Struggling to get your kids to write? Read my review on Night Zookeeper and learn how this online platform has my kids begging to write!
I received a subscription to Night Zookeeper in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. The opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own and were no way influenced by anyone.
In This Article:
- General Info on the Night Zookeeper Online Platform
- How Does Night Zookeeper Work?
- Game Examples and Walk Through
- My Thoughts on Night Zookeeper
- Free Trial & 50% Off Coupon
What is Night Zookeeper?
You may have seen ads floating around online for the Night Zookeeper online writing platform lately. This fairly new online platform is based on the book series Night Zookeeper by Joshua Davidson.
The UK based company has created an amazing online writing program takes the student into the magical word of the Night Zoo and allows them to help battle the evil Voids by playing games, practicing skills and writing.
This amazing writing program is available for homeschool, at-home or classroom use. It’s completely online-based so you can access it from any device with internet access and is geared toward kids ages 6-12.
To be honest, I had to beg my kids to write prior to Night Zookeeper. Now I have to give them a time limit on the platform because they won’t stop playing!
How Does Night Zookeeper Work?
To begin, an adult must set up the account. After choosing the free trial or a subscription, you can then add your student or child accounts. The system will automatically assign their usernames to them. Don’t worry, they are super fun and general names that don’t provide any personal details.
Once you have the child accounts set up, you can allow them to log in using the Child log-in page using their username and password. The child account password can be updated in the Parent Dashboard if needed.
Once your child logs in, they will be prompted to create a self-portrait using a painting application within the program. My girls loved the fact that their journey started with a fun art activity.
Then you’re introduced to the Night Zoo. The story follows the book series by Joshua Davidson. Although we hadn’t previously read the books, we picked up easily on story and the job of the Night Zookeeper by watching this short video.
The child is now a character in the story and must help save the Night Zoo animals from the Voids. This is achieved by earning Orbs, advancing their animals, and through short activities, games and writing.
From the child dashboard, the student can play games against other online players, visit the zoo, choose a writing project, watch TV lessons, read other students’ work and visit their messages.
Children choose their own path with Night Zookeeper, so everyone’s gameplay will look different. The goal is to help protect the Night Zoo and clear the fog over the Zoo brought in by the Voids. Since there isn’t a specific storyline to follow, the children can choose the activities they enjoy and work on powering-up their animals as they see fit.
I thought I would need to remind my girls that the main purpose of this program is to practice writing. With all of the fun games and ways to earn achievements, they are constantly starting new writing assignments on their own – no reminders from me are needed!
Game Examples and Walk Through
Due to the personalized experience that each child will have, gameplay is going to look different for each user. Here are just some of the activities and features that my girls use frequently while playing Night Zookeeper.
As you venture through the Night Zoo, you create, name and describe your very own zoo animals. This visual portion is one of my girls’ favorite activities in the game. You can also view the animals that other students have created on the platform which keeps their play fun and changing each day.
The animals are then incorporated into their gameplay throughout the site. These animals are used in writing assignments, to play games and even show up in lessons.
One of the fastest ways to power up the animals and help clear the Zoo is by choosing writing assignments. Sometimes the child will be prompted to start a new piece of writing. They can also choose to start writing on their own.
There are many different projects they can choose from:
- Free write
- Newspaper article
- Letter writing
- Persuasive writing
- Diary entry
- Upload your own work
Each of these projects has prompts to help guide them through their writing. They can choose to work independently or follow the prompts to complete their writing.
Once your child publishes their work, they can receive comments, suggestions and feedback from team members at the Night Zookeeper as well as other students. This has been an amazing confidence booster for the girls. The feedback is always positive yet encourages them to improve on their writing with suggestions or additional prompts.
There are dozens of games that focus on grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, parts of speech and sentence structure. Each game will allow the child to earn achievements and orbs, encouraging them to play over and over.
A few of the games are a bit tricky to understand at first. Many don’t include specific instructions on how to play so it’s a bit of a learning curve at first.
Once they have figured out how each game works though, they can continue to play through the levels, improving their skills as they go. I love the detail included at the beginning of each game which explains the topic they will be focusing on.
My Thoughts on Night Zookeeper
Overall, I can say hands down it’s one of the best online programs we have implemented into our homeschool routine. Writing was a tough hurdle to jump in our household so I was very skeptical that an online program would interest my kids.
I’ve found it difficult to convince the girls to edit and improve their writing pieces while using other programs.
With Night Zookeeper, the encouragement and feedback they receive has drastically increased their interest in writing. They are proactively looking for ways to improve their writing and get so excited when they achieve the additional challenges (like adding 2 adjectives to their writing, using an exclamation, or extending their piece by 20 more words).
Since they are working to keep the Zoo safe and save the animals, there is always a task or activity they will want to complete. This continuous story has really captivated the girls and demonstrated how fun and exciting writing can be.
There are plenty of features that I love about the platform:
- Read to me function on all prompts, activities and lessons
- Easy to follow writing prompts
- Encouragement to edit, add-to and enhance their writing
- Feedback from Night Zookeeper team members
- Ability to read and comment on other students’ work
- Constantly changing story as they progress through the Night Zoo
- Rich parent dashboard with details on accuracy, productivity and progress
- An online book log
We will continue to use Night Zookeeper daily in our homeschool routine. They are constantly adding new games and challenges – including a brand new feature where the students can write about popular topics and current events. I think the program is extremely robust and is more than sufficient to reinforce the importance of writing.
I’m thrilled to share that as a reader of Our Little Slice of Heaven, you can access a FREE 7 day trial plus 50% OFF the annual subscription price! That comes out to just $5.00 per month for 1 child. You can even add 2 more children for just $18/year if needed!
Be sure to give it a try using the free trial – this will give you and your children plenty of time to setup accounts, try out the program and know if Night Zookeeper is a good fit for you family!
Be sure to check out the book series Night Zookeeper by Joshua Davidson! After playing Night Zookeeper for a few days, we ventured onto Amazon to grab the books so we could be fully immersed in the Night Zoo! (If you have a Kindle Unlimited membership, all four books are available to read for free!)