Last summer my kids and I memorized all 50 States and Capitals. Surprisingly, my kids still remember nearly every single one a year later! What’s the trick? A fun song!
(this post contains affiliate links)
We used this song from Animaniacs to learn all the States and Capitals.
Catchy tune, some funny little spoken parts, what more do you need? When my son started First Grade, he was so excited to sing it for his teacher.
How Did We Do It?
Hang a Map in a Central Location
We bought a large map of the United States and hung it up on our kitchen wall. We spend most of our time in the kitchen eating, doing crafts, etc. so it seemed to be the best place. I had looked everywhere for one that was easy to read and couldn’t find one that I loved. Right before I bought one online, I found a large map at the Dollar Tree of all places!
Make it a Game
We learned the song in sections, or verses. With each new chunk that we were learning, we would see who could find the different states the fastest. I kept the “words” of the song posted right next to the map so the kids could practice or review it throughout the day.
You know how you can get annoying children’s songs stuck in your head? This song was no exception. It totally helped us learn the song quickly though, as we would find ourselves humming or singing the song throughout the day. I would also do a pop quiz as they were clearing their dishes from a meal, and see who felt confident enough passing off the song (both singing and pointing out the places on the map).
Because English is such a weird language, I didn’t realize just how many States and Capitals needed to be said out loud in order for the kids to be able to say them correctly. (Think Baton Rouge…) It also gave the kids a sense of how we are merely a part of a bigger picture. Our state is so small when you look at it in relation to the nation! We had fun pointing out places we have been, where relatives live, and places we have read about in books. It’s all about broadening their perspective. And hey, bragging rights to be able to sing a song and be praised by grandparents and anyone else who will listen, right?
Have you memorized the States and Capitals?