I went to Owl and Mouse, a site that maps you can print for free that can be as small as 1 page or as large 64 pages, or anywhere in between, and printed out the map of the United States for my kids 8 and up. My 8  and 11 year-olds both label just the states while looking at the map puzzles or another map. My 13 year old already memorized the locations for 45 states before we started, so he labels states and their capitals. As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.Click here to learn more. I got tired of making 3 copies of the map for my kids to label, so I made a 4 sheet by 4 sheet map of the United States, had Staples make 2 additional copies, and laminate them. My kids like them because the special pens that are used with the cards either make special noises or have silly sayings to let them know if they pressed the pen on the correct or incorrect answer. I can choose to have the maps labeled, the physical features printed so the kids can place them on the map, they can color them in on a printed map, etc.


This is working so well, I plan to use a similar method as we learn the rest of the countries in North America and the World.
Yes, I know that boundaries and country names change, but it is still a reasonable goal for kids (and adults). My younger kids, 8 and under, put together the regional puzzle (see image below on the left). I could have my kids use a dry erase maker, but that comes with a disadvantage: it smudges or accidentally erases as they label other states.
As you may be able to see from the picture above, my 8 year old misspelled some of the states.
Each card is two sided, includes a one question multiple choice quiz, interesting state information and a map.
Then, my kids drew  and labeled their own mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes using a wet erase marker.


For my older kids, I cut out most states and had them put it together (see image below on the right). This didn’t bother me one bit because I knew correct spelling would come with more practice. Instead, I was happy to see progress since he didn’t know any United States geography a week before.



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