Whether you’re hunkered down at home practicing social distancing or getting ready for a long summer with the kids, scheduling in some screen-free time throughout the day is a great way to spend quality time with the family. It can be a challenge to get active kids to sit down for more than five minutes, so parents must get creative with unique activities to keep their kiddos busy and entertained.
A good way to keep kids’ curious minds going is by encouraging a wanderlust spirit — even when staying at home. This can be done through storytime, games, or even cooking new recipes. Teaching them about the wonders of the world including different cultures, traditions, and cuisines can help develop empathy and even get them excited to learn new things.
To make things a little easier for you and your family, we put together a fun list of six unique games and geography worksheets. With these geography printables, your kids will get to learn about clever inventors from around the world, place famous landmarks on a map, and learn many fun facts to inspire their travel bucket list.
1. Find the Landmark’s Home
Learning by association is always fun for visual learners! As entire countries are often known by their famous landmarks, your kiddos may have an easy time with this one! If they’re just starting to learn about world geography, associating a cool location or structure will surely get them excited to discover more.
- Color in each landmark and map before cutting.
- Once colored in, have your little one cut each landmark circle.
- Glue each landmark in the bubble of the corresponding country.
2. My Travel Bucket List
Help your child put together their very own travel bucket list by filling out this printable. In addition to creating a list of countries they’d like to visit, the worksheet asks for places they’d like to visit in each, food they’d like to try and activities they’d like to do.
Follow this worksheet with a fun DIY project like creating a travel pushpin map or putting together a travel journal.
- Before printing, look up fun countries your kids would like to visit.
- Read up on the country’s cuisine, famous landmarks, and culture.
- Help them fill out the printable with the countries they’d most like to visit.
3. World Facts Crossword Puzzle
Knowing important world facts will come in handy when your child starts their first geography class. Help them solve this crossword puzzle by giving them additional clues whenever they get stuck on an answer.
With easy questions (what’s the world’s largest country?) to more difficult ones (what’s the only city that sits on two continents?), this puzzle will help them expand their geographical knowledge.
- Help your kiddo solve the crossword by following the clues.
- If needed, give them additional clues to help them through the puzzle.
- Check their answers with the key on the second page.
4. Color By Numbers World Flags
Get your kids to relax and unwind with this color by numbers worksheet. It includes three of some of the world’s most colorful flags to let their creativity flow. Be sure to hand their beautiful creations on the fridge to inspire their future travels.
- If your little one is still learning their numbers and colors, guide them using the key.
- Have them color each flag to complete the coloring page.
5. World Capitals Memory Game
To exercise your kid’s brain a little, we created this engaging world capitals memory game. As the cards are not an identical visual match, this game can be an exciting challenge for kids who are starting to learn about political geography. For an added twist, set a time limit and a prize if they match their cards correctly.
- Cut out each card.
- Give your kids some time to familiarize themselves with the countries and their capitals.
- Once they feel ready, place them face down.
- Start matching until all the cards have been paired.
- For beginners, start with fewer cards.
Bonus: Around The World Through Famous Inventions
Take your kids on a journey through creative and quirky inventions with some very surprising origins — who knew the croissant isn’t French? Let them unleash their culinary, artistic or engineering creativity by having them learn about ingenious inventors including the woman behind the ice cream maker (yum!) or the loving father who made the very first toy car to stop his daughter from carrying spiders in her matchbox.
Here are some inventions you can start with:
- United States: The Ice Cream Maker by Nancy Johnson
- England: The Toy Car by Jack Odell
- France: The Aquarium by Jeanne Villepreux-Power
- Mexico: The Caesar Salad by Caesar Cardini
- Croatia: The Speedometer by Josip Belusic
- Austria: The Croissant credited to August Zang and Viennese cuisine
How to Get Your Kids Interested in World Cultures
Below are some additional things you can do at home to get your kids interested in world cultures. These tips are great to follow if you’re an avid traveler and want to get your kids excited to join you on your adventures, or are looking for ways to increase their curiosity and drive to learn.
Teaching children about different traditions, perspectives, and cultures early on can help develop empathy and tolerance. In fact, experts often stress the importance of early childhood travels and the impact those travels can have, including easier relationship building, increased independence, and even higher emotional intelligence.
Here are some quick tips to help your kid become a citizen of the world:
- Start at home. Leading by example is the easiest way to start. Read books or recount your personal travel stories to inspire their own.
- Teach a second language. Whether it’s through you, grandma and grandpa, or school, knowing a second language can instill a second perspective.
- Try new things. Make it a tradition with your family to try new things — this can be visiting a historical museum or trying a new restaurant.
- Make diversity feel natural. Through family, community, and travel, you can make diverse settings feel comfortable and a normal part of life.
- Teach that differences are okay. It’s important to teach young kids that differences in opinion, religion, appearance, and way of life are okay and should be met with mutual respect.
With these tips and fun printables on hand, you and your little one are ready to embark on a new adventure. Use them at home to inspire your next road trip or bring them with you during your travels to pass the time. Once you’re ready to hit the road, be sure to rent a car that comfortably fits the whole family!