The Best Games to Teach Geography
Geography doesn’t have to be boring. It also doesn’t have to be a tough subject. In fact, A LOT of geography can be learned through something as simple as regular game time!
After years of trial and error, here’s our list of the best games to teach geography. I think you’ll find some wonderful options to make learning geography a blast for your entire family.
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Games to Teach U.S. Geography
Scrambled States of America is a fast-paced card game that helps children learn the geography, capitals, and nicknames of the 50 states through simple and fun challenge cards. It’s a little on the silly side, which is why my kids have always loved it.
Geography of the United States is a set of trivia, true/false, and multiple choice cards that help children learn fun facts about geography across the United States. Professor Noggin card games come in all sorts of subjects that are perfect for eager learners. There’s even an edition to learn about Countries of the World.
Bingo is always a hit. USA GeoBingo includes a little twist on the typical game. The caller’s cards include a picture of a state’s shape, its name, nickname, population, area, and surrounding states and/or bodies of water. Based on a student’s knowledge or skill to practice, choose what to call out from the card. Each player must try to find the appropriate state on the bingo card based on what is called.
Learn the capitals of all 50 states with the Sequence States and Capitals board game. If you haven’t played a Sequence game before, you’ll be surprised at the strategic simplicity that keeps everyone in the family excited to play. In this version, states and capitals are memorized almost seamlessly as players race to place five chips in a row on the game board. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds!
We’ve had Game of the States for several years. It looks like the newer version includes a STEM component that makes it even better than our game. There are a few ways to play – a simple trivia game, a buy/sell game, and a junior version for 6 and 7-year-olds. The version we like best requires us to move our little trucks across the U.S. buying and selling goods with the goal to make more money than the other players. I love the math and economics components included!
Who can travel by train to the most cities in seven days to win a million-dollar prize? In Ticket to Ride, the goal is to claim railroad routes that are as long as possible and make connections to fulfill destination tickets. This game takes a little longer than most to play and isn’t for children younger than 3rd grade. It’s a fun way to experience North America circa 1900!
10 Days in the USA mixes strategy and luck in a race to plan a 10-day trip through the United States. It’s easy enough for 3rd graders to play, but challenging enough that adults don’t get bored. This is one of our favorite geography games to play (along with its world geography counterparts found below.) It’s currently out of print, but you may be able to snag one on eBay or other resale sites.
United States Geography Bingo is unique because each player focuses on collecting chips for a particular region of the U.S. Focusing on fewer states regionally is a great way to help children learn where states are within a region and in relation to other states.
Bonus Hands-On U.S. Geography Ideas
BONUS #1: The U.S.A. and Canada GeoPuzzle isn’t technically a game, but we love GeoPuzzles around here. They have individual pieces that are shaped like the various states and provinces (or countries if you work with the other world geography puzzles.) I’ve seen great improvement in the ability of my children to recognize places by shape and know where they are in relation to other places through playing these puzzles.
BONUS #2: The License Plate Game is super-fun to take on a long car trip. It’s a magnetized map of the U.S.A that includes a cute little license plate magnet for each state. The license plate pieces are placed by the state on the map. As you see cars during your travels, flip the magnet pieces. Children can play independently or with a partner.
Best Games to Teach World Geography
As with 10 Days in the U.S.A. (above), these games are out of print, so prices may reflect that. However, the 10 Days in…Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe are some of my favorite games for teaching world geography. Keep them on a watchlist when visiting resale sites and stores.
We’re fans of the Guess in 10 games for their ability to teach trivia facts quickly with a brain training component. Countries the World is no exception. Players get to ask up to 10 questions to deduce which country is on a game card.
Who Knows Where? is another guessing game that helps kids locate famous places around the world. Become familiar with landmarks, tourist attractions, famous events, and, of course, big cities and capitals all over the world.
The World Game is another option to help children learn about famous landmarks, capitals, and even flags around the world. The game cards can double as flashcards for population, area, neighboring countries, and other fun facts, too.
Enjoy some strategy when Trekking the World. While this game might seem intimidating at first, it’s easier to learn than it looks. Not only will your family learn world geography, but culture and history are included, too!
The Word Teasers Geography Edition is a great way to learn (and remember) trivia facts from around the world. Find geography questions that focus on world history, languages, and other fun ways to think about the locations of various countries.
Who will be the first to collect the most countries from each continent in this Continent Race around the world? It’s a fun way to quiz geography without forcing long lists of memorization!
There are four different game options in the Flags of the World card game. The version that works for children as young as six expects them to draw a flag card from the pile and attempt to guess which country it belongs to. In the more difficult versions, players will not only be able to match flags with countries but recognize factual clues about countries and remember capital cities, too. This game is especially good to play during an Olympics year.
If you enjoy the North American Ticket to Ride (mentioned above), there are Ticket to Ride games for other areas of the world that can be used singularly or as companions to other game sets.
Quick Pix Geography has been on our game shelf for years and years – and we’re still not tired of it. This fast-paced card game helps children easily learn which countries reside on which continents. It can be played in about 10 minutes, which is why we often use it during our morning time for geography practice.
Bonus Hands-On World Geography Ideas
BONUS: The Global Puzzle isn’t just any puzzle – it includes individual pieces shaped like each country, state, or province. The 600 pieces are perfectly challenging for children in 3rd grade and older. Heck, it’s challenging for adults. The experience is really great for general world geography practice!
What are the best games to teach geography in your house?
Incorporating games into your school day makes learning fun and creates an eagerness to learn with surprisingly little effort! I have loved gameschooling for years and will continue to make it a regular part of our schedule for years to come. I hope you do, too!
Our Journey Westward Products to Add to Your Collection
50 States Notebooking Pages$10.00
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