Geography is an important subject for children to learn, but geography curriculums tend to be boring and dry. Kids don't want to memorize countries and capitals without some sort of fun! It's all about keeping your child's attention and having fun while learning.
I tried several geography curriculums before I realized that I can do this without one. Here are some fun activities and resources that we use to teach geography without a curriculum.
1. Add Maps in Your Home
Maps actually make a fantastic decoration for your home. You can find antiqued maps and beautiful globes to display. Kids are interested in what is around them, and they tend to want to ask questions or touch.
Put a map up in a commonly visited area in your home. Talk about how you value the world and talk about it. If you hear about an event in France, make sure you point to the country on the map.
You can also display cool posters in your homeschool space! Merka Store sells six USA educational classroom posters. Posters capture your child's attention and capture their interest.
2. Play with Globes
Globes are so fun! Raised globes display mountains, rivers, and landmarks. Take down the globes to play with each day. Talk about mountains and oceans. Show them where they live and talk about the different countries in the world.
3. Put Together Puzzles
My kids love puzzles! When you put together a puzzle, you learn the details because you are staring at it for long periods. There are puzzles that show all the states, and world map puzzles! You can find maps of Europe and maps of Asia.
Your kids can put them together over and over again, or glue the pieces together and frame for decoration in your homeschool space!
4. Play Geography Games
I'm a huge fan of gameschooling, which is incorporating games into your homeschool. Kids learn through play, and it's a less intimidating method of teaching. There are board games for every subject imaginable. Here are some geography games to try!
- Ticket to Ride
- Scrambled States
- Geo-Bingo world and Geo-Bingo USA
- 10 Days in... The USA, Europe (several options)
5. Play-Doh Geography
Every kid loves Play-Doh! It's a sure-fire way to capture your child's attention. Place a map in front of your child, and encourage him to cut out the space of states and countries. Start with easy states, such as North and South Dakota. Eventually, see if your child can cut out detailed countries, like Russia or France!
6. Make Continent Cookies
I love this idea from Creekside Learning! She cuts out the continents from a large map and laminates them. Then, she makes cookie dough and rolls it out. She uses the laminated maps to cut out cookies shaped like continents. This activity is super fun and creative!
7. LEGO Maps
All you need is a large, LEGO base plate, LEGOS, and maps. Encourage your child to make a country or state shapes with the blocks. Children will love this, especially if your child is already a LEGO addict!
8. Talk about the News
Depending on your child's age, there are many news stories that you can talk about with your child. You can get the news through websites, Facebook, or YouTube if you don't have cable.
We must be cautious to not bring too much anxiety and worry onto our kids from the news. However, discussing major events is important, and it gives you an opportunity to pinpoint these locations on your maps! For example, show your child where the Olympics are held that year, or show your child the location of a country that just had a huge election!