Make Your 50 States Study More Fun with These Activities

Guest post by Melissa Batai

Most elementary students have a 50 states study as part of their geography curriculum. You could present a 50 states study in the boring way many of us learned it, i.e., learning a bit about the physical geography and then learning the state bird, flag, capital, and a bit of history about the state. But as homeschoolers, you have the flexibility and creativity to make your 50 states study more fun with these activities.

How to Make Your 50 States Study More Fun

Bring geography to life by doing some of these activities with your children.

Get a Postcard from Every State

Do you have a Facebook account? If so, hop on one of your favorite homeschool Facebook groups and ask if members in each of the states will send you a postcard from their states. I have seen many moms request this, and other moms are always happy to oblige. Plus, kids usually love getting mail, so you learn about the states, and your children get an abundance of mail.

Watch How the States Got Their Shapes

If you have older kids studying the 50 states, consider watching History Channel’s series, How the States Got Their Shapes. My geography-loving son watched all of the episodes of this series and loved it.

You can’t watch How the States Got Their Shapes for free, but you can subscribe to History Vault for $4.99 a month and watch all the episodes, or sign up for a free trial

Cook the Food of Each State

Do some Google research before you begin your 50 states study. Simply type, “What food is Michigan known for?” Then, replace the name of the state each time. For instance, the results from my home state of Michigan show we’re known for Mackinac Island fudge and pasties. When I typed in “recipe for Michigan pasties” I found several recipes, but this one is rated the highest.

You could make one special dish a week from each state, and you’d be trying a new meal for almost an entire year. Cooking a state's food is a great way to learn more about a state and the foods people in those states love.

Buy an Eat2Explore Box

If you don’t have time to research and cook foods from each state, try taking a shortcut and buying an Eat2Explore box . Eat2Explore boxes contain directions for three meals as well as seasonings and a culinary tool. They have two boxes focused on the United States:

Explore USA—North!

Explore USA—South!

The USA—North! box has recipes for Maryland Crabcake, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, and Eggplant Parmesan.

The USA—South! Box has recipes for BBQ Chicken, Blackened Fish, and Sweet Potato Chili.

Learn about Fast Food

To carry the food theme further, Insider has a video that shows the most popular fast-food chain in each state. In addition, they show what the foods look like.

You’ll be surprised how good some of the foods look and how bizarre others seem such as Boise Fry Company’s blueberry ketchup or Portillo’s chocolate cake shake, which has a whole piece of chocolate cake in it!

Study State Quarters

You can collect the state quarters from each of the 50 states. Then, you can learn more about each state based on what the state puts on the quarter. For instance, on the back of the Nebraska quarter is Chimney Rock and a family in a covered wagon. This could lead to research both about the geography of Nebraska and the pioneer history of the state.

Final Thoughts

Learning geography doesn’t have to be dry and boring. Use some or all of these suggestions to make your 50 states study come to life for your students.