Night Zoo Keeper: Encouraging Creativity, Imagination, and Vocabulary in Children

*disclaimer - this is a sponsored post which in no way affects my review of the product*

When I was asked if I'd like to try out Night Zoo Keeper as a programme which encourages creative writing in children, I jumped at the chance.

Ariana is already a creative soul—with an author and a film maker as parents it's not surprising. So having a programme that encourages creativity, imagination, and vocabulary in children was perfect, as long as it could capture her attention for long enough.

And it did!

Night Zoo Keeper: Encouraging Creativity, Imagination, and Vocabulary in Children

About Night Zoo Keeper
Night Zoo Keeper is an online, interactive tool for children. The idea is that it encourages children to be better readers, writers, and creative thinkers. And it does this by immersing them in a world that they can build. There is a structure to the world in the form of the Night Zoo which makes it a safe space for the children to play.
The creativity and imagination comes with the development of characters, both visually and narratively. The children draw their own characters, give them names, traits, homes, and stories. There are activities to complete and games to play.
There is also a set of books to go with the Night Zoo Keeper which are aimed at middle grade readers. They're all about the Night Zoo and its amazing creatures. Great Fun!
How We Got On
The Night Zoo Keeper starts the children off with a short video and very catchy song! Ariana was hooked immediately. It then takes them straight into the interactive zoo. I thought this was done very well, with short snippets, enough to hold attention and create an air of intrigue.
Then the journey continues by asking the children to create themselves as a zookeeper. This is such a good idea as it gives the creator control over their avatar. And it was easy to execute with an application very much like the old Paint tool.
The next step was to create a creature that lives in the zoo. This was Ariana's Blackbird Rainbow.
What really interested me about this was how immersed Ariana was when designing her bird. I think a lot of that was to do with the simplicity of the drawing tool. So much these days is complex, loud, intricate gaming that peeling it back to this kind of application works (not to sound like an old person!)
With the animal designed, next was to build the world it lives in. This was where the creative writing came into play. Ariana was asked questions and had to answer them by typing on the keypad. She was given prompts, and tips, and even reminded about grammar and punctuation—such a great feature.
The more questions she was asked, the bigger the world became; until Blackbird Rainbow was a special species of bird who worked as an animal feeder at the zoo because she could fly over the cages and drop the feed from a safe distance.
All of the characters that the child creates are kept in the child's own zoo. They can return when they feel like it and pick up the story from there.
Night Zoo Keeper Encouraging creativity, imagination, and vocabulary in childrenBut as well as the main story, there are a plethora of other creative things to do to encourage imagination and vocabulary. There are games to encourage quick fire thinking and sentence building, free writing and writing with prompts, lessons to join in with, and so much more. Here's a look at Ariana's home screen.

What's Our Verdict?
I asked Ariana how she felt about the Night Zoo Keeper and she gave it a resounding thumbs up. She absolutely loves Blackbird Rainbow and was thrilled to get a report on how well she'd done with her story telling. The collection of orbs (top right on her home screen) is a clever way to incentivise the writing and open up new worlds, but actually I didn't find Ariana needed any incentives to want to read and write with this programme.
I would highly recommend it to friends who want to encourage creativity and imagination in their children. But also to those who just want to assist with reading and writing. It's a fabulous tool.
There's also a shop where you can buy t-shirts, and backpacks, and printouts. And what I like about this is the link to the shop is quite a small button at the top of the page so the children playing won't necessarily see it and hound their parents to buy things!
What's Next?
Would you like to try Night Zoo Keeper for yourself?
Here's a 30% discount code for you to use: lovewriting
We're off to design a guitar wielding seahorse who lives at the bottom of the ocean.

1 comment

  1. Ariana's Blackbird Rainbow looks awesome! I love all the little prompts like reminding them to use capital letters! This is totally something that would have been amazing for me as a child.