This printable game is made to help children learn all the USA states, their capitals and flags. Using the same cards, they can play several games, including bingo, memory and matching games.
What is the capital of Alaska? Which state has a pelican on its flag? Find out while playing this game!
There are fifty states in America, and each has its own capital city. Unless you have done a bit of travelling, it isn’t easy to memorize them all. But if you add a visual cue, like a flag, and make it into a game, learning goes a lot smoother.
This is a game that helps children to learn all the states and their capitals by matching them through their flags. An additional bonus is that children get to learn those flags as well at the same time. The flags provide an additional visual cue, but also give an opportunity for additional research and discussion.
For instance, one of my favourite state flags is the flag of Alaska. The blue on it symbolizes the sea, the sky, the meadows, and the mountain lakes. There are also eight stars – seven of them come from the constellation Ursa Major and the eighth is the North Star, referring to Alaska being the northern-most state.
We hope you will enjoy the game and find it useful!
USA: States, Capitals and Flags – Game Features
There are five types of pages of cards included in the game.
- Two kinds of state sheets. One type has visual cues in the form of flags (for introducing the game), and the other one doesn’t (for advanced players).
- Two kinds of capital sheets. Again, one type has visual cues in the form of flags (for introducing the game), and the other one doesn’t (for advanced players).
- Flag sheets. Use these if you want to reinforce knowledge of the states and their flags, as opposed to the states and their capitals.
When playing the games, players first rely on the flag symbols to match the states and their capitals successfully. Over time, players will learn to associate the states and capitals without relying on the flag as a visual cue. At that point, start using the cards without visual cues.
And the best feature of the game? It actually consists of FOUR games! You can play them all using the same cards.
USA: States, Capitals and Flags – Sorting Game
How to prepare: Cut the state sheet and the corresponding capital sheet into small cards. There will be fifty state cards and fifty capital cards.
How to play: Mix all the cards thoroughly face up, then look through them, finding the matching pairs.
Why: This is a good activity for simultaneously introducing the flags, states, and capitals. If you are using a map, find the states and capitals on the map, then match the cards with them.
USA: States, Capitals and Flags – Memory Game
How to prepare: Cut one of state sheets and a corresponding capital sheet into small cards. Depending on the number of players and their ages, you can either use five or six pairs at a time, or create a big memory game with all sixteen of them. You can create an even bigger game if you use several sheets at a time.
How to play: Place the cards in a rectangular grid on a table. Players take turns temporarily revealing two cards from the grid, trying to match a state card with the corresponding capital card. The flag symbols will help to find a successful match! The player who makes the match gets to keep the cards. Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game wins.
Why: This is a good activity for reinforcing the knowledge of flags, states and capitals. It is also excellent for general memory development.
USA: States, Capitals and Flags – Bingo
How to prepare: Print as many state sheets as there are players. Do not cut them. Give each player their state sheet to use as bingo card—they can be laminated for longer use. Print corresponding capital sheets. Cut them into small capital cards. Shuffle the capital cards and stack them on the table face-down.
How to play: Players take turns revealing one capital card from the deck, with all players striving to match the capital revealed to the state on their card. If they make a connection, they can circle the name of the stat if the card is laminated. If the card isn’t laminated, they can put a button over the name of the state. At the end of the game, the player who got most states covered wins. If there are several players who covered the same number of states, they win together.
Why: This is a very quick game for reinforcing the understanding of flags, states and capitals.
USA: States, Capitals and Flags – Speed Bingo
How to prepare: Prepare the same way as you would for the standard bingo. No lamination or buttons are required though, and you may want to increase the number of capital cards in use.
How to play: Players take turns revealing one capital card each, with all players striving to identify the state it corresponds with, in order to claim it for their state card. To claim a capital card, a player needs to name the state it belongs to. The first player to call out the name gets the capital card. Since all players have the same state sheet, there will be a lot of competition! The player who collects most capitals win.
Can you play these game in a classroom? Yes! Just get the classroom edition. There are full-sheet flag, state and capital cards available in the second part of the file.
If you want to use them for decoration of your classroom, you could do it as well.
Thank you for reading!