Dreaming about traveling when you're stuck at home can be tough. You can enjoy the thrill of exploring new places without packing a suitcase through geography board games. These games can introduce you to captivating cities, breathtaking natural wonders and fascinating cultures. They also are an excellent teaching tool for children who can learn important geographical information while having fun with friends and family.
Games Featuring the United States
If you're looking to teach children about their home country, or want to test your own knowledge, these games focus exclusively on U.S. geography.
Great States is a memorable way to introduce children, and some adults, to the states in the U.S.A. Players learn about the states while they take turns matching colors, shapes, letters and objects. Children need to be able to answer questions about states, their capitals and more with a timer so they learn to think quickly.
- The object of the game is to successfully answer the most cards by demonstrating your knowledge.
- The game is designed for two to six players and is recommended for players seven or older.
- Play for about 20 to 30 minutes or so.
Where in the World?
Players in Where in the World? learn the locations, names, ethnicities, religions and resources of 196 countries spread over six regional maps. In fact that game bills itself as "the most comprehensive world geography game." There are six levels of play, so this is a good choice if you have children of various ages and educational levels.
- The object of the game is to answer the most questions correctly.
- The game is designed for two to six players and can be played with children ages eight and up.
- A typical game lasts about 30 to 45 minutes.
Game of the States
This game is an Amazon's Choice product with a customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Players move across a game board of the United States using trucks to buy and sell products across state lines. The game features fun STEM facts about each state making it a great choice for younger children to learn about the U.S.
- The object of the game is to sell the most products across the country and make the most money.
- The game is made for players eight and up.
- Game of the States includes a junior version made for children ages six and seven.
- It's set up for two to four players.
- An average game is about a half hour long.
The Scrambled States of America
This fun twist on learning about U.S. geography involves using challenges, riddles and visual games to teach geographic facts. It's based on a popular children's book, The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller, and the book is bundled with the game. The game gets a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with over 600 reviews. Not only does the game teach about U.S. geography but it helps children develop skills with visual discrimination and learning from observation.
- The object of the game is to collect the most cards through answering challenges correctly.
- The game is designed for two to four players.
- Children ages eight and up will enjoy playing this game.
- An average round is about 20 minutes.
Homeschooling advice blog Our Journey Westward picks GeoBingo USA as one of their top choices for games that can teach children geography. The game is based on the classic rules of bingo with a game board featuring countries instead of numbers. Players receive cards for each state that has useful information like capitals, population, and more.
- The object of the game is to get five countries in a row on the bingo board.
- The game is recommended for children age four to seven.
- A round of GeoBingo USA takes about an hour.
Continent Race is an award-winning game that was created by a six-year-old boy who was inspired during a long recuperation period in the hospital to make a new game. The game gets a 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. The game is designed to have different levels of play so it can be as easy or as challenging as you need based on the age of the players
- The object of the game is to collect the most continents first based on collecting individual country cards and answering challenges.
- The game is suitable for children seven and older.
- It can be played with two or more players and is a fun family or school game in a large group.
- A typical game lasts for about half an hour.
Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is one of the most popular board games currently available. It's won many awards internationally. The game involves train travel across the United States during the year 1900. It not only teaches children and adults about the geography of the U.S. but also past history during the time of the dawning of a new century.
- The object of the game is to amass the most points while building a railway routes.
- It's designed for two to six players.
- The minimum age for a player is eight.
- A game is about 30 to 60 minutes.
- If you enjoy Ticket to Ride, there's a USA 1910 Expansion which gets a five star rating from Amazon and is an Amazon's Choice product.
- The Ticket to Ride Express: New York City 1960 expansion pack uses the city that never sleeps during the wild 1960s as the backdrop.
- There's also a version designed specifically for younger children ages six and up. Ticket to Ride: First Journey also has a five star rating from Amazon.
Trekking the National Parks: The Family Board Game
Another aspect of U.S. geography that shouldn't be overlooked is our stunning national parks system. In Trekking the National Parks, children and adults traverse a map of the U.S. and learn about the wide variety of natural wonders in this country. The game has won both the Mensa and Parent's Choice Gold Award and has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
- The object of the game is to win points by collecting cards and trail stones while learning about the national parks system.
- The game is set up for two to five players.
- The age range for the game is children 10 years older and adults.
- A round of the game lasts about 30 to 60 minutes.
International Geography Board Games
If you're a seasoned world traveler, or dream of visiting other countries, you'll enjoy these games which feature regions, cultures and countries outside the United States.
The World Game
This game is a Tillywig Toy Award Winner and gets a five star rating on Amazon. The board game features a world map with 194 countries with a card for each showing flags, capitals, and more. The cards have a double benefit of serving as flash cards for your children's school geography tests. The game play difficulty can be increased or lowered depending on the age and educational level of your players.
- The object of the game is to answer correctly the most cards based on your knowledge of world geography and facts.
- The game is best for two to five players.
- The game can be played with children as young as five.
- A game takes about 20 to 60 minutes to complete.
Brainbox All Around the World
Another pick by expert homeschoolers for educational gameplay is Brainbox All Around the World. The game is an Amazon's Choice product with an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. The game involves memory and concentration by challenging players to recall facts about countries in 10 seconds.
- The object of the game is to learn and recall as many important facts about other countries as each player can.
- It is designed for ages eight and up.
- The game can be played by a single person or several.
- A round of the game takes about 10 minutes.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
Fans of the computer game and television series will love this board game edition featuring world artifact thief Carmen Sandiego. You play as detectives using clues about her location around the world to track her down and bring her to justice.
- The object of the game is to be the one to track Carmen and make an arrest.
- The game is designed for children eight years and older.
- It's suitable for two to four players.
- An average game takes about 20 to 40 minutes to complete.
Passport to Culture Travel Edition
Brighthub Education recommends Passport to Culture because of its combination of geography, culture and anthropology. It's an excellent learning tool for children and teenagers. The game includes over 1,000 questions about other countries and is designed for playing on the go as well as at home.
- The object of the game is to develop the highest "Cultural Intelligence" points by answering questions and be the first one to stamp all slots on their "passport.".
- The game is made for two to five players or you can play with more in teams.
- It's good for children eight and older.
- A game takes about an hour to complete.
Ticket to Ride Expansions
For fans of the original Ticket to Ride who are looking for an international locale, the immensely popular game has several expansion packs featuring countries outside the U.S. All of these expansions follow the same rules and object as the original U.S.-based game and take about 30 to 60 minutes to play. Some of these expansions include:
- Ticket to Ride Europe, which takes place at the turn of the century and is for two to five players eight and up.
- Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries which features Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It's designed for two to three players age eight and up.
- Ticket to Ride London focuses on this dynamic city during the 1970s. The game setup is for two to four players ages eight and older and is a short game at about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails is an international journey spanning not only several continents but oceans as well. It's for two to five players, ages 10 and older and this game takes a bit longer to play at 90 to 120 minutes.
In Atlas Adventure, you need to remake the map of the world by trading continents and ocean with other players earned through answering trivia questions. The game has two levels so you can vary the level of difficulty for younger players. Questions also come in English, French and Spanish so it can be used to develop foreign language skills as well.
- The object of the game is to be the first to rebuild the world map.
- The game is for two to four players, although you can also play with more using teams.
- Level one is designed for players seven and older and level two for 12 and older.
- A game is about 30 minutes long.
World GeoBingo is the international version of the US GeoBingo game. Players must use bingo cards with countries instead of numbers to get five across. The game has cards for 50 of the world's largest countries. It gets a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
- The object of the game is to be the first to get bingo on their card (five across).
- The game is designed for children four years and older.
- The game comes with eight bingo cards but you can increase the number of players by making your own cards.
- A game takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
Learning About Geography Through Board Games
Board games featuring both U.S. and international geography can be a wonderful way to have fun with your children while teaching them valuable skills and facts. You can even take existing games and add a geographical twist to them, such as creating your own version of Geography Pictionary. Whichever games you decide to play, you can use the games to further your children's interests in exploring more about geography, history and cultures, as well as your own!