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Geography – Teaching the World’s Countries To Young Children

Even young children can be taught geography. Here’s an easy and fun preschool activity to help children learn the countries of the world.

In just a few minutes a day, children can easily learn all 195 countries in less than a year.

When I was little, my mom would spend a few minutes a day doing geography with my brother and me.  At a very young age, I knew the name and location of every country on the globe.  And I followed the same simple method with my preschool daughter.

Step 1: The Globe

First you need to make sure of the basics.  

Ensure your child is aware that the globe represents the planet we live on, earth.  The vast blue area represents water, and the other areas represent land.

Step 2: The Continents

Learning the continents is a natural next step.  Help your child learn the names of each of the 7 continents.

Only learn one new continent a day to keep things easy and quick. And every day, review each of the continents that have been learned.

Step 3: The Oceans 

The next step is learning the names and locations of each of the 5 oceans. Again, only learn one ocean daily, and review all continents and oceans already learned.

Step 4: Learning the Countries of the World

On day 14, they are ready to begin learning the names and locations of each of the 195 countries.  

Here is a fun and simple way to teach your child the world’s countries. They’re only going to learn a country a day.

#1 – Teach Them Where They Live

Start with the country they live in first. Show them where on the globe they live.

Then, ask them to tell you which continent they live on. Now outline for them the shape of the country they live in. Tell the name of the country. Then, spin the globe and ask them to find their country again.

#2 – Country A Day Activity

On day 15, they will begin learning the names of other countries.

Using a globe, turn the globe while your child closes their eyes and blindly selects a country using their finger.

child closing eyes pointing to globe

Then they get to open their eyes and see where their finger landed.

If they happen to touch water, no big deal, just spin and repeat.

Tell them the name of the country their finger landed on.  Ask them to repeat it.  Show them the area that country occupies.

Ask them to tell you which continent that country belongs to.  

Now write the name of that country down.  

When I was a child, my mom had large chart paper that she would write the long list of all the countries I had learned on it.  She had that sheet displayed on a wall in my “school room”.  For my daughter, I just use a regular notebook.

Now turn the globe a bit to mix it up, and then ask your child to find that country for you again.  I know my daughter likes this search and find game.

The next day, ask them to find that same country again, and then repeat the above to learn a new country.  Each time you do geography, you add one new country to their list, and they get to find all the countries they have previously learned.  Obviously when their list gets quite long, you might only ask them to find a chosen number of previously learned countries per time. 

This provides lots of repetition, and kids are smart, they can learn a whole lot of countries quite effortlessly.  There are approximately 196 countries to learn, so it is quite possible for your even young child to learn where every country is in a year or less. 

(To change things up, sometimes have them spin, and you pick out the country, or another variation.  If you don’t have a globe, a large wall map could also be used with some obvious adjustments.)  

More Fun Ways to Teach Children Geography

Children love to play, so when learning is fun, children will soak things up quite naturally. Mix things up to keep your preschooler engaged, and play some geography board games and puzzles with your child.

For some additional fun educational play, if you have an ipad, one free app that my daughter and I both enjoyed playing is Map the World – Travelzoo Inc.  It’s a puzzle game, and they don’t have to know the countries yet to be able to play.


Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hi Melanie. So glad I came across your site. I find your teaching methods and your work straightforward and practical, and it actually makes sense! Reminds me of how my dad used to teach us! Especially your Geography globe method! I'm homeschooling my hyperlexic, SPD, with ASD 5-year old at home as school simply is not a fit for her here in Kenya. With minimal resources available, except for online information, your site is very much appreciated. Thank you so so much!

Melanie Thomas

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Thanks Nimi, I'm glad to hear that.


Tuesday 17th of November 2015

Your daughter's eyelashes are sooo lovely. She's so cute. :)

Thanks for sharing this idea.


Monday 16th of November 2015

This looks like a great game to play with my girls.

Lisa Nelson

Tuesday 13th of May 2014

Wow, Melanie. What great ideas and resources for young children. I am going to download these apps. Thanks so much for sharing with us on the #homeschoollinkup! Pinning this post!

Dianna@The Kennedy Adventures

Saturday 10th of May 2014

We'll be doing some geography in our homeschool this year, so this post is a great resource!