State Capital Scramble

by | All Youth, Indoor Youth Group Games

Here’s a great indoor game. Take a large atlas of the United States and highlight all of the capitals for each of the states. You will also need a list of all the states with their respective capitals for yourself. With that list be sure to have a list of all the states in order, as they came into the Union. For example; Delaware was the first state and Hawaii was the last.

In this game the teens will test their knowledge of states and capitals. Before you begin, lay out the atlas on the table and give them about 30 seconds to a minute to look it over. This is for those who aren’t real familiar with the 50 states and capitals. They should at least be able to remember 2-3 for the game later.

Start alphabetically with each of the 50 states. Say the name of the state and the first person to raise their hand gets to guess the state capital. In cases of a tie in hand raising, flip a coin. If they guess incorrectly, they do not get to guess again. The second person who raised their hand then gets to guess. If they answer correctly they receive points.

Scoring: Each of the 50 states has an order in which they came into the Union. Each student will receive points for each correct answer with the number of that state. For instance if they guess Boston as the capitol of Massachusetts, they get 6 points because Massachusetts was the sixth state in the Union. If they guess Honalulu as the capitol of Hawaii, they receive 50 points because Hawaii was the 50th state, and so forth and so on. Go alphabetically through each of the states so they dont know the point value of each one. Keep track of who gets what points for what correct answer and total them up at the end. The one with the most points wins a prize.

Note: There will be some states they dont know the capital of in which some cases you can give them a hint. For instance, some capitals are named after presidents, so you could say this capital is named after the 3rd president of the United States, or the 15th, depending on which capital. Allow for 5 seconds for answer then reveal the capital if no one knows.

This is a great game because it can be a close race. Some states have high values and others have low ones. One state can help someone catch up. The scores are a lot closer than you may think. And don’t let the kids tell you that it’s too hard. This is grammar school level stuff. They learned it in 5th grade. Good luck and have fun!

Share This Idea!