One of the skills my fourth-grader will likely have to master this year is the memorization of all 50 states and their capitals. I'm not really sure why kids still have to memorize this stuff when they can pull that information up quickly with a click of a button. But, if nothing else, it does give kids a better sense of what is where on the U.S. map and may even help them secure the win should they wind up on a future episode of "Jeopardy."
So if you want to help your kids learn the capitals — and maybe give yourself a refresher as well — here are five fun ways to review:
1. State capital songs. There are two cool videos floating around on the Internet that can help kids learn their states and capitals. Wakko's State Capitols is a fun one to watch and listen to. Try this slowed-down version with lyrics if you actually want to attempt to sing along. Or you can up the "cool" factor by challenging them to learn this hip state capital rap.
2. State capital bingo. This is a neat game that could be used to slip in a little geography for family game night. One person yells out the state and the remaining players attempt to mark its capital on their bingo cards. To make it more challenging, you could use a U.S. map and have the caller point to a state (without saying its name) instead of calling it out.
3. Speed State-ing. This fun games involves kids working in pairs to beat the clock as they attempt to mark the names of all 50 states — and their capitals — on the map.
4. Capital Catch. This online game lets kids choose from four multiple-choice answers as they aim to select the capital for each state.
5. 50 State Capitals. This is the masters-level state capitals game. In this online game, kids are given the name of a state capital and they have to drag a star to that city's exact location on the U.S. map. I can tell you right now that it's hard. But it's also addictive and a very fun way to really learn those capitals!