Kids’ Guide to Learning the U.S. States

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{Kids' Guide to Learning the U.S. States} 5 tips for taking it beyond memorization...
When I was a kid, learning the 50 states felt like short-term memorization for a test. Today, we have the opportunity to let our children’s curiosity lead the way to long-term knowledge.

Learning the 50 states can easily go beyond name recognition with a unique combination of engaging tools.

Below are 5 great resources for helping your little one enjoy learning the 50 states:

{Kids' Guide to Learning the U.S. States} 5 tips for taking it beyond memorization...1. Bring out the puzzles.
Our girls have been playing with their state puzzle since their toddler years. We love this USA Map Wooden Puzzle by Melissa & Doug. I recommend finding a puzzle where the pieces are shaped like the states. The jigsaw puzzles available are fun, but visually seeing and feeling the shape of the state is helpful for young children.

Learning alternative: Have your child put the state pieces together without using the puzzle board.

2. Music makes it stick.
Frau Otto walked into class with a synthesizer under her arm and twenty years later I still know all of the states and capitals of Germany. I like the way Education.com puts it, “Songs tickle our memories in various ways.” You can find a wide variety of educational music, yet this is my all time favorite US States song. Find the full cartoon on iTunes (Episode 20).

3. Make it an adventure.
Have your little one become a GeoSpy. Our girls are continually battling it out to see who can get the highest score. This game, recommended by Quinn’s teacher, is the perfect digital compliment to a wooden puzzle.

Quick Tip: Looking for a game that is iPad friendly? Your kids will *love* the Stack the States app!
Again, a great teacher recommendation.

4. Find a good collection of books.
Ask your local librarian for suggestions! We enjoy the Discover America State By State | Alphabet Series. The illustrations are lovely and the content is informative, but not overly complex. Providing additional information will help your child not only learn the states, but will help peak curiosity and a passion to travel.

U.S.A. License Plate Game Travel Game5. Make it a part of every day.
We are constantly on the look out for out-of-state license plates. We keep our Melissa & Doug License Plate Game Travel Game right in our car. Having this everyday reminder keeps the girls actively interested in playing with the state puzzle, GeoSpy, and reading books. We are currently about half way through spotting all the plates.  The girls have decided to celebrate finishing the puzzle, we will travel to the last state flipped over. Anyone seen a Hawaiian plate recently?

Do you have any additional suggestions? Let’s chat below!


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2013 Blog Ambassador Let’s Lasso the Moon is proud to be part of the 2013 Blog Ambassador program. We worked hard alongside Melissa & Doug as an affiliate to explore fun ways to keep children inquisitive and to promote classic creative play. Click here to read our full sponsorship disclosure.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Jodie @ Growing Book by Book
    January 28, 2013

    Great ideas! I also like to use USA placemats at the dinner table. You can play games such as find the states with the shortest names. You can also talk about a route you would take to go from north to south, etc. Thanks for the ideas.

    Reply
  2. Beejrazza
    January 28, 2013

    My husband has an Hawaiian number plate in his garage…. but it’s in Sydney, Australia. May be cheaper to go to Hawaii!

    Reply
  3. Meghan
    January 29, 2013

    Love the ideas! I have to get the license plate Melissa and Doug game. My kiddos would love it.

    Reply
  4. Becky Morales
    January 31, 2013

    We have the license plate game and LOVE it!:) DO they have the GeoSpy game as an app?

    Reply
  5. Danielle @52 Brand New
    January 31, 2013

    We love our puzzles. I really like that License Plate game. We notice different license plates in the car, but I like how the kids can flip the plates as they go.

    One of the best things I’ve done is bought my son a map that hold the State Quarters. He loves looking through my change to find state quarters. He practices counting money and finding the state. Each quarter chooses an image that represents the state, so we discuss the picture, too. My son loves his collection– we only need 10 more!

    Reply
  6. Jacquie Fisher
    February 1, 2013

    We play the license plate game every summer – but we can only find the plates in our own home town. We’ve been doing it for years and keep the map in the car during the summer. We each have a color assigned to our ‘finds’ and at the end of the summer, the one with the most states chooses where we get ice cream before back to school.

    Love your ideas – there are some great state books for kids and so important to offer a variety of tools for learning.

    And yes, we always find a Hawaii plate (and in the middle of the country, who knew!). The hardest for us to find — Idaho!

    Reply
  7. LetsLassotheMoon
    February 10, 2013

    Becky, I am not sure they have an app, but this game is also excellent for the iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stack-the-states/id381342267?mt=8

    Reply
  8. Janie Anderson
    April 4, 2013

    Motion USA has a motion for every state and every capital. It starts with Maine and ends with Alaska.

    Reply
  9. Kelly
    April 26, 2013

    Thank you for this post! I especially love the license plate game. Good luck on finding Hawaii, though – I’ve never seen one!

    Reply

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