Can you locate all 50 US states? Would you struggle to name the countries bordering Ukraine? Do you know where Somalia is exactly? And why does all this matter, anyway? Read the blog post below to find out!
Whether you’re a geography novice or a pro, Coolmath Games has plenty of geography games to suit your level, and you’ll find that there’s a lot more to them than just labeling locations.
Why is learning geography important?
A strong understanding of geography is key for understanding current affairs. To appreciate the reasons for the conflict in Ukraine, you first need to have an awareness of its sensitive location between Russia and Western Europe, the strategic importance of its Black Sea ports, and the shifting borders in Eastern Europe. You can begin to see this through a game like Snappy Maps: Europe, where you drag the shapes of the countries into the correct places on the map.
Similarly, in Snappy Maps: Africa, the interactive element makes you focus on the shapes and locations, drawing attention to the wider implications of a country’s geography; when you see the amount of coastline in Somalia – and how the country sits on the Horn of Africa, stuck out into the Indian Ocean, you understand right away why it was an important historical trade hub and today is a hotspot for piracy.
When the media refer to the “Emerald City”, a knowledge of City Nicknames allows you to identify Seattle. If they speak of the Confederate Flag, it’s important to know which are the 11 Southern States that seceded from the Union during the American Civil War. When there’s talk of migrants crossing the US border from Mexico, it’s helpful to have an understanding of how far those people traveled.
How can I learn geography easily?
Learning geography can be hard for a lot of people. Don't worry though, we've got some tips to help you get started on your geography journey!
Can you name most of the US states but aren’t sure where to place them on a map? Then start with Guess Countries: US States. You type the name, and the game labels it for you – a great way to build your geography knowledge and confidence.
Get instant feedback, and keep trying
You could then move on to Snappy Maps: USA, dragging the shapes onto the map. If you get the answer right, the shape snaps into place; if you get it wrong, a helpful hint shows you where it should go, so you get support and instant feedback on your progress. You’ll likely find that you want to play again and again to improve your score and reduce the time taken.
The game gives the abbreviation of each state, helping you sort out your MA from your MI from your MN, and it also shows you the state flag, the state capital, and the population. Squeezing in Rhode Island between Massachusetts and Connecticut, you get a sense of just how tiny the USA’s smallest state really is relative to, say, Texas or Montana.
Choose between Easy Mode and Challenge Mode
Snappy Maps: Europe and Snappy Maps: Africa offer you the choice of Easy Mode, with just a dozen or so different countries, and Challenge Mode, where you’re given all of them, puts you in control of the difficulty. In Easy Mode, you can choose the order in which you drag the countries, whilst in Challenge you have to drag them in the order given.
As with the US states, the Snappy Maps for continents and regions give you the country flags, the capital cities, and the populations, helping you learn more than just location.
Ramp up the challenge
Once you think you’ve mastered the shape of each state or country, test your knowledge with the Name That State! or What Country Is That? quiz. The questions show you the shape, and you have to choose the correct answer from a choice of three before the time runs out.
Try out the trivia questions too
Interactive quiz games are a fun way to practice knowledge about the geography of a state, a country, or even the entire world. And not all the questions are trivial; you also learn serious facts about the produce of various states in 50 States, 50 Curious Facts, about world geography in Bizarre Geography, and about famous landmarks and iconic landscapes in Where in the World Is That?
Finally, Spin-Art Flags is a really fun game to test your knowledge of the flags from different countries. You’re given a swirly mash-up of a flag, and you choose the correct country from a choice of three. For extra educational value, the correct answer shows you the “unspun” flag too.
If you enjoyed the geography games above, visit our Geography Games collection. For a complete world map, and maps of the various continents and regions, visit our sister site Fact Monster.