"The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together." -Barack Obama
Maps, lands, regions, countries and continents. The study of geography is varied and very interesting for those who want to know more about the beautiful world they live in.
Studying geography provides students with an understanding of planet earth along with its human and natural complexities.
Acquiring a basic understanding in the field of study of geography can be done during postsecondary studies, secondary school, primary school or even before at a preschool level.
Young children are little sponges who absorb the information they are taught in a very efficient way. There is never a wrong time to start teaching your young one basic school subjects such as history, geography, mathematics or science.
Thanks to the technological world that we now live in, there are valuable resources online that make learning school subjects entertaining at a very young age.
Whether your youngster is on summer holiday and wants to keep his acquired knowledge fresh in mind for the new school year or simply loves to learn, finding great geography websites for kids is essential.
Superprof will now examine the importance of studying geography and the three best websites for kids to learn more about the basics of geography.
The Importance of Studying Geography
There are certain school topics that are essential for everyday life such as the alphabet for reading and writing, dominating the multiplication table for arithmetics and geography in order to know where places are and why they are different from one another.
However, as essential as geography is, it is seldom taught in primary and secondary schools all around the world. This is a major concern for the future of younger generations due to the fact that there is an increasing focus on globalization and the world economy.
Without a basic understanding of geography and the countries that surround you, it is practically impossible to become a world leader or have a part in the global economy.
While learning geography, young pupils grasp the knowledge of basic physical concepts such as the implications of the solar system on the climate, water cycles and ocean currents.
An additional benefit of studying geography is that young pupils learn more about their own country. While learning about their country, the following topics can be expected:
- Citizenship: this topic makes all who study it better citizens. Students learn more about important events in their country's or community's history, are better educated about using natural resources in an environmentally friendly manner due to mistakes committed in the past. A well informed educated citizen makes for a better leader in the community.
- Economics: many are puzzled to see this as a topic for the subject of geography, however, it is extremely relevant due to the fact that transportation networks and the location of natural resources influence trade patterns and contribute to the economy of the community, region or country.
- History: learning about the history of the landscape allows you to understand the overall transformation process that was experienced. Rising and falling of civilizations and migration patterns contribute to the history of geography.
- Environment: the field of geography analyzes how the natural system works and those who dedicate themselves to a career as a geographer examine the role of a population's behaviour on environmental factors. Understanding the trends of citizens from communities, towns or cities is essential in implementing environmental policies.
Geography for kids is important because it opens the minds of students and causes them to become more aware of the world and its various issues. It is also important to note that those who are interested in geography often become the most experienced travellers due to their love of exploring new cultures. A well-stamped passport is calling you!
The Best Kids Geography Websites
Children born in the 21st century have incredible ease of handling electronics. Whether it's a tablet, phone, computer or remote control from their favourite video game counsel, technology has taken over and become a normal part of daily life.
To meet the needs of kids born in the age of technology, there are many online learning resources to choose from. These websites offer homework help, basic information on the subject being assimilated and interactive games to keep learning fun for the kids.
We will now analyze some of the best websites for kids learning more about geography and the unique features that each one has.
A beautifully designed website that offers games, videos, music and worksheets for young students.
The homepage features a wide variety of geography-based topics that kids can learn about by clicking on the links.
The topics that are currently highlighted on the homepage include, understanding our planet, our atmosphere, hello earth, atmospheric temperature, atmospheric moisture, atmospheric disturbances, hydrosphere and biosphere.
All articles are written in an easy to understand language with illustrations, pictures and simple explanations. This makes learning the basic concepts of geography extremely accessible to students between the ages of 4-8.
A very interesting introductory article titled, "The 5 Themes of Geography" introduces the subject of geography in a very realistic way. It mentions the stereotypes people may have about geography and why some think it is boring and then goes on to discuss the 5 themes of geography which are location, place, relationships with places, relationships between places and region.
Parents can sign up and join kids geography using their email to receive the latest updates.
What kid doesn't like games? Kids Geography and created some fantastic games to keep young ones entertained. Some of the most popular games that can be played by students on the website include world country matching, continent and ocean matching game, USA capital matching game, world capital matching game and latitude and longitude.
All of the previously mentioned games help develop their geography skills without feeling the pressure of only acquiring knowledge to pass examinations.
Kids can also watch informative videos about the international date line, tsunami, tornadoes, snowflakes, lightning, isostasy, hurricanes, eclipse and biomes.
The last impressive characteristic that we will mention is the worksheets. These learning resources are available for download in PDF version and can be printed. Some of the worksheets include the "diversity song" and the "cultures song" that can both be sung with fellow geography loving friends. There are also many geography word scramble sheets that can be enjoyed.
All in all, the Kids Geography website is a highly recommended website that is purely focused on helping young children develop and hone their knowledge about geography.
National Geographic Kids
While National Geographic Kids is a website that touches on a wide variety of subjects such as science and history, it also provides invaluable information about geography for younger ones.
The website has a homepage with many articles about different subjects that could interest kids and then it is divided into the sections of videos, games, animals, shop and subscribe. The sections of videos, games and animals all feature some information that could be interesting to those studying geography.
Let's start by analyzing the video section. For example, when you click on the video link, you can watch many geography-based videos. Some interesting video topics include the following examples:
- 50 birds, 50 states: for American students who want to learn more about their country and the official bird in each state.
- Are we there yet?: in this video topic, pupils visit countries and consider some of the most popular activities, animals and iconic figures that are featured in each one of the countries.
- Around the world: how is taking a trip around the world without leaving the comfort of your own home possible? By watching the videos in this sub-section! Students learn about geographic locations and their culture. Some of the interesting topics highlighted on the website include Costa Rica, Laos, Cuba, Mount Fuji, Angkor and the First Lady in China.
- Destination World: pupils acquire knowledge about all the seven continents in different episodes that highlight key information.
There are many games featured in the game section that test students skills and memory. There are a few geography-based games that can be played such as "play desert memory", "which city most like you?", "historic civilization" and "national parks."
The games are extremely entertaining, however, beware they are also highly addictive!
Nevertheless, the games are not the only intriguing geography-based feature of the website, there is an interactive world map. The interactive world map has different countries highlighted that students can click on to learn more about the population, basic information and geographic area. This feature comes extremely recommended for young pupils who want to expand their knowledge of other countries.
It's a learning website with many interesting features that can keep learning fun during the summer holiday.
The last recommended kids geography website is Ducksters geography. Ducksters is an educational website that discusses the topics of history, geography, biography and science.
Their geography section is laid-out in a very simple manner but has many useful resources for kids. They encourage students about learning geography stating that it can be fun.
The topic of continents and countries is separated into continents and areas of the world: Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, Oceania/Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.
By clicking on a continent or area of the world, there is a basic description of its geographic location, population, area, major biomes, major cities, bordering bodies of water, major lakes and rivers and major geographic features. There is also the option of learning more about the countries featured in each continent including a map, a picture of the flag, population and much more interesting information.
The fun facts about each continent or area of the world in this section is an entertaining feature that kids enjoy.
There are colouring maps available for each continent along with games like crosswords, word searches and map games. If interested, students can also learn about the ancient history of each continent.
In the geographical features of the geography subject on Ducksters, the following topics are discussed:
- Biomes and Ecosystems,
- World Rivers,
- Mountain Ranges,
Maps showing the inhabited continent of the Antarctic, the arctic northern pole, a political map and a map of the different time zones in the world are offered on this website and include descriptions.
All young children enjoy games, therefore, they will simply fall in love with one of the games featured on the website known as geography hangman.
Learning more about geography is important at a young age to improve the knowledge of future generations about the planet and the different customs practised around the world. Thanks to the internet there are many interactive websites that can instil a love for geography at a very young age.
If you are a teacher or parent, here are some suggestions of geography games for kids that can be played in the classroom and at home.