I am frequently asked “What are the best apps for kids to learn geography and practice map-skills?” I put together a list of 8 of my favorites: the first 3 are interactive atlas/map apps that are fun to explore (especially when parents/teachers and their kids explore together!) and the final 5 are engaging geography games that even adults will enjoy!
Best Apps for Kids: Maps & Atlases
I love this app because it has so many detailed and colorful illustrations to explore, a ton of information and an interactive 3D globe that you can spin and zoom in on. Kids learn about weather, animals (my kids favorite), flags, landmarks and famous features, the oceans, and more. The 2 downsides would be that it takes up a lot of space (because it is so rich!) and the $4.99 price tag- which really is worth it if you’re looking for a complete, digital atlas for kids. (see the printed version of the Barefoot World Atlas, on which this is based).
Google Earth (also available on Android)
Google Earth is such a fun way to travel virtually. Here is an article on how to use Google Earth in your classroom. My kids like to look at our house and playset, zoom into their school or a bike route we always take! But it’s also fun to check out my sons’ birthtowns in China and Ethiopia, or where our grandparents live in Mexico City.
Clearly labelled, zoom-able maps of the world with 6 different modes: political, city, physical, deserts, mountains, rivers. Also check out History: Maps of the World if you’d like more advanced maps from different time periods.
Best Apps for Kids: Geography Games
Like the actual GeoBee, this quiz game asks you questions about geography, asks you to identify locations on a world map, and in the bonus round shows you photographs of famous places and asks you to identify their locations. This is a really advanced, challenging game- but the older elementary crowd will get better and better the more they practice!
This animated game has kids traveling in 6 continents to 75 countries, to complete 15 missions and prevent Mr. Evil from moving the continents in the shape of a rooster. While helping cute little “Tiny” the chick, kids learn about countries, their capitals and famous monuments. This is a fun way of learning geography without even realizing it! Available in many languages.
I love this one and the Stack the States. The game asks questions about capitals, landmarks, geographic locations and more, and if you answer correctly you move the outline of the country to a “stack,” on the bottom of the screen and try to carefully build the tower of countries. Silly and fun. There’s also flashcards, interactive maps, and you can control the types of questions you get.
Kids Maps App (iPad, Android and Kindle)
This interactive puzzle game is recommended for kids 2+. Kids must find each state’s location, and drag and drop it to complete the map.
This app begins like an atlas, showing kids photographs and descriptions of 500+ interesting historical places, famous people, wildlife, and plants all around the world. There is a quiz mode that tests the user’s knowledge
Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave them in the comments so we can all check them out!