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Free 50 States and Capitals Game for Kids

Updated on October 6, 2014

States and Capitals Game

Looking for a free game that helps kids learn the 50 states and capitals? Then you've arrived at the right place!

It's easy to make one yourself and I'll supply you with everything you need. Having gone through this process with four kids, I've found the following game to work wonders in teaching them the states, their locations and their capitals.

Making learning fun is a great way to help kids memorize, rather than just having them try to memorize a map on their own, which can become quite boring.Let's get started with some easy step-by-step instructions. Are you ready?

This Presidential seal image was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by user Clindberg.

Start by clicking the link below which will bring you to a free, printable map of the United States.

Source

Learning States and Capitals

What makes this game successful is that it causes kids to repeatedly look at the map and without even realizing it, they begin to memorize the states and capitals.

Here's the next step. You're going to be writing out a series of questions. How I like to do it is to take index cards, cut them in half and write one question per card. Here are some sample questions, along with their answers that you can try. Keep in mind that some questions can have multiple answers.

  • This capital rhymes with Rover.
  • Dover
  • This state has a greeting in it's name.
  • O"hi"o
  • Find a capital with the word city in it.
  • Salt Lake City
  • Find a state with two pairs of double letters.
  • Massachusetts
  • Which capital is the name of a famous President?
  • Lincoln
  • What capital has the same name as a famous explorer?
  • Columbus
  • Find a state that begins and ends with the same letter.
  • Arizona
  • This state has Kansas in it.
  • Arkansas
  • Find a capital that has 11 letters.
  • Tallahassee
  • This capital has the name of a season in it.
  • "Spring"field
  • Look for a state that has S as its last letter.
  • Texas
  • This capital begins with the letter B and ends in the letter K.
  • Bismark
  • The name of this capital is also the name of a famous Native American tribe.
  • Cheyenne
  • Find a capital beginning with the letter N.
  • Nashville
  • This capital's name has the middle letter of L.
  • Salem

This should get you started. Just come up with more questions and answers based on the child's age and abilities. If you plan to play often, it's best to continuosly come up with fresh questions.

I just went through this again this year. I saw a big difference after my child played this just one time. Before playing, he knew about 60% of the states and 30% of the capitals. He played a few times over the course of a week and ended up getting 98% on his test.

Index cards photograph by shebaduhkitty at morgueFile.

States and Capitals Map Game

Now that you have the map and the questions, the only other thing you need is something to hand out each time a state or capital is correctly found. In our house, we just use pennies.

Although a child can play alone, it could be more fun to play with someone else. Playing the game is easy. Turn over a card and let the child find the state or capital that is asked for. Each time the correct answer is given, hand out a penny.

Decide in advance how many questions you want to give to them. I've found 12 to be a good amount, but you can do any amount. Whoever collects that amount of pennies first wins!

Pennies photograph by Kevin Rosseel at morgueFile.

US States and Capitals Quiz

It's easy to keep track of your child's progress with this game. What I suggest is to print out the blank map below and before playing for the first time, see how many states and capitals your child knows.

After playing, hand the map back and see how much new information is filled in. Do this each time you play so not only will you know how your child is progressing, you'll also know which states and capitals you should make questions about to help your child learn them.

In addition, my kids always were so proud when they saw how much progress they made.

This United States American flag photograph is by alvimann at morgueFile.

If you like the idea of this game, but prefer not to make it yourself, here's a similar one for sale below.

You can always print out another map on top of the page and let kids color it. It's another way for kids to see the states, their capitals and their locations while having fun.

States and Capitals Poll

Does this game seem easy enough to make?

See results

Scrambled States

Scrambled States
Scrambled States

Rated 5 stars by customers.

 

Here are more ways to help kids learn their states and capitals.

States and Capitals for Kids

States & Capitals (Workbook and Music CD)
States & Capitals (Workbook and Music CD)

Includes music CD and activity book. Excellent value.

 

States and Capitals Flash Cards

USA Puzzles

Check out these deals on eBay. There is lots of learning fun here.

Geography Poll

Do you know all the states and their capitals?

See results

United States Capital Building in Washington DC

Would you enjoy a visit here? I would love to see the Oval Office. There is so much history here.United States Capital Building picture by Vcelloho at Wikimedia Commons.

States and Capitals Games

These items are on eBay.

States and Capitals Games on Amazon Search

Flag of the United States of America

United States flag image uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Zscout360.

Have you ever used a game to help teach a child something?

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @SBPI Inc: I have always liked to make learning fun.

    • SBPI Inc profile image

      SBPI Inc 3 years ago

      Fun in learning engages, creates focus,challenges and inspires.Great lens.Jonathan

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @rob-hemphill: I'm happy to hear this.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      Great idea for teaching kids.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @JackNimble: I think you have a good handle on teaching kids.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 4 years ago

      All the time. Games make learning fun and interesting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice share !

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @katiecolette: This is the same way that I feel.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      When it comes to teaching kids, games are the best tools. It doesn't feel like work for them, and they learn a lot faster :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Fasttrail: I agree that kids should learn about their country.

    • Fasttrail profile image

      Fasttrail 4 years ago

      This a wonderful idea because I don't think they learn everything in school anymore. Maybe there is too much to know but children should grow up learning and respecting their flag and country more. ThanksA great lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @FatLossDiva: Thanks for telling me this.

    • FatLossDiva profile image

      FatLossDiva 4 years ago

      Some wonderful ideas here. Thanks.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Very patriotic of you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Michael Oksa: Games can really teach a lot.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Michael Oksa: Games can really teach a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love the us of a

    • Michael Oksa profile image

      Michael Oksa 4 years ago

      I think all games teach something--social skills, knowledge, sharing, etc.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @KayeSI: Thank you very much!

    • KayeSI profile image

      KayeSI 4 years ago

      I LOVE to use educational board games with my grandkids. Thank you for the fun ideas. I've added this link to my new lens - Geography Fun With The Grandkids :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @JJNW: Games are such a great teaching tool.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: You've come to the right place!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 4 years ago from USA

      Very cool. In homeschooling my kids, games were the best for teaching! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I want to learn more about 50 States and Capitals!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @kabbalah lm: Neither do I!

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      I have to admit that even I don't know all the state capitals

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad you enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It is so great to learn in a such manner. Thank you for sharing this lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @blessit3: Nerds and geeks are so cool these days.

    • blessit3 profile image

      blessit3 4 years ago

      These are cool. I kinda have little nerd kids (lol) so this is stuff is super fun for them. Thanks for the ideas!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @norma-holt: Thank you very much!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @aesta1: Great feedback. Thanks.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Learning is fun when it comes in a game. Great lens and nice ideas, Blessed

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes and they worked really well.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Baddew Fibes: I'm always happy to get feedback from teachers. Thank you!

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 4 years ago

      I'm a music teacher and sometimes games are the only way to get a message across. Especially to a younger child. Love the lens - thanks!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Funkysi: I bet she has a lot of fun learning from you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Mammozon: I'm happy you enjoyed it so much.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Loganor: Wow! Seriously??? That's too funny.

    • profile image

      Funkysi 4 years ago

      Yes, I use games for teaching my 4yo daughter something.

    • Mammozon profile image

      Mammozon 4 years ago

      I LOVE this idea. AND I like the idea of using pennies because when the child has correctly names all the states and capitals, they can roll their pennies AND the amount to put in the penny roll is 50--just like the states. Makes a nice tie in. Love your creativity. This lens was fun!

    • Loganor profile image

      Loganor 4 years ago

      You don't realize how important this is until you spend an hour on the phone with a customer service rep who doesn't believe NEW Mexico is in the United States...

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @yayas: How cool that you've lived in so many states.

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 4 years ago

      I have lived in every state except Hawaii and I am still trying to learn where some of the states are located and what their capital cities are. I have been making a concerted effort to find easier ways to learn the capitals and all the states so I could help my grandchildren. I'm looking forward to playing this game so's we can all be better educated about our great country. Thank you for sharing this information.I also appreciate your visit an' Squid Like recently. Thank you so much.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @VspaBotanicals: I agree that they will want to play more educational games if they're fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Two Crafty Paws: I appreciate that feedback.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Ajeet: I hope so.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @karen-stephens: Oh that's funny.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @weallmatter: I appreciate that.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Oh yes, when my daughter was 4. Learning doesn't have to be boring for a child. if it's fun with games they'll want to play even more educational games. I love this lens, too bad I don't have little ones.

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 4 years ago

      Ehm not to teach a kid... It was not long ago when I francticly played a quiz game on Facabook that focused on location of countries, their capitals and their flags - I can't say I memorized them all but my knowledge on the matter expanded. Sure would wish someone would show me a game to help me learn that when I was in school - as leaning them was horrible. These games all look great.

    • profile image

      Ajeet 4 years ago

      What a great way to learn

    • karen-stephens profile image

      karen-stephens 4 years ago

      I grew up in the states and wow...I recall having to memorize all state capitals.. yuck! BUT no one had a clue where Canada was.

    • profile image

      weallmatter 4 years ago

      Your lenses are quite pleasant.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @onyesvic: Thanks!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @reginaaj2gerica: The most important thing is that the kids are having fun while learning. That's what helps them learn.

    • onyesvic profile image

      onyesvic 4 years ago

      Good lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Learning Games are great way for kids to have some fun and learn new things :) Great lens idea :)

    • reginaaj2gerica profile image

      reginaaj2gerica 4 years ago

      I've never used a game, but I make up practice test and they retake it until they get everything correct. Test were given each day and I always scrambled the questions to prevent memorizing the order of the answers. It was really fun for me and the kids. They were so excited to see the important from day to day. I could stay on your lenses all day, they are so good!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @sassydiva lm: Hope they enjoy it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @ettorecolella: Thanks for the congrats!

    • sassydiva lm profile image

      sassydiva lm 4 years ago

      Sound like a cool way to learn states and capitals. I may try some of this out with my younger children.

    • profile image

      ettorecolella 4 years ago

      wow, impressive! I really like this lens, congrats!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Totus Mundus: Glad to hear that.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @DeborahDian: What a wonderful idea. You should make a lens about how to do that.

    • Totus Mundus profile image

      Totus Mundus 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens, I particularly like the puzzle map.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Finally, i can comment you here! thanks. I did i guess for my cousins when they were at child age but i don't have child now, i am bachelor, will answer in future. Nice Lens.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      When my son-in-law was deployed overseas, my daughter and her children put together a world puzzle so that the children would understand where their dad had gone.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Nice of you to say.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @johnsja: Thank you.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      nice idea for a lens. interesting page with educational value.

    • profile image

      johnsja 4 years ago

      What fantastic ideas. Great lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @hijess: So true. I wanted to make sure I knew everything so I could help my kids.

    • hijess profile image

      hijess 5 years ago

      Ha, I need help memorizing the 50 states and capitals myself! It's not just for kids ;)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: How sweet. :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree. If a child wants to learn, they'll learn what is being taught easier.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @CoolFool83: I appreciate that.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @veldagtz: I hope they like it.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you very much keep up the amazing work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think this is the best way to teach a child so that it remembers even the most complicated things for longer duration.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 5 years ago

      Educational yet entertaining! Brilliant idea!

    • profile image

      veldagtz 5 years ago

      This is amazing, we should tell this to our children...

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @bwet: Glad you enjoyed it.

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      i haven't but your states and capital maps game is interesting! love the state trivia bit on the top too

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @legomanultra: Thank you for appreciating it!

    • legomanultra profile image

      legomanultra 5 years ago

      Thank you for putting together a pretty cool lens and game to help children with their geography!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: How fun that you got to turn the tables around and quiz her, too.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My mum used to quiz me on geography, math, spelling and science while we worked together. I got to quiz her too. I always thought that it was fun and didn't even think of it as "learning." This is an excellent lens! **Angel Blessings**

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Very sweet of you.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Very fun and thorough lens indeed. blessed!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Cari Kay 11: Thanks for your approval. :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you very much.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      As a homeschooler, I like to work on this each year when they are young. I think this is a great resource. Thanks and blessed!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I return visit and recommend

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Seems like this is very common.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @mihgasper: Good for you!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @Andrejk: Thanks for the Squidlike!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      @maryLuu: I totally agree!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I remember having to memorize all the capitals as a child. Great Job!