I have three kids who are anxious to learn more about the world. This is my favorite activity for introducing the kids to a world map. The idea and materials are courtesy of our favorite preschool program, Mother Goose Time.
While it is absolutely possible to find a map and a dice and a selection of smaller pictures of countries and print out a passport and find a stamp and a stamp pad, for this busy Momma is is so much easier and convenient to have all the materials I need complete with instructions shipped directly my house in one box. This activity is part of Mother Goose Time’s “Going On Safari” theme.
Our First Geography Game
Supplies for Geography Game
- World Map*
- Ink Pad
- Passport pages and cover*
- Crayons or Markers
- Pocket Cube*
- Continent Cards*
*supplied by Mother Goose Time
Play Geography Game
3 Steps to Play
- Create your very own passport.
- Travel the world map by tossing the dice.
- Stamp whichever country you land on once you find it on the map.
Each passport has a cover denoting it as a passport.
Picture and Name
The inside page has a place for a picture and name. If you are really on top of your game you can easily add a school picture or passport like photo to the page. I just had them draw a self portrait and then they signed their name to the best of their ability. For my kindergartner this means she practiced some cursive. My pre-K prints his name. My preschooler draws some straight lines and circles and we work together to write the first letter of his name.
The remainder of the pages have outlines and names of each of the seven continents. Some kids may choose to color each of the continents. Some may even choose to match the colors they choose to color the continents with those they see on the map. Mine just want to get on with the game!
2. Continent Toss
Identify the Continent Cards
In the pocket cube, place six of the seven continent cards. We leave out Antarctica and use it as an example of how the game is played. We pretend everyone has landed on Antarctica. Everyone gets a stamp “freebie” on that page before the game really starts.
Toss and Identify the Continent
Everyone takes a turn tossing the pocket cube. We typically let the youngest player go first for this game.
Identify the continent once the pocket cube lands and find it on the map.
3. Stamp the Passport
Stamp the corresponding continent page in the player’s passport. My older players love to stamp the page themselves. My youngest player needs help from either me or a sibling.
If the pocket cube lands on a continent that the player has already visited, they can either receive another stamp on the same page (my youngest player’s preference) or roll again (my older two children’s preference). You choose.
Once a player has every page in their passport stamped they have won the game. For this game every player gets a chance to win. Of course they’re kids, so sometimes there is still discussion about who won the game first.
Game Modifications for Various Levels of Learners
Simplify the Game
Have your youngest players match the continents based on color and/or shape. In the map provided by Mother Goose Time the color of the continent on the continent cards matches the color of the continent on the map. For instance, North America is green and Africa is brown on both the continent cards and on the map.
Challenge Your Best Players
Have your oldest players find the continents using the names and shapes. Use a different map that doesn’t have corresponding colors for the continent maps or use a globe. Most of the continents either begin with an “A” (Asia, Africa, Antarctica) or have a second word that begins with “A” (North America, South America). This makes matching the words a bit more of a challenge.
I hope you’ll try this game with your kids! It’s a fantastic introduction to the world map and learning the names of the continents. My kids love it as a first geography game! Every time we play there is lots of laughter, lots of cheers, and lots of enjoyable, seemingly effortless learning!
If you are interested in reading more about our experience with Mother Goose Time, check out our curriculum page!
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As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.