Our US Geography state study is well on it’s way to being one of the most memorable things my girls will do in their elementary years. We have enjoyed making special food together, dreaming about places we would like to visit, and reading great books all while learning a little something about the states.
In fact we have loved it so much, I am excited to slip a few of these fun ideas from our US Geography gift guide right under our tree. Some may even be stocking worthy!
I hope you find a few things on this list helpful for the geography lovers in your home!
- Scrambled States of America – Pam’s kids love this game, and I can’t wait to play it here!
- Professor Noggins 50 states card game – I hear Professor Noggins games are great for learning. A great way to have fun while cementing what you have learned.
- 10 Days In The USA Game – This one looks interesting. More of a strategy game for 10 and up.
- Flag Frenzy USA – A fun game to learn the state flags of the states. Great reviews!
- GeoBingo USA – US Geography + Bingo = Fun for everyone of course.
2. Travel Club Subscriptions
- Little Passports USA Edition – We have heard good things about the Little Passports World Edition. The USA Edition would be great for bringing even more excitement into your family’s US Geography study!
- Highlights Which Way USA Club – We have a few of the books for the Highlights Top Secret Adventures World Club. They are great and Which Way USA looks fun too
Just a few months ago I heard about letterboxing. We had tried geocaching and for whatever reason it didn’t take in our family, but letterboxing sounds very do able. It is a great way to see historic and scenic spots right in your own state!
Like geocaching you hunt for boxes left by others. Unlike geocaching you do not follow GPS coordinates, but instead follow clues you print off online. Some of the clues do require simple compass readings for direction however.
Once you find the box, you stamp the log with a personal or family stamp, add the date and a short note if you wish. There will also be a stamp in the box for you to add to your personal log book with notes about the walk, the finding of the box and the destination.
Make your own Letterboxing kit!
- The Letterboxer’s Companion byRandy Hall – A good place to start; a handy guide for all your letterboxing questions.
- Letterboxing Journal – This journal is nice to get your little letterboxer started. If you prefer you can get a plain sketch book and decorate it instead. Instant art project!
- Personal Stamp – It is highly suggested that you make your own personal stamp. Something that says something about you. If you do not want to make your own, be sure to pick one that you will love for a long time.
- Stamp Pad – Some boxes will have a stamp pad, but it is always good to have your own in a color you like. Use Archival ink pads for the best long term water proof log entries.
- Pens – I loved RSVP pens in school and they are the perfect addition to your letterboxing kit. They now come in a slew of colors!
- Container – Tin or plastic, lunch boxes are a great place to store your letterboxing supplies. You can find tin ones from the Tin Box Company with Frozen, Planes, Mickey, Princesses, Star Wars and many more! If tin seems a bit clunky, try these super cute kids bags from Marys Magical Memories on Etsy. Just the right size to hold all your letterboxing supplies along with a few of these great nature guides.
4. Lego Across the USA
There ARE gifts for your Lego lover on this list. Have fun talking about all these great landmarks from around the country!
- Statue of Liberty – For 6-8 years, a great stocking stuffer too!
- Yellow Cab – A NYC landmark for sure.
- Lighthouse – For the east, west and southern coasts. How many lighthouses have you “visited” on your US Geography tour?
- Eagle – A national symbol and a great addition to your US Geography Lego collection.
- Lego Architect Series for US landmarks – The Empire State Building, White House and Seattle Space Needle are only the beginning for your advanced Lego lover.
I saw these travel journals recommended on Simple Homeschool not too long ago and love the high personality, and versatility. They are also super cute. While you are there be sure to check out her other Kids Journals, and Mom Journals too! I think that one of these years I may have time to sit and fill out one of the Christmas journals. They look so nice.
Books always end up under our tree. In fact one year I realized that my son received only one non-book item! He seemed to be ok with it, but it was then I began to wonder if I did indeed have a problem. 😉
Here are some selections of books I want to add to our shelves because they are true, beautiful and just plain good!
- Our 50 States by Lynne Cheney – A fun book for those who can read. Not a great read aloud, but a great book to sit and gaze at with all its whimsical illustrations and informational tidbits.
- United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds Their Stories, Their Glories by Hudson Talbott – We love birds and our US Geography state study, so this book is the perfect combination!
- Travels with Charlie: Down South by Miles Backer – This Year’s Booking Across the USA featured Travels with Charlie and was a big hit in every state! The set has 4 different books. Give as a set for extra fun!
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden USA Map Puzzle – If you do not have a USA Map Puzzle, this is a great place to start!
- Melissa & Doug USA Map 51 pcs Floor Puzzle – My kids adore floor puzzles. They are big and fun and easy to see.
- White Mountain Puzzles USA Map – 300 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle – A fun colorful puzzle for the family to work on together during Christmas break.
- 3D Landmark Puzzle – For your future engineer. Includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building and the White House.
9. USA Videos
I love a good documentary and so do my kids. We love to watch great footage of places we have never been and may never go. It is a very affordable way to “visit” the country. Here are a few of my picks for your US Geography Christmas!
- How the States Got Their Shapes – Pam recommends this series for older elementary and up. They all enjoyed it and the reviews are great!
- The Men Who Built America – I always wondered about how the United States became a supper power. The men featured in this mini series helped take America to the next level. A little more history than geography, but we would not have our cityscapes with out these amazing men.
- The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – A facinating look at how our national parks began and how they came to be what we see today. Be sure to check the preview videos to check for age. It is a bit slow, but very intriguing.
- Diners, Drive-ins and Dives – Just for fun! I love food and this is a fun way to see the country and experience its food culture.
- Stephen Fry in America – More for the older kids and adults of the family, anyone who enjoys listening to a British accent will enjoy this series. We love Stephen Fry’s witty humor and outsider view on America.
10. Stocking Stuffers!
- US State and Territory Assorted Stickers – My kids love stickers and this set has two of each. A great stocking stuffer for my girls to add to their US Geography scrapbook pages!
- States & Capitals Wrap-up Keys – We have the addition facts Wrap Up Keys and love them. I think this will make a great addition!
- USA Cookie Cutter – I think is so much fun! Might label one for cookies and one for playdough. Think US Geography Christmas Pancakes, or fried eggs.
- USA Geography Activity Placemat – I love that when you flip this mat over, the map is plain with a list of the states and capitals. Instant quiz! Roll it up and stuff it in the stocking.
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