Geography is one of those subjects which, depending on how it’s taught can be very interesting or intensely boring. Here are some fun online resources and apps to spark the geo-bug in your child.
Kids Geo: This is actually an online textbook with a lot of material on the atmosphere, soil, erosion etc. On the sidebars you have games from Kids Know it Network which provide some entertaining ways to practice geography. The maps and capitals games teach kids to identify countries on the world and US maps and also to name the capitals. The latitude/longitude game also helps in identifying location. There are also geology games about rocks which helps kids recognize different types based on their characteristics. Kids ideally should be conversant with reading to be able to use this site.
NatGeo: It's a visually appealing excellent source for both geography and science. For the geo buff there is a ton of material with videos, country profiles and facts about different parts of the world. There are games for the younger ones but they might need some adult help in trying to understand how to play. One of the best parts of the site is the quizzes - a lot of really good questions which can help a child learn his/her geo facts.
The Traveller IQ:To master the quizzes on this site means mastery of world maps and locations. It allows the user to select the region of focus and within each region as a series of questions on capitals, flags and famous landmarks. Users will need to click on the map and points are awarded based on proximity to the actual location. The levels increase in complexity as you clear each one. It can be quite addictive so watch out!
Global Trek: It's a one-stop shop to find out any information about a country. You get some basic background information followed by information on culture, people as well as some myths and popular folktales. The Kid Q&A section is a great way to share practical information on the culture and day-to-day life in the country. With most of the material in written form, the site is geared for kids around 8 and above. Kids can create a travel journal, global postcards using an online template and take interactive quizzes on the country of their choice.
Sheppard's Software: An interactive, fun site with a range of activities for older and younger kids. For the little ones, they have an entire section of preschool games which allows the kids to click on animals and hear their names, counting games and many more. They can also choose from the various paint options along the right to pick the setting that they would like to paint online. Meanwhile for the older ones there are fun games involving capitals, location on map and geographical features such as rivers, oceans etc. Overall, one of the best, interactive geography sites out there today.
Stack the Countries: Available for Android and idevices for ages 6 and above, this app has a great design along with the ability to create multiple profiles so that it can be played and scores maintained by different members of the family. Kids and adults both will enjoy it! It features a Learn section with interactive maps and flash cards with information on 193 countries. The Game section has 3 games – Stack the Countries, Map It and PileIt. When you answer questions correctly, you are awarded the country and get to build a stack of your awarded countries. An added challenge is to build the stack carefully without tipping it over!
GeoBee Challenge by National Geographic: This World geography app by National geographic is truly meant for kids in grades 4 – 8 but it’s not for beginners. Available for iPad, Android devices, iPod touch, iPhone, and Nook, it has 3 types of game play - multiple choice questions, a map challenge and a bonus photo round where players need to identify what the photo is and tap the location where it was taken on a map. Questions and answers are taken from a library of more than 1300 National geographic bee questions. It is definitely not a cake-walk but fun and challenging.
For more fun online learning tools visit our Online Learning Resources section.