Map It, Pile Up, Puzzler, and Capital Drop. Four games in one!
  • Stack the Countries – As you learn country capitals, landmarks, geographic locations, and more, you can actually touch, move, and drop the animated countries anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of countries that reaches the checkered line to win each level. You can choose to focus on just one specific continent or play the whole world. You can also select which types of questions are asked. Stack the Countries provides 193 country flash cards and colorful interactive maps of the continents. Use them to brush up on your world geography before you play or as a handy reference tool.

 

Another option is to get crafty!

For the artsy/crafty students in your house, try having them Create Their Own Atlases.

IMG_1974

Using blackline printables of the country, continent, or state, give your student an atlas and have him color and label away! My nine-year-old loves being able to reference her own atlas when doing schoolwork.

For even more ideas for making geography fun, check out these articles here on Hip Homeschool Moms.

HHM Learning Geography Through Play Pinterest Image

About the author

Heidi

Heidi lives in upstate New York where the winters are long & cold, but where she truly appreciates the lack of extreme weather such as tsunamis and hurricanes! Her house is filled up with her loving husband of 17 years, 3 busy children, & 2 dogs (Muffin & Oscar). Homeschooling started out as a trial run with a child beginning 2nd grade, & almost 9 years later has become a lifestyle which brings great joy. You can often find her behind her camera, or working something out in Photoshop. With 3 children homeschooling multiple ages is the norm in their house. You can find her writing at on her own blog, Starts At Eight where she often focuses on homeschooling high school, elementary unit studies, and books/reading.

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