Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: You GOT to Try These Maps!

WONDERMAPS! Doesn't that say it all?! World maps, United States maps, historical maps, and even THEMATIC maps, this CD from Bright Ideas Press covers it! Easy to point-and-click to customize maps for just about everything "geographical"! We LOVE LOVE it! You know it's a keeper when the kids want to continue using it even when the "assignment" is completed! 

I was able to quickly upload the WonderMaps software to my computer (and found out I also needed to update my "ancient" Adobe reader LOL), and just let the kids explore! 
J and C Explore Wondermaps Together
After clicking around in the different sections - World, United States, Historical, and Thematic - C created an Antarctic map, customizing the details with the layers sidebar easily and quickly. 
C with her Antarctic WonderMap
Now, S didn't want to be left out! He wanted a map of Asia! After removing several layers of information to his liking, he printed out his map too. 
S with his Asia WonderMap
My camera wasn't liking the light inside my livingroom this morning, but I think you can definitely see all the details these maps provide. And this was printed on "economy"!
S's Asia WonderMap Up Close
Here's what I like as a homeschool Mom:
  • Ease of use! The kids didn't even need to watch the tutorial, but there is one for the rest of us! LOL
  • Many different types of maps! I can DEFINITELY see using this program a lot during our History and even Science studies this coming year for ALL 3 kids. North American Explorers and the states here we come!
  • Customizing! My oldest son (12) likes lots of details in EVERYTHING, but maps especially. My younger son (6) visually likes simpler ones. A definite plus to be able to use the layers sidebar and create maps that meet the needs of different students!
  • The Teacher's Guide provides additional mapping activities such as "50 Bright Ideas for Using Outline Maps", "How to Make a Salt Dough Map" and "16 Mapping Projects" to add more Geography fun to WonderMaps.
  • Maps for Mystery of History and All American History curriculum. Although we don't use these curricula, it's convenient having them there for "just in case".

Final Rating (out of 5 ★s) : ★ ★ ★ ★ (It missed 1 ★ because we wished it had more topographical details, more rivers and cities, and more ocean islands mapped.)

For more information about this GREAT interactive product, click here.

Check out all the wonderful curricula, puzzles, games, and kits by requesting a free Timberdoodle catalog or joining up on Facebook!

Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle Blogger Review Team, I receive free products in exchange for a frank and unbiased review on Our Side of the Mountain. These reviews are my own personal thoughts and opinions as well as my childrens'. For more product information and current prices, please visit the Timberdoodle website.


  1. Thats fantastic! I actually just got a new item to review form them too. I have been looking into the maps and they look wonderful. Means so much when the kids love what they are learning.

  2. Noooo! Don't tell me about another awesome thing--I'm already over budget! :)

    Just a couple of days ago, I was looking for a map of Germany that had just enough detail, so the kids could see the geographic features, but not so much that it was distracting. I spent almost half an hour looking for the perfect map. This sounds like it would help us out a lot!


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