Boosting home learning with Night Zookeeper

A child playing Night Zookeeper.

Disclosure: This is a paid collaboration with Night Zookeeper.

We’re a couple of weeks into the new lockdown restrictions so are getting used to home learning again. I’ve been really impressed by how much the school is doing to keep everything going.

As well as providing regular live lessons and offline tasks, teachers have encouraged us to supplement school work with other educational resources. So it was great timing when the people at Night Zookeeper got in touch with me!

Based on a series of books, Night Zookeeper is an award-winning online creative writing platform for kids aged five to 12+. All three of mine enjoy writing, so were delighted to help me review it.

A screenshot from Night Zookeeper showing a sentence-completing game.

What do you get?

In short, quite a lot! As well as improved core writing skills, personalised feedback from dedicated tutors and weekly lessons, there are free printables, publishing opportunities and even competitions with prizes up for grabs.

There’s also a parent dashboard where you can see the progress your children have made and find out all you need to know about Night Zookeeper, via a comprehensive guide.

It’s also worth noting that kids’ profile names are automatically generated, so there’s peace of mind regarding internet safety too.

A Night Zookeeper screen shot, showing a card battle game.

How Night Zookeeper works

Children start by creating unique avatars of themselves as zookeepers. Then it’s time to draw their first animal. Once that’s done, they will be asked questions about their creature.

Their answers form a short report which is automatically assessed for various goals, such as punctuation, adjectives and word count.

They can always revisit their reports to earn ‘orbs’ which can be used to unlock items to further customise their creations.

A screenshot from Night Zookeeper, showing scores for a written exercise.

They can then use their animals in age-appropriate games to test and improve their writing skills.

For example, my five-year-old’s first game involved making her bird fly into the correct letters, while her brothers (eight and ten) both had tasks which involved typing against the clock.

Once established in their zoos, children can create and collect more animals by completing further games and challenges.

What we thought

Night Zookeeper is an immersive and fun learning experience that should inspire and engage children in the primary school years.

I really like what I’ve seen so far – it’s a highly positive use of screen time. More importantly, the kids seem to be getting a lot out of using it.

It’s encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones and think about different approaches to writing. This can only help them in the long term, so I’m glad they’re using it.

If you like the sound of Night Zookeeper, you can try it free for seven days, followed by 52% off.

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