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Whether you have a child who fills a notebook each week with a new story, or one who prefers other activities and actively avoids pen and paper, it’s clear that of all the skills we pick up during childhood, knowing how to communicate effectively is one of the most important. This means that developing writing skills from a young age is critical for their future.
So how do you convince every child to love reading and writing, when there are so many other exciting games and activities they can participate in?
Night Zookeeper is the online learning platform that combines screen time with creativity and education. Its goal? To improve reading and writing and help even the most reluctant writers grow to love words. Plus, it offers a 7-day free trial if you don't want to commit just yet.
Go On A Trip To The Night Zoo
Sign up to Night Zookeeper's website and be introduced to the magical world of the Night Zoo, where your child can take part in lessons and tests disguised as writing projects, games and challenges to develop their creative writing skills. As they practice different types of writing, from storytelling and poetry, to reports and persuasive writing, they'll improve their spelling, grammar and punctuation.
We know that kids nowadays spend a lot of time on their screens, so why not make it a positive, educational experience?
When they log in they'll flex their artistic muscles and design their own avatar, which will show next to every piece of work they write. From there, they'll start playing games and following writing prompts to produce short pieces of work in line with their skill level.
Throughout the experience, the program uses text message-style prompts, which is familiar to children and makes the experience more intuitive. Characters will follow them throughout their experience on the platform, sending messages suggesting different tasks and even giving them feedback on their lessons as they go.
Kids will be fully engaged with inspiring story prompts and will be given the chance to create their own characters, fight against monsters and win points to climb up a leaderboard filled with an encouraging community of children from all over the world.
You should aim to use Night Zookeeper for at least 30 minutes each week, but the platform is engaging enough that it's worth spending a few hours if you can, as this will speed up the improvement of your child's reading and writing. If you just want to test it out first, a 7-day free trial is available.
My Child Doesn’t Like Writing, Will They Enjoy Night Zookeeper?
Absolutely! Night Zookeeper isn't just for the children who already enjoy writing; it's for those who haven't discovered their love for it yet too. It's not only a way to develop writing skills, but to inspire a newfound love for writing as well.
It's also great for struggling students who may find writing more difficult than others. Using engaging writing prompts and an interactive storytelling system, children will find themselves immersed in story creation and having fun without even realizing they're learning. Audio buttons are available to read content aloud on most pages, which is great for children with dyslexia who may need a bit of extra help.
If your child is stuck, prompts appear to help them out, and your child can decide whether they want to accept the offer or not. A prompt might suggest certain words to use, or it might start writing the sentence to help them get going.
With every piece of work written, your child receives immediate feedback in the form of comments from a Night Zookeeper tutor. A tutor might advise your child to change the structure of their sentence, or encourage them to use a new skill they've just learned. No negative feedback is ever given from these educators, and if your child submits a story in a challenge, comments from other users will always be positive too. Sometimes, the Night Zookeeper characters themselves will give feedback too, which adds to the interactive element. This encouraging, immediate feedback is great for motivating children to keep writing.
Kids are often incentive-driven and Night Zookeeper offers awards and competitions to win, so they'll be engaged and motivated to work towards a goal. Games and puzzles are a great way for children to pick up new skills and be shown how to implement them.
Night Zookeeper has helped more than half a million children improve their own writing skills already, so why not have your child join the zoo crew too.
I Have Children Of Different Ages, Can They All Use Night Zookeeper?
Yes, Night Zookeeper is aimed at children aged 6-12, so if your kids are within that range they'll be able to enjoy it fully. When you sign up you'll input their age(s) so that the platform can adapt, showing the right challenges, lessons and level of vocabulary for their age group and skill level. Generally, you can expect engaging vocabulary throughout, without it feeling patronizing.
You don't have to set up different accounts for multiple children; you can add up to three children to your account and the price will change accordingly.
How Is Night Zookeeper Different From Other Online Writing Programs?
It's great to use as a supplementary educational activity at home but has also been successfully used in schools. It was developed by experienced educators and offers lessons in line with the Key Stage 1 and 2 curriculums in the UK, or approximately Grades 1 to 6 in the US.
Other programs may only focus on singular games and challenges, whereas with Night Zookeeper your child builds an entire world and walks through it as they learn. We see how much children enjoy playing a character in video games, and Night Zookeeper is no different. They'll love seeing their characters travel through the Night Zoo and follow the stories they've built.
The platform itself is heavily moderated, so you can be comfortable that your child is learning in a safe space. Comments are moderated, all writing is scanned to make sure it's appropriate, and photos can't be uploaded. There's a teacher/parent dashboard and a student/child dashboard too, so you can watch how your child progresses as they move through the online program. You can change age levels, view comments, see your child's work, see their achievements and if you need to, you can also view the percentage grades, though focusing on numbers and grades isn't encouraged on the platform.
Night Zookeeper's focus is on cultivating a fun, healthy relationship with the language arts and encouraging children to use their imagination.
How Much Does Night Zookeeper Cost?
Night Zookeeper offers a 7-day free trial, which means you can try it out before you commit to one of the three plans. If you fall in love with the platform after your trial, you can purchase a year’s subscription at 50% off. You have access to an entire year of Night Zookeeper for only $59.99 (the equivalent to $4.99 a month).
You can also buy a 3-month subscription at $33.99, the equivalent of $11.33 per month (or £26.99, at £9 per month), or pay for one month’s subscription for $12.99 (£9.99).
What Else Does Night Zookeeper Offer?
After your child has discovered their love for reading and writing, why not buy them the Night Zookeeper book series? It's set in a classic adventure book style but what's unique about it is that every book in the series contains ideas and elements contributed on the Night Zookeeper platform by fellow young writers. Children are encouraged to create, use their imagination and express themselves, and by the end of each story they'll want to start writing their own.