How to Teach Your Kids About the 50 States

Think back to your introduction to the United States in elementary school. It probably packed a black-and-white paper map, and if you were lucky, a 50 States song or a 50 States game. Or maybe you simply had to memorize from a text list.

Now, interactive tools and resources can make geography engaging - and yes, even fun! And they're not all electronic!

Whether you’re focusing on tracing family history around the country or daydreaming about road trip destinations, learning about the states can strengthen a child’s formative skills including spatial reasoning and memory, while supplementing elementary schoolers’ knowledge of climate, wildlife, history, and culture.

Plus, they might need to crush a 50 States Quiz in the future, and this knowledge will help them do that!

United States Map Puzzle

Skillmatics USA Map puzzle top view with kid holding the card

Start exploring the 50 states with the Skillmatics United States Map Puzzle! Kids will learn about our nation’s geography as they fit the shapes of the states together. The icons on each puzzle piece will give them a deeper understanding of what each state has to offer. For example, if your children love french fries, cheese, peaches, or maple syrup, the United States Map Puzzle will help them learn where each of those foods are grown or cultivated. If they’re junior explorers crazy about animals, identifying the bison, birds, and woodland creatures from around the country can improve their understanding of the different climates and get kids thinking about different wildlife and weather patterns.

Scout It Out: The 50 States

A family playing Scout it Out States from Skillmatics and enjoying

Put your child’s geographic knowledge to the test with Scout It Out: The 50 States, a trivia board game great for kids ages 7 and up. This game starts with the roll of a die to determine what number clue on the state card is read out for the guesser as they work to narrow down the correct state. Population clues are color-coded to the states on the map piece, so players can use that to get a better idea of which state is correct. Scout it Out: The 50 States is perfect for a family game night because it requires players to interact and encourages listening and communication. Plus, everyone in the family will end up a states’ trivia expert!

Guess In 10: States of America

Once your kids get the hang of Scout It Out: The 50 States, you may want to try Guess in 10: States of America! Players can practice their critical thinking skills by formulating questions that will give them the most information about the state they are trying to identify, while special clue cards can give them a hand by providing some information about each state’s history, sports, topography, food, and much more. For example, to identify Florida, one may ask “is this state on the east coast or the west coast?” or “do crocodiles live in this state?” If your family are big sports fans, use that knowledge to get you closer to the correct state (hint: using divisions is a quick way to narrow down your guesses!

While improving your child’s understanding of geography and knowledge of the unique characteristics of each state, Guess in 10: States of America also grows their problem-solving and creative thinking skills by pushing them to figure out the best way for them to gather the information they need to guess the correct state while taking different routes to find it. Some players may rely on questions about wildlife, while others will ask about historical or cultural events to bring them to the correct answer. Your child will grow in confidence as they familiarize themselves with the states and start winning cards.

Related: See all Geography Games

Tools for preparing for a 50 States Quiz

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