Entering the world of the Night Zoo, children are transported with only the limits of their imaginations. The Night Zookeeper is an online interactive writing tool which goes alongside a series of fun and exciting story books. Children aged 6-11 can develop their writing, reading and creative thinking skills all while enjoying an exciting immersive experience.
As a blogger, inspiring my children to love to write is important. It wasn’t until I hit 25 that I really found my passion for writing and I was then years behind on the skills I need to tell stories and write posts in a way that would engage my audience. I want my children to enjoy writing, to create stories and to have an imagination thats full of adventure!
Night Zookeeper Review
Reading and writing is a hot topic in the home ed community. Many home ed children aren’t pushed to read young like they would in schools and instead left to learn at their own pace. Reading age is around 7 years old and although many children can read CVC words before this, they cannot understand the whole sentence or story they are reading.
Kairi is 6 and Naminé is 4, they can both confidently read CVC words and Kairi can read sentences, she is learning to understand what has been read, but this is a skill that takes time. When I first logged onto the Night Zoo Keeper to look around, I was a little worried that not being able to comprehend what she had read would cause a problem, I didn’t need to be and here’s why!
Teaching with the Night Zookeeper
We started off by logging onto the Night Zoo keeper (nightzookeeper.com) and straight away, the girls were engaged as they had to design themselves as a Night Zoo Keeper. The drawing on the Night Zookeeper site is similar to the paint application on a computer with a few minor differences, within seconds both the girls had picked up how to create themselves and the finished look was fantastic!
As we’ve played with paint only a handful of times before, I was really impressed in how well this activity went and I love how engaged this activity had them in the programme already, start them off with writing and it would have likely been another story! This site is really made for kids.
The girls were then shown a (very catchy!) video. All about the Night Zoo and how it needs you to be the New Night Zookeeper. At this point we hadn’t read the books, so this video was perfectly timed and really helped us understand what we needed to do.
Next up the girls had to start writing, they created an animal and started to answer questions about it. Where does it live? Who lives with it? What is its habitat like? What does it look like? These questions were great prompts and made the girls really think about what they were writing.
Rather than just writing ‘this is cat’ Kairi created a whole report. The prompts reminded her to use capital letters for starting sentences and names and checked that she had a full stop, question mark or exclamation point at the end of a sentence.
Spelling wasn’t an issue either, Kairi could increase her skills without the worry that she was spelling the words wrong. I absolutely love this about Night Zoo Keeper, not correcting every mistake she made meant she stayed interested and wanted to continue writing.
This is her report and a picture of ‘Cat’ which she made:
My Animal Report
Cat can go invisibl and then sopre jump. They use their power a nit. Not that i no of.
Cat lives in Cat street. The most interesting object in Cats home is her hedfones. You can find her on the ground.
Once the report was formulated from the answers to her questions, she has the chance to add more to it to earn more ‘orbs’. Kairi really enjoyed doing the report and has asked to do many more since. She now has quite a few animals in her zoo and loves the fact you can share them with others too!
Tip: If you child can’t read yet, install a read aloud plugin onto Google Chrome, this will allow the system to read the text to them so they can still have a go at the activities alone.
Night Zookeeper Story
The girls don’t usually sit for very long when it comes to reading, unless it’s a book they are really interested in, complete with lots of pictures! So we started on the book, I read the first chapter and the girls loved it! We all wanted to know more about Will and his granny, what was going to happen at school and so many other questions.
Reading 1 chapter at a time gave us time to explore ideas about what we thought would happen next in the story, it was also a good prompt to read the book and then head onto the site to start creating more animals.
We finished the book within a week because we were all (including me!) very interested in what happened. As soon as we were finished both girls asked if we could get the next one, so we are very excited to continue following Will thought the Night Zoo.
Night Zookeeper Resources
As well as the online site and the books, I noticed there are other parts to the Night Zookeeper collection which we can’t wait to get started on. There are games, a TV series, bags, posters and a variety of printable teaching resources. Items in the shop currently start from just 50p for a printable resource and I can’t wait to get stuck into Sam’s September of Skills with the girls.
Overall we absolutely loved the Night Zoo Keeper, the story is engaging the site is packed full of fun and learning and the ability to let your child’s imagination run wild is priceless.
I love how fast it helped Kairi to pick up full stops and capital letters and Kairi loves the individual feedback she gets on everything she creates!
We will be continuing with out Night Zookeeper journey, so don’t forget to check out our Instagram to see updates of what the girls have been writing.
Want to get the Night Zoo Keeper for your child? Use this 30% off code: lovewriting
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