I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but the very best ideas are often the most simple ones. I’m here to share a super-easy and fun way to sneak in some geography into your day. Are you ready? All you need is this:
Do you remember when you were a child and you would give the globe a spin, place your finger on it, and wait to see where it would land? We have this globe at home and I’ll often just plop it on the table during lunch or dinner. The kids can’t help but play with it, and we have wonderful conversations. I’ll admit, I’m often armed with an atlas or my iPhone because the world has changed quite a bit since I was in school- we all end up learning!
Easy Ways to Learn Geography
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Easy ways to use your globe to teach geography:
Spin the globe and see where your finger lands
Where did you end up? Do you know anything about that location? Look it up in an atlas, an encyclopedia, or on your smart phone to learn more!
Locate all of the continents
Can you find all seven continents? Compare and contrast their sizes and borders.
Count the oceans
Are you able to find all of the oceans? What countries do they touch?
Play a global guessing game
Ask your child, “Where in the world would I find [insert something specific to a given region].”
Play globe iSpy
This is a great way to practice the concept of north, south, east, and west!
Take turns finding locations from A-Z using the globe
Remember that age-old license plate game you’d play on road trips? You can play it with a globe, too!
Use the globe as an opportunity to talk about family history
Discuss where various family members were born. Where did your family come from?
Looking for other geography resources?
Scrambled States by Gamewright
This game is based on a fun and quirky book that your kids are sure to love. Play this a few times and your children will have U.S. geography down!
Borderline by Borderline Games
Have you played Crazy 8s before? Borderline is a similar, geography-themed, easy-to-learn card game for ages 8 and up. You don’t need to understand geography before playing, but you’ll end the game with more knowledge!
Brain Box: The World by Mindware
It’s easy to play this card game over lunch or dinner, at a restaurant, or even in the car. You can play it as directed, which involves a memory component, or you can modify it for younger players and just read the cards. Either way, you’re learning!
Our family loves these Professor Noggin cards. We have several different decks and we take them on vacation, to restaurants, in the car, and we even pull them out at dinner from time to time!
One of the easiest, and most fun, geography activities that we participated in this year was our travel journal. It’s super-easy to make and amazing to receive when complete!
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska
Your children will be enthralled by this gorgeously illustrated book of maps. I left this book on our coffee table for a week and I cannot tell you the conversations it prompted. There is also a jam-packed Maps Activity Book that is a wonderful companion piece!
Horrible Geography by Anita Gierani
Leo is obsessed with all of the horrible books. The geography series includes ten graphic novels. If you have a child who adores facts, he or she will be sure to love these books.
Geo Puzzles by Geo Toys
With six large and colorful puzzles in one box, your puzzle-obsessed child won’t be able to resist. Bonus? She’ll be learning the countries of the world while she plays!
My children love to work on this puzzle together. I love that they are talking about the geography of the United States and learning the location of various states while they work together. It’s a win-win!
One super-easy way to encourage interest in geography is to use U.S. and world map placemats when eating meals. Combine this with the globe (above) or any of the games I’ve mentioned and you have wonderful opportunities for learning!
When we first started homeschooling, I purchased this entire series for under $10 and I’ve never regretted it. My children love the series and have no idea that they are learning about geography and world history. Win-win!
I had never heard of this show, but I’m so glad I decided to risk $5 on the entire series. Just like Carmen Sandiego, my children adore this show and they learn about the history and geography of the United States.
Another super-easy and fun way to learn geography is to get involved in letterboxing or geocaching. Or, why not set your child up with an old-school pen pal? Leo has several pen pals including friends from: Tanzania, New Zealand, Singapore, New Mexico, and even one right here in NH!
Now, it’s your turn… How do you sneak in some geography at home? What is your favorite resource? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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