Encourage a love of history and geography in your middle-school explorer through games that reinforce social studies material. Children can test their knowledge and ignite their imagination while navigating virtual online games. From taking a trip around the world to investigating an antique map, young students will increase their curiosity for the history and formation of the earth and its inhabitants.
Countries and Capitals
Send your child on a world journey with the kids’ section of the CIA site. Players can choose from three levels within the World Explorer game: third to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade or ninth grade to adult. Children follow junior agent Ava Shoephone on her assignment around the world, using knowledge of countries on their journeys. If your child is more interested in current events, introduce her to the “U.S. Department of State for Youth” page with its “Where in the World is the Secretary of State” adventure. Children can study the map to discover the recent travels of the current secretary of State.
National Geographic’s site provides 11 history and geography quiz games for kids -- from preparing for the National Geography Bee to exploring Mount Everest or the Grand Canyon to joining Lewis and Clark on their Western adventure. In another section of the site, National Geographic offers land and sea adventures on its “Go on a Family Adventure” page. Students can select from several difficulty levels while following the footsteps of the likes of Marco Polo or U.S. presidents.
Join Benjamin Franklin in “Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids.” After picking a grade range, children can explore sections such as historical documents, branches of government and the election process. From there, they can engage in print or interactive games such as social studies-related word find games or “place the state” games. A virtual Franklin serves as a guide through kid-friendly versions of government topics and U.S. geography.
At the children’s section of the History Channel site, kids can test their knowledge of the location of each of the states in a map game. As they advance through three levels from beginner to expert, they'll learn state facts. At the government’s National Map site, youngsters can create their own map of sections of the United States through the National Atlas Home Page. If middle school children are curious about what their neighborhoods looked like a century ago, they can explore the Historical Topographical Map section.