How to Teach Geography to the Child Who Hates Geography

October 19, 2020

Jeannette Tuionetoa

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Discovering how to teach geography to the child who hates geography can be challenging. First things first. I can tell you what NOT to do.

How to Teach Geography to the Child Who Hates Geography text with illustrated image of a colored in globe


1. Don’t get a dull curriculum because it is cheap. “Lucking” out on a random curriculum because it was a good deal is not a short cut we should be taking, even if we are on a budget.

2. Do not plop your child in front of a textbook and assign the lessons at the end of the chapter. If your child hates geography … this may be why. You may have done this. Stop.

3. If you hate geography, so will your child. You will pass that on to your child like the plague. Embrace the benefits of learning geography with your kids. It actually is a great knowledge base to have as the internet makes the world small and traveling to different countries may be a possibility in your child’s future.

4. Don’t geography-worksheet your child to death. Worksheets are good; I am a fan. As long as they are used as review, practice, and evaluating what has been learned.

Change things up and see what best fits your child’s learning style. Then you can sprinkle that throughout your lessons to keep it engaging.

The best thing I like to do is incorporate geography in many other subjects. Here are some suggestions on how to do that.

Incorporate Geography to Other Subjects – If your child already hates geography, then giving them snippets in small doses may be exactly what they need to learn about, yet keep them from feeling overwhelmed by what they are not interested in.

Incorporating Geography with Other Subjects text with image of a globe next to an apple in a classroom

Explore some of these other ideas  to on how to teach geography to the child who hates geography:

Include hands-on activities and crafts.

Why study a map of the world when kids can build one? Why read about landforms when you can create them? When people learn by doing, it creates lasting results.

Surely kids can label the continents on a worksheet, but cutting them out and making paper continents will help kids remember the shapes and make connections in their memory, that labeling a worksheet can’t.

Montessori Geography Printables and Hands-On Materials for Kids | Chalk Academy

Creative Geography Activities for Kids | Buggy and Buddy

Learning About Landforms | Around the Kampfire

21 Landforms for Kids Activities and Lesson Plans | Teach Junkie

Make Geography Fun For Kids With These 10 Unique Maps | Hello Wonderful

World Map Geography Activities For Kids + FREE Printable | A Little Pinch of Perfect

Where Do I Live Printable FREE Activity | 123Homeschool4Me

Geography Through Art | GeoMatters

Hands-On Geography With Pin It! Maps | Artful Homemaker

Are you looking for an easy-to-use U.S geography curriculum for your elementary students?

Daily Skill Building: U.S. Geography is just one sheet a day, requires no teacher’s guide, AND includes answer keys! You can open and go with this elementary geography curriculum. Check out a a full week sample plus the extra resource pack.

U.S. geography learning worksheets for grades 3-6

Explore the world through pen pals.

With the Internet and technical advances, finding a Pen Pal for your kid is easier than ever.

There are many benefits to having a Pen Pal around the world. Writing to others will help kids build patience as they wait to receive their response, it helps them make connections for people outside of their circle, and it will provide them some perspective on how others live and think.

The best thing I like about Pen Pals is that it encourages the realization of a bigger world than where they are now. It helps them want to explore the world.

PenPal Schools

World Wide Snail Mail Pen Pals

Global PenFriends


How to Find a Pen Pal for Your Child (Includes FREE Printable) | Big Life Journal

100 Fun & Interesting Questions To Get To Know Your Pen Pal | Postie CLub

(Mostly-Flat) Things To Send Your Penpal | The Big White Farmhouse

Travel with technology.

Through virtual tours, our kids can experience landmarks, geographical locations, continents, oceans, and more right from the comfort of home.

60 Virtual Tours To Travel The World  | Nomad in Love

Wonders of the World: 50+ Virtual Field Trips For Kids | Typically Topical

Take a Virtual Tour of the US with Geography Resources! | Story Farmer

Use technological devices as learning tools.

If your children love being online and enjoy screen time, well use this to your advantage. Check out these online sites, apps, games, and more to keep your kids engaged and having fun while learning on screen.

Big List of Free Geography Learning Sites & Apps

Big List of Free History & Geography Learning Sites & Apps text with image of a woman smiling at her phone and having a cup of coffee

10 YouTube Geography Channels Kids Will Love

10 YouTube Geography Channels Kids Will Love text with image of a boy wearing earphones and using a computer

20 Educational Geography Shows & Movies for Kids

20 Educational Geography Shows Movies for Kids text with image of a kid wearing headphones and using a computer

5 Handy Geography Websites For Middle School Students | Education Possible

Cool Geography Apps You (Probably) Don’t Know Exist | Techie Homeschool Mom

Cool Geography Apps You Probably Don\'t Know Exist text with image of a map

11 Must-Try Online Geography Games For Middle School | Education Possible

Use Google Earth.

Can you believe we have the capability to see an exact live spot around the world? It is really incredible. Google acts as an interactive digital globe. Explore these resources to use Google Earth for maximum geography learning at home.

Google Earth and Google Maps in the Classroom | To Engage Them All

15 Amazing Things Your Kid Can Discover with Google Earth | Bright Pips

Google Earth Landforms Tour | The First Grade Round-Up

Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

1st Grade Geography Lesson with Google Earth | David Lee Ed Tech

Free Giant Maps for Your Homeschool text with image of child labeling a large map

Play a global game of hide and seek, bingo, or scavenger hunts.

Learning with games is always an excellent way for our kids to learn. The subject of geography is no exception.

Teens Can Learn Latitude & Longitude With This Fun Scavenger Hunt | Education Possible

Fun With Geography (Games, Bingo, Scavenger Hunts, and more) FREE Geography Printables | Starts at Eight

Learning Geography Through Play | Hip Homeschool Moms

Geography Games For Middle School – Geography Terms Bingo | Education Possible

Use special projects.

Task your kids to map your home to get used to mapping activities. Create projects that help your kids think critically and make evaluations and record outcomes.

Make learning an adventure and a process, instead of just another box to tick. Projects get kids all into assignments and eager to discover for outcomes.

Map My House FREE Download Activity |

FREE Geography STEM Projects

Free History & Geography STEM Projects text and image of two kids looking at a globe

Five Themes of Geography – Project about Your Town – FREE | Addie Williams

60 Super Geography Fair Project Ideas | Walking by the Way

Use a globe.

Learning geography with a globe makes a huge difference when teaching your kids about distance and landmass just to name a few. Learning with globes can lead to deeper discussions about society and the population with your kids.

5 Ways to Use Globes in Your Homeschool

5 Ways to Use Globes in Your Homeschool text with image of a group of children using a globe together

Toss the Globe Geography Game | Still Playing School

Teach the continents by making a globe | Gift of Curiosity

Simple DIY Globe for Kids for Continent and Ocean Study | Rainy Day Mum

Cook foods from around the world.

My kids and I love cooking projects together. Sometimes we mess up, sometimes we make masterpieces, most times at least they are edible.

When you are studying geography ending the lessons with food from that region will round out the lessons well and will create a bonding experience with you that kids will never forget.

Free Resources for Learning About Foods Around the World

Free Resources for Learning About Foods Around the World

FREE Foods Around the World Notebooking Journal

Food Around the World Notebooking Unit

Universal Yums (Send snacks from all around the world!)

Use notebooking pages.

Writing out information about what kids are learning helps them remember it well Rather than just reading about geographical topics, writing about what they learn can help them put their ideas on paper.

FREE Geography Terminology Notebook

Geography FREE Notebooking Pages for Middle & High School | In All You Do

Geography Notebooking Pages text with image examples of pages over a green colored background

United States Geography fun printable pack of activities | Teach Beside Me

USA Geography Unit text with image examples of pages

Make a lapbook.

Geography lends itself well to visual learning. If you could imagine, a lapbook for geography could contain maps, visual aids, color counties, landform illustrations, and so much more. They are also a great accompaniment to living books.

FREE Geography Lapbook | Homeschool Helper Online

Any Country Lapbook FREE Template | Homeschool Helper Online

Studying Geography with Lapbooks | Year Round Homeschooling

Use living books.

Encouraging reading in your homeschool can get quite challenging. With books, instead of texts, kids can learn about geography but also experience poetry, nature, fables, poetry, stories, and more.

Geography Through Living Books | RaisingDV          

Living Geography Books To Teach Map Skills | Triumphant Learning

Geography Through Literature: Around the World with Picture Books | Nourishing My Scholar

Pray for missionaries.

FREE Geography + Missions Magazine (Digital)

various pages for learning about India

As you are studying geography, through cultures, landforms, and countries, but sure to weave prayer throughout every step of the way. Pray for the lands you are studying, pray for the people, and their salvation.

Grab some more geography resources to help:

Fun Geography Lessons | We Are Teachers

5 Ways to Make Geography Fun | Look Weʻre Learning

6 Fun Ways to Teach Geography at Home | We Have Kids

Fun Websites to Teach Geography Interactively | Peace Field History

World Culture for Kids | Mama Smiles

How to Teach Geography to the Child Who Hates Geography

Related resources

  • Hands-On Activities for Studying the World Wars

    Hands-On Activities for Studying the World Wars

  • big bend national park rived and bluffs

    How Many National Parks are There in Texas? (Complete List)

  • Sunset over Paurotis Pond, Everglades National Park

    Four Unique National Parks in South Florida to Visit

  • Close up of a move clapperboard and popcorn on a table

    40 Top Films on our Presidential Movies List to Watch

  • books on shelves

    All 43 Dear America Books in Order (Free Printable List)

  • Us Map showing Louisana

    All 50 US State Abbreviations Printable List for Kids