I remember learning the states and capitals in school. I think it was around 4th grade? We were given a paper map and expected to fill it in while under a time constraint.
Not exactly fun learning is it?
I knew when it came time to teach my homeschoolers their states and capitals I wanted to do it in a different way. I wanted it to be FUN. Not dry and boring.
Here are ways to make that happen!
Pick a state that your child wants to learn about, and create a fun unit study. Check out books from the library on that state. Learn it’s capital, bird, flag, and other features that make it stand out from the others. What are some great geographical locations to visit while there? What makes that state a good tourist attraction? What famous people live there or came from there? You can study one state a week for a full year, or choose one state a day for a month or two.
The goal, of course, is to learn the states and capitals. This may require DAILY practice. Once the skill is mastered you will want to continue having your children practice the skill on a weekly basis.
Just like learning the multiplication tables and other skills, repetition is a MUST if you want your children to MASTER the ability to identify all 50 states and capitals.
The key though is making the repetition FUN.
Fun Games and Apps
One way we have made the repetition needed to learn the 50 states and capitals fun is by using computer games and apps. I am listing some of these resources below. Our children are growing up in a tech-based world. It is no wonder why they will learn their states and capitals better using technology. For about 15 minutes a day have your kids play one of these games. Keep at it for a few weeks and you will be amazed what they learn with little to no instruction from you.
In addition to fun games and apps, it is important to have hands-on resources to reinforce the lessons they are learning. You can do this through board games, lego activities, books, maps, puzzles or other resources you can find or create.
Having hands-on resources to help your children learn their states and capitals puts something tangible in front of them. While technology is a wonderful tool, it doesn’t replace REAL books, maps, or manipulatives.
If you have been wondering HOW to teach the 50 states and capitals I hope this post has given you some great ideas. Our children do not have to learn their states and capitals in the same dry way we did in school. We can make it fun and interactive for them. Kids learn best when the repetition is FUN. Let’s make that happen!
Resources that can help:
- I Like to Learn
- Vector Kids
- Kids Geo
- All Fun Apps
- Sheppards Software
- Scholastic Play the States
- US States and Capitals
- Where in the U.S. is Mr. N
Hands on Games and Activities
- Lego Learning with States, Capitals, and Abbreviations
- Map Skills Battleship Game
- Pegboard Practice States and Capitals
- United States Bingo
- United States Geography Scavenger Hunt
Board Games and Books
- Scrambled States
- Electronic Map of the United States
- Great States Card Game
- USA Map Floor Puzzle
- The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A
- Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America
- The 50 States: Activity Book