Saturday, September 17, 2011

WonderMaps Review

I am so excited to announce that I have joined the Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team.  I was even more excited when they alerted me about the first item I could review for them which was WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press.

Wondermaps is an easy to use program which is installed on your PC and uses Adobe PDF 9.1 or higher (which is a FREE download). There are over 350 maps. The program includes maps of The World, Continents, Nations, Regions and United States of America maps. As well as some very cool Historical and Thematic maps. The Historic maps start with The Ancients: Creation-33AD and continue all the way to Present Day. The Thematic maps include Biblical, Explorer, American History, Native American, World War, 20th Century Treaty and Chinese Dynasty maps. The program is very reasonably priced at $44.95.

Also included in the program is a Teachers Guide which includes a tutorial video, bonus workshops and several other valuable resources.


All of the maps have a layer feature which allows you to change the way the maps look. You can have as much detail as you want or eliminate all details to leave just a basic outline. You can even see how borders have changed over time by using the layer feature. Maps can also be printed in color or black and white.
My kids are only 4 and 5 so they are not really at age where we were able to delve into ALL the wonderful maps this program offers. So for now we have just been using the United States of America and Continent  maps. Because they are so young I liked that I was able to make create very basic maps that just had borders and names. I also like that I can print the maps in black in white so that the kids can color them on their own.

The possibilities for these maps are endless. We have been pretty busy lately so I haven't really been able to execute some of the ideas I've had so here are a few: print the maps out on cardstock and cut them up to make a puzzle; laminate the maps or place them into a page protector so that children can work on labeling states, etc; create play-doh mats with the states - just print, laminate and have the kids mold the states out of play-doh they can even add the capitol, rivers, etc; make an orienteering or treasure map and go on an adventure; print up animals and place them on the correct continent/state; mail out cards to soldiers then print a map of the country they are being sent to include a prayer request on the map and explain to the children why our soldiers are overseas fighting for our country; and if you geocache you can place a cache of your own and then track on various maps where you cache travels too, if you don't geocache you could also do something similar using a Flat Stanley. There are many other wonderful things you could do with these maps I was just throwing out a few ideas that would work well for younger children.

My daughter has been coloring in the states that we receive postcards from.
We are currently participating in a homeschool 50 state postcard swap.
Continent map
Georgia map

Features listed from the publisher:
WonderMaps is designed with easy-to-use layers that allow you to enjoy great customizable features with just a click. Select:
  • historical or modern-day maps
  • outline, reference, political, or topographical maps
  • black-and-white or color maps
  • features including:  names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, and graticules
    WonderMaps includes:
    • 60+ maps of the world
    • 60+ maps of the USA
    • 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps
    • The complete map sets from The Mystery of History vols. I–III and All American History vols. I & II
    -For more information or to purchase this product click here.
    -Visit Bright Ideas Press website to see all the products they make
    -Visit the Timberdoodle website to see all of the amazing products available to purchase
    -Timberdoodle on Facebook
    -Free Timberdoodle Homeschool Catalog
    -Timberdoodle Geography Puzzles   

    Legal Disclosure:
    As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team. I received a free copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

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