Are you searching for legitimate ways to teach and inspire your children, rather than encouraging them to waste their time on mindless apps? I get it. The other day I observed children playing online games with dangerous implications.
One game involves dressing up characters and then editing the pictures to make the girls thinner and with unrealistic proportions. I am deeply saddened. Do you know the type of games I’m talking about?
You know the ones. Apps that are designed around television’s popular animated characters. So that your kids beg you to download them. You want them to have fun and comply. But once you’ve downloaded them you begin to quickly realize there’s nothing substantial about them. Can you relate? Then I have fantastic news about a website called Sheppard Software.
So What is Sheppard Software?
Besides being featured as CNN’s Fun Site of the Week, Sheppard Software is your number one resource for educational games and entertainment. I’m elated by the number of games, the diversity of age groups, and the interaction available on this learning platform! There is literally, something for everyone.
Furthermore, Sheppard Software features games spanning a multitude of subjects including math, science, and language arts. In addition to games, there are activities, quizzes, and articles for your entertaining pleasure.
Over 1000 schools across the world use Sheppard Software to teach in their classrooms. Educators may download as many games as they wish. Furthermore, Spanish translations are available for download!
How Much Does Sheppard Software Cost?
How does the low-low price of free sound? That’s right, Sheppard Software is 100% free to use with minimal ads or commercials. However, you can completely opt-out of commercial advertisements for an annual fee of thirty-six dollars.
The advertisements don’t interfere with the ability to play the game. But I recommend purchasing the premium version if leaving children unattended in order to avoid surprise purchases.
Also, the Sheppard Software site requires the adobe flash player to work properly. You will be prompted to accept its download before play.
Navigating the Website
Honestly, this website is designed to be easily navigated but it’s not hard to get lost clicking all over the brightly-colored icons. The left sidebar displays the top ten games. Alternatively, the right sidebar features what’s new to the site. Overall, there are nine major categories housing several hundred games including:
- Language Arts
Additionally, Sheppard Software features games for each level of education including college. Not to mention, they cater to adults by offering activities encouraging education and development. My personal favorite is the Mouse Trap game. However, there are many other Brain Games to play including Word Scramble and several different Solitaires.
Sheppard Software Preschool and Kindergarten
The preschool and kindergarten category of Sheppard Software’s educational playground is packed with colors, shapes, and numbers. Additionally, they are expounded upon in a variety of interactive activities.
As you move your cursor over the game and flashcard icons, a friendly voice announces the object your cursor hovers on. There are tons of exciting finds in the preschool and kindergarten corners of Sheppard Software.
As a result, you can expect your children to be entertained and educated by this site for longer than that plastic toy. You simply must check it out.
Preschool and Kindergarten Games and Features to Explore
My family is embracing the Whole 30 Diet and we’re teaching our little ones about being mindful about what they eat. The Nutrition for Kids Games includes some of our favorites. Playing them creates a natural opportunity for our family to discuss the importance of food, health, and nutrition.
Also, to teach how important it is to fuel your life with positive dietary choices instead of poor junk food decisions.
The Color Game is a fun and simple match-style game. And even as an adult, I enjoy pairing the appropriate placements. It helps focus my blasted mom brain so we can go on with our day! There are five designated color boxes and the object is to drag the items of each color to the matching square.
When you lay the objects into the square the voice informs you of what each item is called. Naturally, if you don’t choose the correct square the item won’t allow you to place it there. Providing ample opportunity for exaggerated, “Oh nos” and giggle time with your munchkins.
Alternatively, Sheppard Software has adorable Animal Movies that teach children (and parents) about natural habitats like the forest and jungle. Which creates a wonderful fun and easy at-home toddler activity!
Introducing Spanish as a Second Language at Preschool Age
Furthermore, the Easy Spanish Games help integrate Spanish words for colors, objects, and animals into their dialogue. That is so very cool!
Especially, knowing the best time to begin teaching your child a second language is in their earlier developmental years. In fact, according to Motherly,
Preschool years, especially the first three years of life, are believed to be a vital period in a child’s life. This is when the foundations for attitudes, thinking, and learning, among others, are laid down. This means that children have a natural ability to learn, which is developed during the first 3-4 years of their life.
Sheppard Software’s site features educational flashcards that are both playful and interactive. Alternatively, you may signup to have the flashcards sent directly to your email.
Although, printing them out does remove the animated, dancing aspect of the blueberries! These are great to stash in your purse for when you find yourself someplace waiting and needing to pass the time.
Like doctor appointments and my personal favorite, oil changes! Sense my sarcasm ladies. In fact, they’re another fantastic tip for helping overwhelmed mamas reduce their stress on the go. That is when you can’t drop them off for an hour to browse Ikea! Oh, who am I kidding? I’d need at least a couple of hours to peruse their shelves.
Sheppard Software Elementary – Early Middle School Years
Moving into the upper elementary and early middle school years, subjects expand to include health and grammar. However, core subjects such as math and geography are still available for play. Subsequently, the level of difficulty increases to engage your older kid’s attention.
In addition to the activities and games designated for elementary and early middle school, Sheppard Software features movies and infographics to help digest the material.
Elementary and Early Middle School Games and Activities
Activities like the Digestion Tutorial, educate students about bodily organs and their function in aiding digestion. Simply move your mouse over each organ and the narrator educates you about their purpose. Also, the text changes in the thought bubble to accommodate learning about each organ’s role.
Sheppard Software incorporates different levels of games and quizzes to encourage learning and growth. The Seasons for Kids includes matching games and painting activities. Which I find perfect for easing the boredom of winter months.
One category worth spending time in is Earth Tips. These are simple and easy ways to help the earth every day! Each of these tips includes a flash movie with delightful music and animation to articulate their points. The laundry one is great.
Perhaps my favorite corner of this category is the Animals section. It includes hundreds of interesting and informative articles and quizzes. Here you can learn about hundreds of species including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
In case you are wondering, invertebrates are all the creepy crawling things that this girl does not like. You know like spiders, bugs, and more bugs.
Games include, seek and find, paint and make, and jigsaw puzzles. Learn about animal characteristics, diets, habitats, and places in the food chain. Not to mention, special topics including Freaky Animals and Endangered Animals 101. The animal of the week and animal quizzes are enjoyable too.
Sheppard Software Middle School – High School Years
Advancing into upper-middle and high school classes the games center around core subjects including math, science, and vocabulary. In fact, language art games are designed to help prepare for the SATs. The Comma Chameleon game is awesome. And a great refresher for proper comma placement.
Furthermore, the Easily Confused Words game is an adorably interactive way to review your grammar. Learn (reinforce) proper usage of easily confused words such as their/they’re/there, your/you’re, its and it’s.
The Geography section of the middle and high school educational games incorporates eight levels of difficulty.
Their site claims,
By playing Sheppard Software’s geography games, you will gain a mental map of the world’s continents, countries, capitals, & landscapes!
Learn about different continents and countries including Oceania. Additionally, students are informed of world capitals, world landmarks, and world flags. Check out this video demonstration for a better understanding of teaching the different countries of Asia. Also, appreciate the enunciation narration for enunciation. Am I right?
The Math category feels like an infinite scroll of educational opportunities. Students can engage with mathematics including fractions, geometry, algebra, integers, and money. On the other hand, Chemistry includes fun Periodic Table Games. From beginner to master levels.
Sheppard Software College and Adult Level
Sharpen your skills with Sheppard Software’s college-level skill-building games and activities. Many of these games are to review, sharpen, and reinforce knowledge. However, the health category includes advanced medical terminology quizzes.
Hands down, the Math Mahjong game is the highlight of adult row. You can spend hours clicking on the tiles. And the little chiming sounds are delightful and make playtime more enjoyable.
The brain games and teasers are worth mentioning and they interact with each of the grade levels. Categories include puzzle, strategic, music, logic, word, memory, and action-puzzle games.
The Pros of Sheppard Software
There are two great incentives for using Sheppard Software. First, it’s educational. And second, it’s completely free! In one year they’ve experienced sensational results.
Over 20 million visitors and over 5 million hours of learning!
So they’re obviously doing something right. Sheppard Software goes on to inform players,
We create content and games for our website with these goals:
1) To add sound and visual effects to make learning fun and more memorable.
2) To design games with many difficulty levels so that players will continue to be challenged no matter how far they progress.
3) To provide games that will exercise players’ brains
Honestly, after hours of interaction, giggles, and play, I assure you, Sheppard Software succeeds in all three of their above ambitions. Ultimately, the math and geography categories are most substantial, spanning all ages including college and adult level.
Families who homeschool, teachers, and parents searching for new, interactive ways to teach will find and appreciate the value of this resource.
The Cons of Sheppard Software
Okay, so far this has been an outstanding review but I need to keep it real with you about something. The graphics and layout of the website are more than outdated. The ideas are great and the content is phenomenal. But it’s time for a major upgrade. Especially, if they expect today’s tweens, teens, and college-level students to desire to play.
After clicking around it can be difficult to navigate back to where you started. The main menu changes on each new screen. And there isn’t a homepage button. So I found myself lost (and annoyed) a handful of times.
Also, there is a variety of core subjects, but both history and music are missing. So with a musically incline daughter (and my personal love for history) it would be nice if they updated their site to include them.
Overall, the quality of available content and the price of free makes Sheppard Software a remarkable educational resource for people of all ages. However, the graphics don’t compete with today’s apps and video games. Making it more difficult to engage older children and adults.
That being said, the games are fun, informative, often include music, and make fun noises. My younger children had a blast exploring the site with me. And I found myself enjoying the time with them and even learned a few new things myself! Like for example how invertebrates are the scientific word for creepy-crawly nightmare.
Do you have anything to add to my review of Sheppard Software? Please include them in the comments below. Also, will you share this resource to help out other moms? Thanks, you’re awesome!
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