Before you read on, please note that I was not paid or given any discount to write this review on the Night Zookeeper. This review is solely based on my opinion and user experience.
I am always on the lookout for resources that help with my son’s writing. Since being on lockdown it’s been even more crucial to keep his enthusiasm going when it comes to writing. My nine year old son will admit that writing is not his favourite subject and that he’ll choose Maths over writing any day!
What is the Night Zookeeper?
My Facebook Newsfeed kept on showing me an ad for the the Night Zookeeper so I finally signed-up for the 7 day trial. What is it?
It’s an interactive platform, created by a teacher, to inspire children to write stories, descriptions, poems, facts, the list goes on! Aimed at children aged 6-12, it’s tablet friendly and can be accessed on laptops and computers.
There are also games that help children to develop their reading and spelling skills. Writing comes to life by children being able to draw and create their own animals as part of the Night Zookeeper.
Once I signed up, which was very easy and quick to do, it gave me a Username for my son to use. Unfortunately, he didn’t like the name (which I knew immediately upon seeing it!) I wrote a quick email to their support and they quickly responded with an email to say that I could change it which I did so I was impressed straight away with their level of support.
How Did My Son Find Using It?
When I showed The Night Zookeeper to my son, he was instantly blown away and I was happy as he’s not easy to please! I followed the parent guide which was available to download straight after signing up. My son came up with a username, then was immediately prompted to create his avatar and his animal.
Next, he had to write a description of his animal and once finished this was saved and ‘submitted’ to a tutor who marked the work and gave feedback, which included any grammar that was missed and suggestions on how to improve it.
My son has been using the program for almost a week, not everyday, but most days and it’s never a struggle to get him to write. Initially, I had to help him navigate the different areas and it was useful being able to refer back to the parent guide.
So far, he has written a character description, answered some comprehension questions on bird migration, completed a lesson on National Tea Day, read poems from other children within the Night Zookeeper community and played lots of fun spelling games. He is looking forwarding to ‘free’ writing where he gets to let loose his creativity and write a story of his own.
Everytime he completes a piece of writing, he has the option to save as a draft and come back to it or submit for one of the teachers to review.
My Final Thoughts
Would I recommend it? In short, yes! I’ve been amazed at how well my son has received it and how enthused he is to now write. He’s 9, so is proficient enough with using the laptop/computer. I think it works well as it gives children the opportunity to revise and edit their work as they type, a skill some can struggle with when they’re writing.
I do think younger children may find it a struggle and more frustrating if they’re not so familiar using the keyboard/mouse and you’d probably need to support them more when completing their tasks.
I have now fully subscribed to a year’s membership and was very happy to benefit for the 52% discount they were currently offering on all levels of subscription.
If you think you’re child would like to use this fun learning resource then I have a referral code for you to use which means you and I both get 5% credited to both accounts.
Are There Any Free Resources To Use?
Yes, there’s a free Creative Writing Resource Pack to use when you sign-up to their newsletter.
*Please note this is an independent review based on my own and my son’s usage and opinion of this learning platform.