Countries and Capitals – 3

Learning about the countries of the world!

All knowledge, including knowledge of countries and capitals, is built up in much the same way as a child’s building blocks. The child has fun playing with the blocks, and making things (buildings, cars, robots, machines, imaginary things, whatever), but while the fun is going on, so is the learning. It creeps up on you stealthily, while you’re enjoying yourself. And because you’re having fun, the learning is painless.

Countries and capitals, then cultures …

There’s no finer way to learn something than to just get stuck in and start doing it. Same with the countries of the world and their capital cities. As you learn something like a long list of countries and capitals, you might just start subliminally learning something about the peoples and the cultures of the countries of the world – in fact, it’s almost inevitable.

If you don’t experience at least a little twinge of curiosity about the subject you’re studying, then you really need to ask yourself why. You could look on it as the first rung on the ladder of learning about the world, and all the countries and the cultures in it. Kids don’t examine and reconsider every aspect of a thing endlessly, and then agonise over whether it’ll work, or whether it’s even worth making the attempt. They just get on with it! And they learn … they learn new things every day, at an astonishing rate.

Russia – The Largest Country in the World
Russia is the largest country in the world, with a land area of over 17 million sq. kilometres (that over 6.5 million sq. miles). It covers more than 11% of the planet’s land area. It has over 140 million inhabitants. It stretches across nine time zones, and has widely differing environments and landforms. It is the largest producer of oil and natural gas, and has the world’s largest reserves of mineral and energy resources. The lakes in Russia contain about a quarter of the planet’s fresh water.


You come across a country’s name on the list, or the name of its capital, and you start wondering where exactly it is. Why not have Wikipedia open in another tab as you study the list, and when you come across something unfamiliar, tap it into Wikipedia and read a bit about it. You start by being mildly curious, and move on to being interested, and more often than not you end up being fascinated.

And as your level of interest rises, so memorising the list of countries and capitals, together with facts about the various countries of the world, becomes easier and almost automatic. Suddenly it all starts to make more sense and, instead of being just a dry-as-dust, boring list of words, it becomes much more interesting. The facts gradually become filled out with more and more detail and interconnections begin to weave a fascinating web of knowledge throughout the entire thing.

Africa – bigger than many countries of the world, combined

We generally don’t realise it, but Africa, as this graphic shows so very effectively, is actually larger in area than China, the USA, India, France, Spain, Germany, the whole of Eastern Europe, the UK, and Switzerland combined (and some other countries, but the list was getting too long)! It is absolutely vast. It covers over 20% of the planet’s land area and is home to over a billion people.

If you want to learn more about the countries of the world you would do well to start with Africa. There are over 50 countries on that continent alone! If you want to learn more about Africa, check out the 100 interesting facts that you probably don’t already know. 

Africa - larger than many countries of the world, combined

Africa, second largest continent, home to over 1 billion people, and bigger than many, many countries of the world, combined! Africa covers over 20% of the planet’s land area and comprises more than fifty countries. The human race originated in Africa and have lived there for over five million years.

MalaysiaKuala Lumpur
Marshall IslandsMajuro
MauritiusPort Louis
MexicoMexico City
Micronesia, Federated States ofPalikir
Myanmar (Burma)Rangoon
Nauru-- no official capital --
NetherlandsAmsterdam / The Hague
New ZealandWellington
Northern IrelandBelfast
PanamaPanama City
Papua New GuineaPort Moresby
Saint Kitts and NevisBasseterre
Saint LuciaCastries
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesKingstown

Learning more about the countries of the world

It used to take years of travel to far-flung corners of the planet to gather enough facts about the countries of the world to qualify you as a seasoned traveller. Fortunately, these days you can get the lowdown on all the various customs, manners, etiquette, courtesy and formalities via the Internet. Which is handy, because it saves a lot of time, and also saves you risking offending your hosts by what seems to be the most innocent of actions, or just a bit of frivolous fun.

Ignore the kiddie-style title of this website and take a good look at FactMonster. It really is a very comprehensive site, and though it’s ideal for helping kids to learn all about the countries of the world (and lots of other things), you’ll find it’s hugely informative for us big kids as well.

If you’re coaching the kids on some amazing language facts or working your way through the fascinating science and technology section, you can always say you’re just helping the young ‘uns with their school work … saves admitting you find the site riveting reading!

Australia map, but just how accurate I cannot guarantee!

Once you start getting interested in geography you’ll suddenly start finding maps of all kinds. Some are educational, some are nothing more than a bit of fun, but at least you’re taking an interest! is another interesting site that you’ll find helpful. It’s an amazingly wide-ranging website and it’s actually hard to believe it’s the work of a single person, but apparently it is. I’m not sure if he connects his sites to several other related sites or exactly what the explanation is, but I can’t believe he’s personally responsible for the lot – here’s a quote from his site: “My growing network of web sites currently consists of more than twenty million pages …”.  Well … I salute you, sir! Whatever the explanation, it’s a hugely wide-ranging and monumental effort.

Still looking for more ways to explore and learn more about the countries of the world? Take a look at the huge numbers of quizzes on this site, LizardPoint. Among the many quizzes, there’s one on state capitals. This site has plenty of interactive map quizzes that kids will enjoy, and adults too.

Another great learning site is JetPunk. It has lots of quizzes and some have been taken thousands of times. The top one, Countries of the World, has been taken over six million times! 

Okay, time for the last of the countries and capitals lists … on to the next page!


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