Geography, in the very broadest terms, is the study of the Earth’s landscapes, people, places and environments. Kids love to learn about the world, and these days there are some really interesting ways to help take your kids on a fun journey around the globe without ever leaving your living room. So if you are looking to spark an interest in this amazing world of ours, look no further, because we have found 19 super cool resources that your kids should know about.
Geography was first studied by the ancient Greeks (of course) and is often called “The Mother of all Sciences” because of its relation and influences on other scientific fields such as biology, mathematics, anthropology, geology, astronomy and chemistry. It is generally divided into two main branches, human geography and physical geography. Check out our list of the best websites, books, videos and apps that cover both types of geography.
Best Geography Websites for Kids
Obviously an easy way to get kids interested in the world is through a fun website, (since most kids will take any chance to be online that they can get). Here are a few of our favorites:
- National Geographic Kids you can’t really go wrong with National Geographic for kids. The website is a fantastic place for kids to spend time learning and exploring.
- Global Trek is a fun site from Scholastic that let kids plug in travel destinations and it brings up information for the countries that the child enters. It’s pretty basic, but fun to use.
- Google Earth is an incredible tool for kids. It lets them go anywhere on Earth using satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from into space to the depths of the oceans.
- Geography4Kids is a very informative website that teaches physical geography and earth science basics to children. It has info on ecosystems, earth structures, biospheres, food chains, earth energy and lots more.
- Kids Geo is an online geography textbook, that has lots of info plus online videos that are included with some of the topics.
- Geography for Kids is another great educational site that has fun facts, free games, interesting experiments, science fair projects, cool quizzes, and videos.
You can’t beat a good geography book and there are lots of great ones to choose from.
- National Geographic has a bit of a lock on the kids market as far as geography goes, but their books are generally really great for kids. There are a lot to choose from; two that I like are the National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas and National Geographic Kids World Atlas. Both are written in the typical Nat Geo Kids style which is lots of colourful pictures and interesting facts broken down into short paragraphs that are easy for kids to read.
- Maps and Geography (Ken Jennings’ Junior Genius Guides) is a really neat book for kids who already know a bit about geography and are interested in trivia about the world. It is written by Ken Jennings, who you probably know as that guy who won a lot of money on Jeopardy. If you know anything much about him, you will know that he’s super interesting and very funny (check out his twitter). Not surprisingly, the book is written in a way that reflects his personality, so it is fun to read and you learn a lot of crazy world trivia. This book is part of a series called the Junior Genius Guides, that also has books about US presidents and Greek mythology. It has some questionable reviews on Amazon, but I really liked it.
- A Child’s Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People is another book in a fantastic series. This book is for kids ages 9 to 12 and it covers: hemispheres, latitude and longitude, continental drift, map notation, landforms, population density, Each section has a different continent, and includes information about climates and biomes, mountain ranges and bodies of water, people and cultures, governments and industries, wildlife, and much more.
- The Everything Kids’ Geography Book: From the Grand Canyon to the Great Barrier Reef – explore the world! The Everything Series are always a great choice if you are looking to introduce a child to a new subject or help them expand on knowledge that they already have. This book includes information on the locations of states, countries, and continents around the world. They will also learn about the features that make each region interesting.
One of the best TV shows that I have come across that help kids learn about the world is Are We There Yet? It is a short show (each episode is about seven minutes long) that has a brother and sister who travel around the world learning about different cultures and countries.
Another show that everyone loves, but it is short of showing its age is Where in the World is Carmen Santiago. Just in case you aren’t familiar with Carmen Santiago, it is educational franchise that has computer and video games, a television series, and books that teach kids about geography. If you are feeling nostalgic you can watch many of the episodes on YouTube.
Free Online Geography Games
- Sheppard Software has video games that are often used in schools. They have a fun game about world geography that also includes a tutorial.
- Your Child Learns has interactive maps for all over the world that are easy to play around with while teaching your kids at the same time.
- Geo-Me! has animated musical stories of children from around the world and helps kids learn about the geography and demography that makes life in a certain place unique from (and similar to) their own.
- Geo Challenge is a fun way for kids to learn the flags and maps of the world. It helps kids learn using puzzles, quizzes and flashcards. One of the neat features of it is that it lets you spin the globe to find out information on 193 countries
- Tiny Countries is an app with a slightly different approach to Geography This app has kids using characters and their knowledge of geography to try to solve missions. It has 15 missions over 6 continents with 75 countries to be mastered. There is also an animated interface to learn about countries, their capitals and famous monuments.
- Kids Planet Discovery is an app that helps kids discover the world with games and adventures all about cultures, animals, music, dresses, geography. This app contains 100 games & 80 videos about our Planet.
So as you can see, there is no shortage of fun resources that you can use to help your kids learn a little bit about geography and about the world. If you have any great resources please let us know in the comments below.