I’ll be honest. I threw that “align to the Common Core” phrase in there to suck in more site traffic. But, hey, you’re already here. You might as well browse through these sweet geography games that really are good for kids.
(Kidding! Common Core and C3 alignments at the bottom of the page!)
This fun geography app is a bit like Traveler IQ. It includes an atlas and eight games with high resolution maps. Interactive and fun, Geomaster puts your geography knowledge to the test. More than 40 levels featuring world capitals, European countries, Asian countries, African countries, South American countries, US cities and states.
Stack the States
As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level. As you earn more states, you unlock the three free bonus games: Pile Up, Puzzler and Capital Drop.
Stack the Countries
Same idea as Stack the States but with countries and continents.
Both of these apps have free and paid versions and are available in iPod and iPad versions.
I recently wrote about a very cool game called Pursued that takes advantage of the StreetView option in Google Earth. It’s a great way for you to trains kids to ask questions, use visual clues, think spatially, become comfortable with geography tools, create mental maps, and solve problems all while having a good time.
One game that was released earlier this year is called GeoGuessr – same sort of idea as Pursued. You are given access to a Google Maps StreetView somewhere in the world and using contextual clues, you have to guess where you are at. You are awarded points for how close your guess is to the actual spot.
GeoNet, an online game from Houghton Mifflin Social Studies, asks kids to select a region or continent. It then quizzes them on spatial information and questions using the five themes of geography. If kids answer correctly, they get a popup offering more info.
National Geographic: Kids Geography Games. The National Geographic website has always been a valuable teaching tool and now offers a variety of geography games for kids. I really like GeoBee, Go West with Lewis and Clark, and CritterCam: African Adventure.
And I was just kidding with that site traffic crack. These games really are aligned to state and national social studies / Common Core literacy standards. Need a few examples?
- identify and analyze evidence, relationships, and supporting details.
- evaluate an argument or claim citing evidence in support of, or against, the argument or claim.
- identify and evaluate critical information communicated in multiple forms of media.
- support a claim, or make an argument using evidence, logic, and reasoning.
- inform or explain an event, relationship, position, or opinion.
- gather multiple sources of information and integrating them into short and long term projects.
- evaluate information from various formats.
- use maps, graphs, photographs, and other representations to describe places and the relationships and interactions that shape them.
- use maps, globes, and other simple geographic models to identify cultural and environmental characteristics of places.
- identify cultural and environmental characteristics of specific places.
- analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
So play these games with your kids knowing that they’re actually learning stuff. Plus you can sleep at night knowing that they really are aligned to standards.