How to Make Learning about Geography Fun for Kids
There have been numerous stories about how kids cannot find countries or cities on a map. Stories about how American kids can’t even find Canada on a map or know what continent they live on. Kids should learn geography and where places are.
Learning should be fun and interesting, but sometimes learning about geography is not as fun as many other subjects. It isn’t hard to make learning fun. There are geography bees similar to spelling bees that helps kids learn, but first the kids have to learn where all these cities and countries are.
Here are some ideas that might help you teach kids about geography where they will enjoy it and retain what they learn. And at the same time as they are learning about geography they will be learning about the planet, other cultures and about world events. Learning geography might also entice children to want to include it in their further studies and into their professional lives later on. Knowing geography is important in all kinds of professions including investing, anything related to traveling, writing, journalism, reporting, being a pilot, politics to maybe even wanting to work for the state department some day.
To teach your kids geography you don’t even need a computer. A world atlas and or a wall map of the world put up and a globe is also helpful. Have your kids read the newspaper and for every place that a news item mentions, have them look it up on the map. These can be places in the United States or in the world. If your kids are interested in soccer as many are, have them read the sports pages and the articles about soccer. Then they can look up on the map and see every place that all of these teams come from. Combining their interest in soccer with geography will not only help them learn but also help them remember it as well. Not to mention it will get them in the habit of reading world news and events. Is their interest in baseball, football or basketball, they can read about those teams and look them up on the United States map.
Whatever their interest might be, there is a place on the map to look for. If they are old enough to discuss current events, then finding each place on the map will help them understand the distance and the faraway places everyone is talking about. Maybe you can talk about your family history and show them on the map where everyone came from and the geography of the area.
If someone in the family has to go on a business trip or your family is planning a vacation, have your children look everything up on the map. A road map with all the little towns in it would be very helpful if this is a driving vacation.
There are several games for the computer to learn geography and also using Google Earth. You could pick out locations on the spinning Earth and then fly all around that area, looking up cities and countries on the map.
You can make a competitive game of learning geography just with a wall map. Have two kids stand, facing you and you call out a city, country or a continent and then each child turns and the first one to find it on the wall map wins. They can actually win something or points or however you devise the game.
Make learning fun and getting kids engaged in the learning of geography combined with their other interests will help them learn and remember what they learn. These ideas could make it more fun to learn geography and maybe someday they will also win a geography bee.
© 2009 Sam Montana