In 4th grade, Hanna’s last year in public school, they learned “state capitals”. I must say I was a little more than annoyed that all they did was memorize the spelling of the state capitals. 🙁 It did however, pique her interest in the different states, and she started talking about wanting to visit each state and the capital. Chicago is at the top of her list… there’s an American Girl store there. 😉
Anyway, one day I got a call from Highlights. They wanted to sell me this program “Which Way USA“. It’s a geography game for kids, to help them learn more about the 50 states. Each month she’s sent a new package. The package includes a magazine about the state, a state map and a small state license plate. Since she was already showing interest in learning more about the states, I thought it was a perfect fit.
What is Which Way USA?
Which Way USA is a geography game, a race around the country. There are teams she’s helping, and racing against. She helps her team by completing activities in each of the monthly magazines. Each of the activities is based on something special about the state, for example, the New York game book starts with a puzzle about Grand Central Station. There’s some information about it, some interesting facts and then to help their team, kids are asked to find 21 people wearing hats in the picture. The page is colorful, and the puzzle is challenging, but doable. There is also an answer key in the back of the magazine, just in case! There are also pages where kids use the state map to answer questions. These happen to be MY favorite pages. I love watching her negotiate a map, read the fact boxes, and find what she’s looking for. It always starts out with “I don’t knooooow.” But as she keeps looking the answer is there, and it ends with an exclamation… “There it is!! There’s the answer!!” As the kids complete each activity they are given points. At the end of the book they see how many points the team they are working with made, as well as how many points other racing teams have earned. They then add up their points from each page, and add them to the team they’re working with to see if they won this round of the Which Way USA race.
Our Favorite Part of This Geography Game for Kids:
Once they’ve completed the puzzle book, they can use their state license plate tag which is actually a secret code to log into the Which Way USA website, where they can play more games related to the state. (I must say, this is Hanna’s favorite part). She really enjoys collecting the state license plates and adding them to her Which Way USA key ring and then using them to play the games online.
We’ve used Highlights products for as long as I can remember, so while I don’t usually purchase things over the phone, I felt confident that I’d be making a good investment since it was from Highlights, and I was right. The day we get Which Way USA in the mail is always a good day. She gets something in the mail (which is always fun!) and then she spends at least a couple hours solving the puzzles and learning more about new states. But more than just the day we get them, I often find her with her Which Way USA holder, and maps spread across the table or the floor. It’s definitely something she pulls out on her own to play.
We are planning a family vacation to Wisconsin this Summer. She’s been using her Which Way USA maps to map our route, and figure out what interesting things we should stop and see on our way. When I buy “educational” games this is really what I hope they will be used for, investigating things in real life. We also recently did a Missouri Scavenger hunt, ahead of a trip there, and she used her Which Way USA to find the answers to the scavenger hunt.
I’m a fan of Which Way USA. It’s a fun geography game for kids, but it’s so much more than that too. I am always surprised by the amount of information she retains, and shares based on what she learns while she’s playing. If you’re wanting your kids to learn more about the states than just “spelling the capital”, this is a really fun way to go. They probably won’t even notice they’re learning stuff. 😉
It’s easy to get started, just click here, and set up your account!
Your Which Way USA geography game for kids will be in your mailbox in no time!