"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Anthony J. D'Angelo
It is of the utmost importance to develop a love for learning at a young age. A young learner needs to be taught in an engaging and appealing way due to the fact that children are like sponges and during this time they will absorb important concepts from a variety of academic disciplines.
In the United Kingdom, the subjects of literacy, math, science, history, physical education and geography are compulsory in primary school and all featured on the curriculum.
It would be a wise choice for parents to find learning resources that deal with the aforementioned subjects in order to have their young ones progress at a brisk pace and avoid falling back academically.
Thanks to the technologically advanced world that we currently live in, online learning resources are easier to find than ever before and young children have the incredible ease of handling electronic devices.
Due to these facts, learning more about school subjects such as geography can be accomplished by students in the comfort of their own home at a time convenient for them. It is important to mention that we are not talking about learning supplementary information from boring out of date textbooks. The resources that are now available for kids geography are entertaining, interactive and educational.
Geography is a crucial academic discipline that creates well-rounded citizens who are informed about the world's landscapes, cultures, countries and cities.
With all that being said, Superprof is here to examine the best kids geography websites, the most highly recommended books and resources and, last but not least, the most engrossing geography games for kids that can be played online, on a gaming console or in the classroom.
Kids Geography Websites
The best kids geography websites have the goal of teaching young children geographic information in a fun way. Therefore, to meet the demands and keep the attention of modern-day children, website developers have created educational web pages that kids are drawn to and have attractive features such as games, videos and pictures.
Without further ado, here are the top two websites for kids to learn more about geography.
On this interactive and brightly coloured website, young pupils can choose what type of geography-based topic they wish to explore.
Some of the most common themes included on the homepage include understanding our planet, our atmosphere, hello earth, atmospheric temperature, the hydrosphere and the biosphere. The articles that explain each topic in further detail are written using words that make learning accessible to all levels and contain beautiful pictures and illustrations.
Children can further explore videos that touch on geography-based phenomena such as the international date line, tsunamis, tornadoes, snowflakes, lightning, isostasy, hurricanes, eclipse and biomes.
If the video section proves to be less than interesting to kids, games can be played that are educational and offer all the stimulation needed. A few of the highlighted games on the website include a world country matching game, continent and ocean name matching game, a world capital match and the very intriguing map game that practises latitude and longitude concepts in a fun manner.
The music section contains some catchy geography songs about rivers, maps, humidity, the ocean, the four seasons, the water cycle and the stratosphere. I think its fair to say that parents and children alike will have these geography-based, singalong tunes stuck in their heads for days!
Kids can also ask their parents permission to download printable worksheets that feature geography word scrambles.
National Geographic Kids
Created by the National Geographic Society to inform children about various interest topics in the world around them. The website is not purely based on geography-based topics, however, there are many articles, videos and games that cover human geography and physical geography.
The most outstanding feature for some kids is the interactive world map that has children click on different countries to discover their defining traits such as language spoken, typical food, the total area of land and distinct landscapes. This a great tool where kids learn and develop their map skills.
The video section has many different geography-based topics that have a series of clips that discuss culture, landforms, lakes, animals from different continents and oceans, people and food. The video clips are usually 1-3 minutes depending on which ones you choose to watch and are great for kids who have limited attention spans.
A highly recommended series of video clips is titled, "Destination World" and offers students a glimpse of Asia, South America, Africa, North America, Europe and Oceania or in other words all the continents of the world.
Geographical exploration can now be done without leaving your own house!
In the games section of this website, there are quizzes and matching games that touch on a wide variety of academic disciplines. Nevertheless, the most common geography-based games include desert memory, national parks and which city most like you?
These two websites are highly recommended and successfully prepare students for the basics that are covered in geography class.
Kids Geography Books and Resources
Kids are never too enthused when teachers tell them that they have to copy down notes or do exercises from their textbooks. However, in order to keep children's attention and have them learn an academic discipline in the most effective way, absorbing books and attractive applications have been written and created.
We will now consider the most highly recommended books and applications for kids to learn geography.
Geography Books for Kids
Parents will be glad to hear that all books considered cost less than £20 and help students become budding geographers! Here are our best options:
- Geography a Children's Encyclopedia: published in 2013 by Dorling Kindersley and is 304 pages in length. The book is priced at £17.99 on certain websites such as Amazon and covers the topics of rocks & minerals, climate, ecosystems, population and mapping the physical and political world. Kids enjoy this book due to its beautiful pictures and vivid descriptions of all things geography-based. No geographic region on earth is hidden in this book!
- Sticker Atlas of Britain and Northern Ireland: priced at only £4.99, this sticker book is a great value for children who are living in the United Kingdom and want to learn more about the major cities and most famous landmarks that are situated in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are over 140 stickers that can be stuck on the various maps that are included in this 24-page book. Kids can also complete a quiz and check out carefully picked internet links where children can take virtual tours of landmarks and watch clips of wildlife.
- What's Where in the World: this visually striking encyclopedia offers young readers a basic understanding of what is where in this great world of ours. There are 75 colourful maps that teach children about intriguing facts such as where is the tallest building, the longest river and the most dangerous earthquake spot. The six chapters in the book are geography, nature, people, history, arts & entertainment and science & technology.
All of these books instil a love for our world and geography in students at a young age. Supplemental learning to receive the best marks in the class can be done without having to be gruelling and exhausting. With these educational books, kids don't even realize they are learning important concepts of geography, they just think they are having fun!
Geography Applications for Kids
Our grandparents and even our parents are often flabbergasted by the thought that the fundamentals of geography can be learnt on a smartphone or tablet. There are many kids geography applications that can be currently downloaded off the Google Play or App Store.
Here are some of the best options available for download:
- GeoBee Challenge: highly recommended for older children who already have a slight foundation of geography concepts. This application was a MOBI Award Finalist for Best Mobile Game in 2010 and was created by the National Geographic Society. There are over 1300 multiple-choice questions available and an interactive map helps students find their way from a catalogue of 1000 locations.
- Tiny Countries: a fun game featuring "Tiny" the chick who helps children travel across six continents and discover 75 new countries. This game can only be downloaded off the App Store if you have a US account, which is not too difficult to create. The objective of the game is to prevent "Mr.Evil" from moving the continents to form the shape of a rooster by completing 15 missions. The application is so fun that youngsters forget they are learning!
The aforementioned are just two suggestions, there are many more options that can be found through careful research on the internet. Trial and error are sometimes required to see if your child even likes the application and is learning something from it.
Superprof has many more suggestions for books and resources about kids geography.
Geography Games for Kids
"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning." -Mr.Rogers
Due to its international popularity, geography games can be played online using an educational learning software, in the classroom with fellow comrades and in the comfort of your own home on a gaming console.
In the Classroom
Games that are played during class time create positive memories, encourage teamwork, invigorate healthy competition among pupils and consolidate newly acquired concepts. They should be included in lesson plans to teach each and every young explorer about geography facts.
Therefore, without further ado, here are a few of the most effective geography games played in a classroom setting:
- The Hierarchy of Geography: after students learn about continents, countries, cities and provinces or states they may be confused about the size and think that cities are bigger than continents. In order to effectively fortify newly acquired knowledge, a game using a globe, pencil and a hierarchy can avoid confusion and ensure success. In order to teach and play this game, an educator chooses the names of a few countries, cities and geographic regions from a specific continent and using the globe, pupils carefully organize the names in the hierarchy chart. This game instils confidence in students and assures educators that the young ones have correctly grasped the new concepts.
- Puzzles: this can be done for kids at a preschool or kindergarten level to correctly understand the placement of continents on the world map. Teachers can choose to buy a world map puzzle or print one from the internet and cut it up into small pieces. The goal of this game is for youngsters to correctly make the puzzle in the least amount of time possible.
Online Geography Games
Young children spending too much time on electronic devices worries many parents, however, if they are using their time on the internet wisely it can bring about many benefits such as studying and acquiring the basics of world geography. Here are the best online geography games:
- GEONET: in this game from Houghton Mifflin social studies, students can choose to learn more about the geographic locations in the United States or the world. When clicking on a continent, students answer multiple-choice questions from six different categories such as the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society and the uses of geography. After the correct multiple-choice question is answered, a brief description is provided to improve the pupil's overall knowledge of geography.
- GEOSPY: the game starts by asking for your name and then kids can choose between three different assignments: the continents game, the countries game and the states and provinces game. In all of the games, pupils have a time limit and need to identify as many geographic locations using a white square.
These games are extremely entertaining and help to develop invaluable geographic data.
Geography-Based Video Games
Video games have a bad reputation for being violent, immoral and a waste of time. However, there are certain skills developed when kids do play video games such as problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.
There are various educational games available on the market that cover a wide variety of academic subjects. Here are the best video games for learning more about geography:
- Learn Geography: a very enthralling game that is available for Nintendo DS. Interesting features include many distinct geography quizzes and mini-games such as City Search and Paint the Flag.
- National Geographic Challenge: created by the National Geographic Society and can be played on the Nintendo Wii, XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3. There are 4000 in-game questions about geography and players have the option of competing against each other. The format of a game show is used and there are great videos and educational content.
Learning more about geography for kids is important at a young age to develop fine geographic skills in the future. In today's world acquiring the fundamentals of geography is not a daunting challenge for youngster due to the great selection of books, applications, websites and classroom or online games. A career as a geographer is just around the corner!