Clara flicked the arrow hard and sent it whirling. The plastic pointer slowed and stopped on a pink space labeled France. The five of us scanned past France and read that it is located on the continent Europe. Now it was up to my 9 year old to locate Europe on the world map game board and identify which of the oddly shaped blobs represented this wonderful croissant producing country.
While Clara searched Europe, questions suddenly flooded my mind. I spend multiple hours each day writing about countries in hopes that children and their parents will read my posts and virtually explore the world with me one suitcase at a time. But was I taking my own children on that same journey? Doubts
crept barged in full force.
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All that contemplation happened while playing Educational Insights Name That Country Game. It’s a board game I really like because it does pair fun with education, but I wondered, what else is out there? What are the best geography apps and games for children? I asked other bloggers for their recommendations and came up with a pretty comprehensive list. Let’s start out by looking at geography apps.
Best Geography Apps for Children
Amazing Countries is an app geared towards preschool age children. In this app a friendly hippo allows children to select a country from a map. The hippo will give a tutorial about the chosen country and then present games and puzzles that will work on the spelling of the country, the capital, the national flag and more. In the free version, children can only tour 1 country. A price tag of $2.99 unlocks 60 countries.
Becky, teacher and mom of 5 multicultural kids, over at Kid World Citizen reviews more geography apps for kids in her post 8 Best Apps For Kids To Learn Geography & Maps
Mommy Maestra’s Bilingual App Pick
Latina homeschooler, Mommy Maestra, writes about an interactive, bilingual app in her post App Review: Intro to United States. I love that she includes her kids’ review of the app too!
Finally, you can check out the post Geography Apps: Real World Tools Engage Kids over at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
Let’s launch into games next. As fun and convenient as apps are for learning and passing time during road trips and waiting rooms, they do not involve non-screen, group interaction like good old board games. Board games often require information recall that is verbally expressed to family, friends, and classmates. So let’s see what geography games my blogging friends recommend.
Best Geography Board Games For Children
We’re going to check back in with Becky over at Kid World Citizen because she has a really nice overview of some traditional board games that teach children about geography in her post 5 Great Geography Games: Board Games That Teach About The World.
My Personal Favorite
I would like to share my all time favorite geography board game that I used to play with with friends when I lived in Spain. I am really dating myself here, because this game, first released in 1987, is not even manufactured anymore. But of course, collectible editions can still be found on Amazon.
The game is called Take Off! It’s best suited for kids 10 and older through adults. You’ll have to play it on a really long table, or the floor, because the game board is a 48″x 22″ laminated world map.
The object of the game is to be the first player to get your fleet of airplanes across the world. You can see the full description in the picture link below. I can safely say, that group laughter reached epic proportions when playing this game.
Mom’s Invent Their Own Geography Games
I love this next set of games and activities that Stef over at Non Toy Gifts shared with me. These are games that some very clever moms designed on their own.
- The first is Treasure Hunt For Kids – Landmarks of the World. It includes a free printable.
- Next is Giant Neighborhood Play Mats. Have your neighborhood designed in play mat form so your kids can learn their way around!
- Can I just say I love miniature cities? These wooden blocks are transformed into European Landmarks for Kids. How precious is that? For a paper version of a mini city check out my Mini Paris Cut Outs post.
Geography Puzzles, Maps, and More!
It’s tough to draw the line at apps and games, when there are puzzles, maps and so many other fun activities to use as geography learning tools. Here are some of my favorites.
- Maryanne over at Mama Smiles uses these puzzles to teach kids about the world.
- You can also catch some great puzzle action in these IG photos where kids are assembling map puzzles.
- And how about a dose of felt board nostalgia with a felt map of the world? I think I’d actually consider reverting back to preschool just to stick some good old felt shapes on a flannel board. : )
- Food is always a great way to learn about the world. Find out about Becky’s trip to the grocery store with her kiddos in her post Where In The World Is Your Food From? I wish I could have tagged along with them!
- Do you have friends or family members who were born in a country other than the one you currently live in? Use it as a spring board for conversation with your children while you complete this multicultural geography activity shared by Monica over at Mommy Maestra.
- Sometimes some straight geography curriculum does the trick. Monica has a great review of K-2 curriculum. I think my kids would have lots of fun filling out these workbooks.
- Need any more ideas to teach your children about the world? Maryanne has got you covered. She has 69 ideas in that post alone, along with a geography gift guide for a post she wrote over at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
Wow, is this a list or what! I’m now prepared to explore the world with the best geography apps and games for children.
Oh, and by the way, my daughter did end up figuring out which of the colored blobs on the game board map was France. She even remembered that Paris is the capital city of France. It certainly doesn’t mean our journey to discover the world is over. But it does help me breathe a little sigh of relief.