World geography is a subject that is covered in schools but many people do not remember what they memorized for a test. Living in America, many of the countries seem far off, impossible to locate, and hard to pronounce. Games help students and adults become more familiar with major countries and lesser-known nations through interactions and conversations that happen naturally around a game board. A bonus is playing with someone who is a geography expert. All kinds of interesting facts and information start to spill out around the table as countries are located on the map.
Name That Country
Name That Country is a world geography game for ages 8+. Players journey around the game board after spinning a spinner. The spinner contains the countries. The players are required to find the country on the map which is numbered. The board is color coded with the spinner making the countries easier to guess. If the player announces the correct number, the player may advance on the game board. Post cards are special spaces and cards where players can guess the country from a clue that is given. If a player gets the answer correct, more spaces are awarded on the game board. The major countries are covered. If older children wish to play, capitals may be added to the correct answers to make the game harder. The below game was found thrifting, but this game can still be found on Ebay. Personally speaking, I would consider this game a good addition to a game closet. The game is easy, but older and younger children, (and adults!), can play together very easily.
World Wise is a geography card game (African Edition) that is part of a series of card games. There are other continents available, but if these games prove hard to find, the game can be easily played with just plain country cards. I found one of my editions thrifting. I ordered some from Rainbow Resources and some from eBay. When we played these games in homeschooling, we changed the rules. Deal 10 cards to each player. Place a draw deck in the middle and turn over 4 or 5 cards as discard piles. If a player has a country card that connects to one of the cards in the discard piles, the player may play the card. If the player does not have a country card that connects, the player will need to draw. Play continues until one player runs out of cards. This game is very educational. Any age can play but the game does become tedious. All of the countries are covered, not just the major ones. This game makes an excellent addition to a game closet because of the educational value. Each player searches the map multiple times to find connecting countries.
10 Days in Europe
10 Days in Europe is one of the best games that I own. Unfortunately, for some reason, the price has skyrocketed on this item. I found the item used. This game plays very similar to 10 Days in the USA. The only difference is seas are introduced and cars are not utilized. Each player arranges an imaginary travel agenda for 10 days, connecting countries by foot, plane or ship. Cards are drawn and discarded to connect the countries. Below cards are shown after being drawn from the deck at the beginning of the game.
The goal is to arrange the cards in order by connecting countries. If two cards are placed side by side, those countries border each other. Players can also travel by ship when two countries are directly connected by a body of water. When a plane is placed between two countries, the plane needs to match the two countries by color. If full price is too expensive, this game could be made using a map of Europe, or grabbing a good used copy is also an option. The game proves to be very educational, fun, and competitive.
The Amazing Mammoth Hunt
The Amazing Mammoth Hunt is a terrific resource for all ages. The major countries (not all of the countries) are covered but this game provides an excellent learning tool for younger students, as well as a superb review for older students, even adults. The below copy was found thrifting. This game is available at a reasonable price on Amazon, and the game is worth the buy. There are two different ways to play. The first involves moving around the game board, landing on countries, and locating the countries on the colorful, beautifully decorated board. There are small tokens that cover the countries perfectly. Therefore, as players land on countries on the game track, the tokens are removed one by one from the middle of the board to reveal the country names. If the player is correct, the token is kept, earning points at the end of the game. The player with the most points wins. Other rules apply as the journey around the game board continues and the rules are very easy to follow. The second way to play is shown in the pictures below. The tokens can be split between the players, and the clue cards are used. If the player guesses the correct country, the country is covered with a token. The first player to play all of their tokens wins.
The goal in any academic setting should be to send children into their adult lives with a general knowledge of world geography. Curriculum in school settings will cover geography, but retaining the information over a period of years proves to be more difficult, especially when one has no reason to study maps. Games introduce a fun way to remember countries and when played consistently over the years, the knowledge gained is harder to forget.
Becky Hill lives in Green River, Wyoming, with her husband of 29 years. She has 3 grown children and 2 grand dogs. Becky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ouachita Baptist University, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1990. She earned a Biblical Studies Certificate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1993. Becky began homeschooling two of her children unexpectedly 13 years ago. Despite many challenges along the way, Becky creatively enabled both of her children to succeed. While her homeschooling adventures are over, she loves tutoring children and helping them to conquer subjects with no fear. Her specialty is mathematics. One of her favorite hobbies is creatively incorporating games into tutoring. The goal, she believes, is no tears, no fear, and a competent, confident, and happy child. She has a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page called “The Happy Math Nerd.”