Have you ever taken one of those “Can you name the 50 states” types of tests? Did you do well?
I’ve always enjoyed geography, and for the most part, I’m pretty good at naming the states and capitals, and being able to locate the states. I even know that Alaska is in fact up north and not an island floating below Mexico.
My kids have 0 interest in naming the different states. At first I was a bit frustrated. I mean come on, being able to name all the states is a great party trick!
Turns out, kids don’t care about party tricks. Who knew?
So I asked myself…is it really that important? And the short answer is no, it’s not. We have maps…in our pockets. With a GPS that can tell you exactly where you are. I think knowing geography is great but in the grand scheme of things, is it that important?
This led me to a bigger thought. Well even if it isn’t important, can I make it interesting enough to learn? That’s the real problem – geography is boring! Who wants to sit around and label maps all day? (Besides me, that is…).
That thought stemmed a challenge in me. Can I make geography fun and interesting?
I don’t know! But dangit, I’m going to try. And that’s how my super awesome, hands-on, exciting, fantabulous, U.S. Geography Unit study course came to be. Yes, fantabulous. I’ll get to that later (it won’t be ready until at least January, so no point in delving into it now.).
As I’m preparing for the big course, I’m peppering in some fun printables and activities to make geography fun! That’s where the state trading cards come in. Who remembers collecting baseball cards as kids?
I know I did! I didn’t give a lick about baseball but collecting cards was fun. Comparing your collection to the neighbors? Fun! Keeping them in pristine shape? Fun!
So I decided collecting state cards could be fun, too! I’m tempted to print them in packs of 10 and give them to my kids for good behavior or something. Whoever gets all 50 first is the winner! I don’t know if that would motivate them though…
What’s on the State Trading Cards?
Each card features one state and includes:
- state name
- state abbreviation
- date of admission to the union
- largest city
- population (with population rank in parentheses)
- area (with area rank in parentheses)
How to put the State Trading Cards together
If not you’ll have to print all the pages for one side. Flip them over and then print all the back sides.
They are designed to match up when you print them this way! On the download they probably look a little strange.
What should you print them on?
I use cardstock and my laminator. I intend to use these for quite awhile. We might put them on a keyring too.
Ready to get your hands on these state trading cards? Sign up for the newsletter below and they’ll be in your inbox before you can name all 50 states (timing is approximate and totally dependent on if you know that state song or not)