Explore Your World: Social Studies Games for Kids

When it comes to learning about social studies, games are an effective tool. Kids can play games to help them remember important dates and facts when it comes to key events in history. Games introduce them to different countries and help kids locate various cities and countries on a map. They can also transport kids back in time and help them learn about the past. Not only are there games to cover nearly every topic kids will encounter in social studies, but they also help bring a subject that can sometimes seem boring or irrelevant back to life.

Geography Games

While geography games introduce kids to different states, countries and capitals, geography is about much more than locating various places on a map. Geography is about beginning to understand the people, cultures, animals and other resources that make up a city, state or country and developing an understanding of the world around them.

  • GeoNet - GeoNet tests kids' knowledge of regions of the United States or the world by asking trivia questions based on six different categories.
  • Quiz Your Noodle - See if you are ready to participate in the National Geographic Bee by answering a series of geography questions.
  • Latitude and Longitude Match - Use your knowledge of latitude and longitude to help locate a character named Hannah when she gets lost within the map.
  • Where on Earth? - This game tests kids' knowledge of iconic buildings throughout the world. After seeing a picture of the building, they must pinpoint it on a map.
  • Where is That? - Can you identify a country or state based on a map? This game tests the knowledge of location and capitals with five different levels of play and different categories, including each of the major continents.

World History Games

From Ancient Egypt to European explorers, world history is extensive. Kids can travel back to a different period in time and pretend they are living as their ancestors did. They can also use what they have learned to help understand why the world operates the way it does today.

  • Build a Pyramid - Go through the process of building an Ancient Egyptian pyramid.
  • Mummy Maker - Learn about mummies as you prepare the body of Ramose for burial.
  • Walk the Plank - Learn the history of Christopher Columbus by answering trivia questions. Be careful not to answer any questions incorrectly or you will have to walk the plank.

U.S. History Games

As they play games about U.S. history, kids can learn about the first inhabitants of North America, the Native Americans and those who settled in the United States. The United States has a rich history and games will help kids explore that history, while developing an understanding of how the country they live in came to be.

  • Totem Pole Creator - Learn about the Native Americans and their traditions while building a virtual totem pole.
  • Merchant Match-Up - Merchant Match-Up - Match common merchants from U.S. history with the signs that advertise their businesses.
  • Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark - Follow Lewis and Clark as they take their epic expedition across the United States. You must create maps, interact with natives and help gather supplies.
  • Explore Jamestown - Discover the historic settlement of Jamestown as you unearth artifacts and explore the town.
  • WebRangers - Become a junior park ranger and learn about the National Parks system, including the history behind many of the historic sites that are part of the National Parks system.

Archaeology Games

Archaeology plays an important role in history. This branch of social studies helps unearth information about the past and preserve pieces of history that would otherwise be destroyed. Through games focused on archaeology, kids can become junior archaeologists themselves and discover unique pieces of history.

  • Digging for Answers - Build your research skills as you search for answers to basic history questions on the Smithsonian website.
  • Dirt Detective - Learn about archaeology and hone your junior archaeologist skills as you answer questions and uncover artifacts.
  • Treasure Trek - Take on the role of an archaeologist and search a historic U.S. town for specific artifacts.

U.S. Government Games

A key part of social studies involves understanding how governments work. Games help kids get involved in the political process, introducing them to key figures in the American government and helping them learn how the government works by running for office, managing a city and ruling over the courts.

  • iCivics - iCivics introduces students to different aspects of the United States government through role-playing games. They can cast their vote, create a city budget and get involved in other parts of the political process.
  • Presidential Party Trivia - Kids can test their knowledge of former presidents and their parties with this simple quiz game.
  • Court Quest - citizens to the correct court to help them seek justice.
  • Win the White House - Create a candidate and go through the process of running for President of the United States in this game that features levels for elementary, middle school and high school students.

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