“I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand.” – Confucius. This is true whether it is for the grown-ups or kids.
Children tend to understand subjects better through participation than by reading textbooks. One such subject is Geography; you make them sit and read two pages of the textbook, they will quickly get bored.
Interesting Geography Games for Kids
1. Minute To Win It
This is best played with a group of kids, as you can encourage them to compete with each other.
- Ask each kid to tell the names of states and time them for 1 minute.
- Note down the number of names each kid is able to tell in a minute.
- The kid who tells the highest is the winner and gets to take a prize home.
What kids learn: They will know the names of the states so well that they can tell as many names as possible within a minute.
2. Geography Quiz
In this good old geography quiz game, you may take questions from a wide variety, such as continents, countries, mountains, rivers, and more. Alternatively, you may restrict to one topic and go deeper into it.
- Prepare quiz cards with questions on various or a single geography topic (name all the oceans in the world, in which continent do we live, etc.).
- Time the quiz at 10 minutes for 8 questions and see how many the child can answer.
- Repeat the game and if the time taken to answer decreases, then reward them.
- You may also ask these questions to a group of children, and reward the one who gets the maximum points.
What kids learn: Here, the scope of learning is as wide as the topics of your questions. You may choose a topic that is there in their school lessons to make the learning easy.
3. What Came From Where
You can teach kids about various countries from where their favorite t-shirt or toy came from.
- Ask the kids to check the labels on their clothes, toys, bags, etc. and find the country in which it was manufactured.
- Next, ask them to point out that country on the world map.
- The kid who gives the most correct answers wins.
- Later, you may explain to them why the product was made in that country.
What kids learn: This game helps children identify the countries and also gives them an idea on how countries trade.
4. Locate The Country/ State
This is an excellent game to teach your kids map skills.
- Stick the outline world or country map on a wall in your kid’s room.
- Write the names of the countries/ states on small strips of paper.
- Now, give your child each paper strip, ask them to locate the country/ state on the map and stick the paper.
- Each correct answer will earn them some points.
- Repeat the game and whenever the child crosses the previous score, give them a reward.
What kids learn: They will know how to locate a country/ state on a map, its position on the map and its neighboring countries/ states.
5. Know Where You Live
This geography game will help children understand the continent, country, state, city, street and home where they live.
- On a chart paper, draw six circles from the biggest to the smallest, one inside the other.
- Starting from the outer most circle, name them in the following hierarchy — continent-country-state-city-street-home.
- Explain what each circle signifies and how the hierarchy goes.
- Ask the kid to write down the home address and two of your relative’s addresses (preferably those who live in some other continent/ country) following the same hierarchy.
What kids learn: Your kid will learn the hierarchy of places, and why they are divided so. They will now be able to mark the locations better on a map.
6. Name The City
This is a creative way to teach your children capital cities and the famous landmarks in those cities.
- Split the kids into groups of two.
- Show them the pictures of the famous landmarks and ask them in which city they are located.
- Next, ask them to locate the country of that particular city on the map.
- The team with the most correct answers wins.
What kids learn: This geography game for kids has a dual advantage; they will not only learn about famous landmarks but also know in which state or country they are located.
7. The Coordinates Game
This game will help your kids understand the use of latitudes and longitudes.
- Give the children a list of coordinates and ask them to find out the country or the place using the map.
- Once they found the place, ask them to stick a gold star on that place.
- The team who finds the most places are the winners of the game.
What kids learn: They might have learned the meaning of latitude and longitude at school, but with this game, they will understand why coordinates are essential and how one can use these to know the location of a place.
Geography Activities for Kids
Take learning beyond the classroom with these engaging geography activities for kids.
8. Play-dough Learning
Kids of any age love to play with play-dough. Why not teach them some geography as they play?
- Ask the kid to trace the outline of a country on the cardboard using the outline map.
- Now, tell them that green color dough represents land, the blue color is for the oceans and rivers, and the brown is for the mountains.
- Ask them to spread some green color dough as per the traced outline of the country on the cardboard.
- Once, the shape of the country is ready, ask the kids to mold the blue color dough into long strands, show them the location of the rivers and make them stick the strands at the starting point of the river.
- Next, let them make some small cones out of the brown color dough and place them at the location of mountains on the country map.
- Repeat the same with different countries.
What kids learn: Through this geography activity, kids will learn about the different geographical locations and also how to locate them on a map.
9. Time Travel
Let’s accept time zones are pretty confusing even to adults. Use this fun activity to teach your kids all about time-zones.
- Teach your child what a time zone is, why there are different time zones in different countries, and how the time zones change as the sun moves over each part of the world.
- Explain them the math behind the time zones using this simple equation:
CST = 1hour behind EST, 1 hour ahead of MST and 2 hours ahead of PST
(CST – Central Standard Time; EST – Eastern Standard Time; MST – Mountain Standard Time; PST – Pacific Standard Time)
- Hang the world map on a wall.
- Help your child divide the world map into the four time zones using a permanent marker, and name all of them.
- Help your child think about the various family vacation spots, such as the Grand Canyon, Taj Mahal, and Disneyland Park. Find at least one place in each time zone.
- Ask your child to stick a gold star on each of the vacation spots, and their pictures for a visual representation of each place.
- Now, ask your child questions such as “What is the time right now at the White House; if we arrive at the Taj Mahal by 6pm, what time will it be at home?”
- At first, your child might be confused, keep a clock handy and explain it to him.
What kids learn: Kids will learn about time zones, which country falls under what time zone and how to calculate the time for different time zones.
10. Treasure Hunt
Play this exciting activity in your backyard or a park to teach kids how to use a compass.
- Hide the ‘treasure’ at someplace in your backyard or park.
- Prepare a map with easy directions to the treasure, and gather the kids into a small group.
- Before starting the game, explain them about the cardinal directions and how the compass works.
- Read aloud the instructions. For example: 4 steps north-east, 2 steps east, and so on.
- Ask the kids to check their compasses and tell which way to go.
- All the way, stay with the group and correct them if they go wrong with the directions.
- When they discover the treasure, congratulate them and watch them enjoy their gifts.
What kids learn: They will learn about cardinal directions and how to navigate using a compass.
11. Pass The Globe
This activity is both fun and educational. It is best to play in a group.
- Make the group sit in a circle.
- Play the music and ask the kids to pass on the globe to the next child.
- Stop the music at random intervals, the kid who has the globe has to identify the place their right-hand thumb is on.
- Continue the game until everyone gets a turn.
What kids learn: This activity will help your kids to identify various continents on the globe while having fun.
12. Food Hunt
Kids love to participate in an activity that involves food. So, use their favorite food to teach them geography.
- Take a print out of the recipe and go through it with your child.
- Ask your child to identify the spices and grains in the recipe.
- Prepare some questions such as, “In which country is this spice/ herb grown? Locate the country on the map. Find out some more details of the country.”
- Give your child a week and ask them to use the internet or the library to gather the answers.
- Once done, appreciate their efforts by cooking their favorite dish.
What kids learn: Kids will learn how and where the food they eat is produced; they will also know about various countries and their geography.
13. Dream Vacation Box
This is the easiest activity to make your kid interested in learning about a place.
- Let your child cover the empty shoe box inside and outside with wrapping paper.
- Ask them to pick their favorite vacation place.
- Once the place is decided, let them collect postcards, stamps, pictures of historical sites and more about that place.
- Tell your child to stick all the information inside the shoe box and decorate it the way they want to.
- After the box is completed, encourage your child to present it on family night.
What kids learn: This activity will help kids learn about a place of interest. It also develops creativity in them.
14. Flag Banner Making
Flags are a country’s identity and an important aspect in geography. Help your children memorize the flags of various countries with this activity.
- Encourage your child to select a list of 10 countries.
- Let them draw the flags on rectangular papers using color pencils and write down the name of the country on each flag.
- After your child finishes drawing all the flags, attach them on a thread to form a banner.
- Hang the banner in your child’s room so that they can memorize the flags and the country names.
- Repeat this activity with another set of 10 countries.
What kids learn: Flags and countries could be pretty confusing, so children need to know them by heart. With this activity, your child can memorize the flags on a daily basis.
15. Making a Paper Globe
Teach your kid to make his very own paper globe.
- Blow a balloon and tie the end.
- Tear the newspapers into 1-inch wide and 4-6 inches long stripes.
- Mix water and glue to make paper mache glue.
- Teach your child to stick the paper strips around the balloon using glue, repeat it to cover 4-5 layers.
- But let the balloon dry completely before applying the next layer.
- After the layers are completely dry, ask your child to paint the globe (layered balloon) in blue.
- Then color the countries or cut them out from the world map.
- Now, looking at a real globe, ask your child to stick the continents on the paper globe.
- Let it dry, and your paper globe is ready.
What kids learn: This activity will increase a child’s curiosity and interest on the globe and its contents.
With these activities, your children will not again complain that learning geography is boring. Such activities and games will help in boosting your kids’ creativity, while also helping them remember the concepts better.
Have any ideas for geography games and activities? Share them with us by commenting below.
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