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Gameschooling Social Studies

Fun Social Studies Games and Free Online Social Studies Games That Can Make Learning More Effective and Fun!

Social Studies Games

By Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.

Some people really love social studies. They enjoy reading about events in history and discovering the far reaches of geography. They dive into the lives of history’s famous people and search for ways our current societies are based on the past. Some immerse themselves in studies of certain time periods, cultural movements, or wars, while others move fluently through the timeline understanding the sequence of events that led to where we are now. For others, however, social studies can be a disconnected subject filled with dates and names and a lot of concepts that seem irrelevant to their lives. Whether your child loves social studies or runs from history and geography, gameschooling can be what this subject needs in your homeschool. Discover more here!

What is Gameschooling for Social Studies?

Board Games for Social Studies
Free Online Social Studies Games for Kids

Other Social Studies Learning Games and Resources for Your Gameschool

*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Although many of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials.

 

What is Gameschooling for Social Studies?

Is it possible to use the Gameschooling Homeschool Method with social studies? Sure is! Bringing games into your social studies learning time can result in big benefits to your child’s enjoyment, motivation, and understanding. Supplementing a social studies curriculum with games can help your child really understand historical events or people or memorize important geographical locations and dates. Some homeschoolers even replace social studies curriculum with gaming activities. To get started, you may just need a little help finding and choosing a social studies game to bring into your homeschool.

Check out our list of multi-subject learning games and resources and try some of these history- and geography-specific learning games:

 

  

Board Games for Social Studies

Especially if you are new to gameschooling, you may wonder how to find and choose a social studies game for your homeschool. You may be surprised at how many social studies board games are available on a variety of history and geography topics. Take a peek at some of these:

Avalon Hill Axis & Allies 1942 Strategy Game | Hasbro $
The Avalon Hill Axis and Allies 1942 strategy game builds upon the success of the first edition of the 1942 A and A board game. History buffs will love this exciting, multi-player tabletop game. […] Includes Antiaircraft Artillery combat unit and 5 sculptures including UK artillery, submarine and destroyer units, German artillery, and a Russian submarine. Take command of the forces from the UK, US, Soviet Union, Germany, or Japan and plot a strategy for world domination. […] World War II strategy board game is for 2-5 players, ages 12 and up and takes about 4 hours to play.

Chronology | Buffalo Games $
Think you know which came first – the invention of mayonnaise or decaffeinated coffee? Lincoln’s Gettysburg address or John Deere’s first plow? Test your knowledge with Chronology by Buffalo Games – the game of all time! Build your own timeline of cards. Someone will read you a historical event from a card. You decide where that event falls in your timeline. If you are right, keep the card and your timeline grows. The first player to build a timeline of 10 cards wins! Recommended for 2 to 8 players, ages 14+. Contents include 429 double-sided cards with 858 events.”

Constitution Quest Game $
“Simple directions with added twists for fun, interesting, engaging game play. Play in less than an hour…the more you play, the more you learn! Includes a complimentary copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Fun and educational for the classroom, family, or friends.”

Continent Race $
2020 Game of the Year Award – Continent Race Geography Game for kids was created by 6-year-old Byron during a long hospital stay. He combined his passion for geography with a desire to help boys and girls like him learn and have fun during their hospital stay – and beyond! For 2+ players. Play this fast-paced learning and educational game for kids at home or in school, individually or in teams. It’s a race around the globe to see who can collect the most countries from each continent first. Recommended for ages 7 and up.”

Election Night! | Semper Smart Games $
“A home learning home run that teaches kids to think big things while mastering the hardest to learn addition and multiplication facts, U.S. state geography, and the mechanics of the Electoral College. […] The game uses the patent pending PlaySmart Dice system, a uniquely numbered 12-sided dice system that makes harder to learn math facts easy to remember with masterfully conceived game play. Comes with two dry erase markers and two decks of strategy cards. Award winning game great for game nights, family play or classroom fun. Winner of 2019 Parents Choice Gold Award, Mom’s Choice Gold Award, and more.”

Guess in 10—States of America | Skillmatics $
Divide yourselves up in teams or play one on one. Ask up to 10 questions to guess the state on the game card! Does this state have a lot of beaches? Are the Red Sox from this state? Does this state have a large coast? Think hard, ask intelligent questions, and be the first player to win 7 game cards! Make use of exciting features such as clue cards and bonus questions to plan your way to winning 7 cards.”

History of the World | Z-Man Games $
“Marshall your forces and defeat your adversaries. At the end of the game, only the player with the most points will have their immortal name etched into the annals of history! Whoever can make the best use of their civilization’s unique attributes will position themselves to rule through the ages.”

The Oregon Trail Game | Pressman $
“It’s a race to Willamette Valley as you join the wagon train and seek your fortune in the West! Place tiles to discover the trails, rivers, forts, and towns that lie ahead. Watch out for calamities along the way and be prepared to hunt for food! A fun way to relive your fond memories of one of the world’s most beloved computer games. 2-4 players, ages 14 and up.”

Professor Noggin’s Ancient Civilizations | Outset Media $
“Professor Noggin’s educational card games are a fun way for kids to learn all about their favorite subjects! From Ancient Egypt to the Vikings, kids will learn lots of fun facts about Ancient Civilizations topics in this interactive trivia card game! Includes 30 game cards that combine trivia, true or false, and multiple-choice questions. Easy and hard levels keep kids interested and challenged while having fun! A special three-numbered die is included, which adds an element of unpredictability.” Also try these great Professor Noggin’s social studies games: Countries of the WorldExplorers, Presidents of the United States, American Revolution, Civil War, Geography of the United States and History of the United States!

Race Across the USA | Scholastic $
“Learn about our country in this fun new board game. Visit six states, answer geography questions, then get back to your home state to win! Questions are geared to each player’s grade level. Kids 8 and up from different grades can play together on an even field.”

The Scrambled States of America Game | Gamewright $
“Quick! Find a state that ends with the letter A. Now find one that borders Tennessee. Have fun learning about the United States in this madcap game of observation and quick reflexes. Collect state cards by matching them to a Scramble challenge. Or “Go the Distance” and find a state’s closest neighbor. Win the most cards and call yourself the Head of States! New deluxe edition features new art, new challenges, and a copy of ‘The Scrambled States of America’ book!”

Ticket To Ride $
“Ticket to Ride is an award winning, cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.” Expand the geography learning with the Ticket to Ride First Journey Board Game, Ticket to Ride Europe, and Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails, Ticket to Ride The Heart of Africa, and more.

Trekking the National Parks $
“Best-Selling & Award-Winning National Parks Game: Winner of The Mensa and Parent’s Choice Award. See the many 5-star reviews! Created by national parks enthusiasts: This couple traveled to every single national park and then worked with their son to make the game. […] Share your memories and dream about where you’ll travel to next.”

U.S.A. Bingo | Trend Enterprises, Inc. $
“Identify all 50 states, capitals, logos, dates of admission; boost geography and history skills. Traditional 5 x 5 grid format can be played 8 ways to meet the needs of learners of all abilities. Fun for large or small group use. This game can be used as a clever formative assessment tool! Set includes 36 playing cards, 720 paper-stock playing chips, caller’s mat and cards. Ages 8 and up.”

The World Game $
“All 194 world countries included. Cards can also be used as flash cards or trivia. Country’s data is updated regularly. Show the country on the map, recognize the flag, or name the capital city. Cards contain over 1500 country facts. Race around the world, pass famous landmarks, and win. Train memory and brain while having fun. An award-winning world learning game toy. Action packed game for all stages of knowledge. One of the best educational board games for kids 8-12.”

 

Free Online Social Studies Games for Kids

Believe it or not, interactive social studies games are all over the Internet, too. You just need to know where to look. Here are some places to start:

ABCya—Social Studies Games
“Unleash your inner pioneer with our social studies games! Step right up to a carnival game to learn about states, or travel around the globe in a hot air balloon to learn about the wonders of the world!

Arcademics–Geography
Arcademics combines the excitement of video games with educational content to produce a high rate of learning through exciting, focused repetition that enables automaticity and fluency to be achieved quickly.” Try these great games to practice geography.

Learning Games for Kids
“Want educational games that make learning fun for preschoolers up to middle school kids? You’ve come to the right place! […] We’ll be adding new educational games often so make sure to come back and check us out frequently.” Have fun with US State Games (by state), Geography Games (by continent), and Social Studies Games (Benjamin Franklin, Inventors, US Presidents, Women in History).

Mr. Nussbaum Learning + Fun—Social Studies and Geography Games
Try geography-, history-, and USA-themed games like International Pizza Delivery, Continents and Oceans, Coordinates, Collage America, and others.

National Geographic Kids Games
Do puzzles or quiz games like Maze: Oceans and Matching: Countries.

PBS Kids Games—Social Studies Games
Choose from online single-player and play-together games like A Job for Me, Carmen’s World Orchestra, Museum Maker, and more!

Sheppard Software
Check out this library of online games including U.S.A. Games, World Games, and more!

Vector Kids—State Capitals
Try this interactive social studies game that asks you to match each U.S. state with its state capital. Play over and over until you reach mastery.

Virtual Family Kingdom
“Where history comes alive. VFK is an entertainment company which develops online family friendly social communities and games. We strive to promote enjoyable and fun environments for people to interact and play. Our current online games include the online virtual community based in history, Virtual Family Kingdom, and the downloadable Adobe Air version, Epic Ages. Our goal is to create a family environment which fosters friendly interaction and play. In our virtual community, players can communicate easily with each other in a safe way. They can create games, rides, and other entertaining events for fellow players as well as participate in a wide variety of hosted events, competitions and traditional holiday celebrations. We use the latest technology in creating our fun and innovative products.”

 

Other Social Studies Learning Games and Resources for Your Gameschool

Are you excited about homeschool gameschooling for social studies? Here are a few more resources to increase the learning and fun!

Brain Quest—America $
Brain Quest America helps kids ages 9 –12 learn all about American culture and history in an engaging and entertaining way––from Charlotte’s Web to the Bill of Rights, and from Rosa Parks to the only state named after a President. Covering laws, literature, inventions, arts and the lay of the land, here are the decks that ask: How well do you know the U.S.A.?”

Geography Wordsearch $
By Annie M. Brown (Author)
Do you love geography? Do you want an easy way to learn? Check out this puzzle book! This wordsearch book provides puzzles all about our world and the geography in it. It will enhance your knowledge whilst giving you lots of fun!”

Hands-on History: World History Activities $
By Garth Sundem (Author), Kristi Pikiewicz (Author)
“Making learning fun and interactive builds excitement for your social studies students. This book includes game-formatted activities for the study of important events in American history such as Medieval Civilizations such as the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Empire, the Ancient Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Renaissance. […] The games in Hands-on History Activities will help you take an active approach to teaching while inspiring your students to make their own explorations of history.”

My Kindergarten Geography Workbook $
By Molly Lynch (Author)
“Encourage kids’ natural curiosity about the world with puzzles and games that help them learn geography! My Kindergarten Geography Workbook gets them started with social studies and geography for kids through activities like matching animals to their habitats and learning right from left. With practice in maps and navigation, Kindergarteners will discover a huge variety of geography exercises that help them learn while they play.” Check out the My First Grade Geography Workbook, too!

 

Check out these A2ZHomeschooling pages for even more resources:

 

 

 Know of other good social studies games? Please share your social studies gameschool tips and resources in the comments below….

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