My daughter has an excellent memory and loves to memorize and tell me everything she learns about geography and history. My son, on the other hand, has a difficult time remembering specific facts and dates. We've tried drill methods to help his memory, and let's just say that flash cards got old quickly. So I was very happy to find several fun and free educational games that will help him learn and remember history and geography. Here are eight of our favorites:
GeoEdu is a unique atlas and game that helps kids learn geography and related terms. There are more than 100,000 questions, and kids can choose different levels of play. You are asked a question, and if you ask the game for a hint (like what continent the country is on) you lose some of the potential points for getting the question correct. After you answer a question, you get even more information about the country. It is intended for older kids (middle school through college), but I have to admit, I learned a lot playing it, too! Be aware, the game must be downloaded to play, and only three continents are free (the other four you have to pay to play).
Geosense is a fun way to improve your knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Players can play against the computer or challenge another player. You can register to have your scores recorded or play anonymously. Since the game’s chat functions are not moderated (you can chat with other players as you play them), you may want to play with your younger kids or monitor them while playing. The game reminds me a lot of the old board game Risk, where you battle other players to take over lands and countries.
PrimaryGames offers over 1,000 fun and interactive games for kids in grades K–6. The site offers reading, math, science and social studies games. The social studies games test your knowledge of capitals, presidents, history and more. Name that President shows pictures of presidents and gives four possible answers to choose from to identify them. When the right answer is chosen, an interesting fact about the president is revealed.
KidsPast offers many types of games including astronomy, math and, of course, history. The games and graphics make it seem like the games are geared toward kids in grades 3–6, but the questions are middle to high school-level questions. My son likes Hopping Through History. If you answer questions correctly, the frog gets to eat the fly, but answer incorrectly and the crow flies away with the frog.
5. Mr. Nussbaum
The games on Mr. Nussbaum were all created and designed by a teacher. The games are for grades K–6 and are sorted by subject and grade. My kids enjoy News City Pizza, a video game where you drive a car and deliver pizza while learning directions (north, south, east and west). You are fined for running red lights and get bonuses for correct deliveries.
6. Ultimate History Quiz
Ultimate History Quiz is a fun game from History.com that is similar to Trivial Pursuit. There are multiple levels of play that get harder as you progress through the game. I like that the game can be played in two-player mode, so I can play along with my children. What kid doesn't get a kick out of beating their parent in a trivia game?
HaveFunWithHistory has games and activities related to American History. While no grade level or age range is specified, the content seems to be geared toward middle and high schoolers. In the game Presidential Turkeys, you answer questions about presidents and receive interesting Thanksgiving facts about turkeys.
Funschool offers more than 300 games and activities that are fun and easy to use. In addition to great history and geography games for kids in grades 3–6, there are math and language arts games for grades K–6. If you go to the Parents & Teachers page, the games are grouped by grade level. My kids enjoy Aton-Ra, a game where you explore ancient Egypt while spelling related words.
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