How to Learn the Countries of the World
Asante and I have the big audacious goal of learning all of the countries of the world.
I didnt think it was that big of a goal until we actually started doing it.
I LOVED geography back in junior high and during that time we learned all of the countries of the world. I remember counting down the days until it was time to start a new map of a new continent. Opening my atlas to discover all of the countries, rivers, and mountain ranges of each new place was completely fascinating to me.
I’ve pretty much forgotten most of what I learned, but as we’re trying to be and build global thinkers in our little home, I realized that, duh, we need to KNOW the countries of the world.
I’m completely awful at memorizing things without going over it a gazillion times, so I created a bunch of different avenues for us to learn throughout the day!
1. Play Catch!
Hugg-a-Planet is a company that creates soft balls that look like the Earth! It’s soft, total huggable, and absolutely safe to throw in the house. Tucked inside this Earth, in a small velcroed pocket, is the Moon. How fun is that?! And good news- this globe is up-to-date. Many of the maps and globe toys I’ve been looking at haven’t added South Sudan as a country (there might be more recent changes than that, but it’s the one that I look for because it’s the most obvious to me).
We use this planet to play “catch and name.” Throw the Earth to someone, and they name whatever country their thumbs land on. Toss it back and forth a few times for a little review! Since we have the Earth laying around on our couch, when we’re snuggled together reading books or just chatting, we grab the Earth and go over a few of the countries.
2. There’s an App for That
3. Hang a Map on the Wall
We printed out huge paper maps of the various continents and rotate through them. We can write on them, color them, or quiz one another with them. It’s on the wall, in our face, which is an everyday reminder. I need everyday reminders. 🙂 We printed our maps from here in case you’re interested in doing the same. If you scroll to the bottom of that page, you’ll see some “quiz maps” that you can print out as well.
In case you haven’t ventured into the world of placemats for kids, there is also a placemat for everything. Presidents, colors, numbers, writing, states, and THE WORLD. We bought this from Amazon (World Map Placemat) for just a few dollars. On one side is the map of the world, labeled; on the other is a map of the world, unlabeled. You can just use a dry erase marker to write what you think the names are and flip it over to check yourself. Great activity to do when one is waiting at the table for dinner to show up :).
5. Puzzles and Books
There are a million and one books and puzzles about the world, and I’m sure that most of them are just fine. Our favorites include:
For more ideas, see Summer Learning: Geography Edition