Night Zookeeper is a different kind of children’s website. There’s no reviews, nursery rhymes or child stars earning millions from your kids. Instead there’s a whole wealth of creativity for your child to discover, from drawing their own magical creatures to uncovering magical lands. Night Zookeeper reminds me of the books I had as a child, where you made a decision and went off down a path, not knowing what was to come. There’s something nostalgic about it, a hark back to the good old days in some way, and you’ll certainly be happy with your child choosing to play on it.
The concept behind Night Zookeeper comes from founders Joshua Davidson and Paul Hutson, who sought to create a website that encouraged creativity. Joshua says:
The website had been an instant success, winning multiple awards and being used widely in primary schools and homes in over forty countries. There’s also a range of books available to accompany the website and an animated series on Sky.
Depending on the age of the child you may need to help them out with the website. My son is 6.5 and the first time we used it I sat with him, both to help navigate and read the instructions. Once he got going though, he was quite independent with it and we found that it was great extra reading practice. The overall premise is that your child is the Night Zookeeper of a magical zoo, where the animals come from your child’s imagination. But actually it’s so much more than that, with loads of games to play and different things to draw and write about. The drawing function is of a similar level to other apps but my son was able to achieve a good result, and he was really excited to see the creatures created by other users.
I have to admit I was a bit cynical to start with; my son is used to fast paced and ever changing games and videos, but he took to Night Zookeeper really quickly. For us it is an website that we will use together, but I’m much happier doing that than with some others! There’s no annoying repetition or music that grates on you, and you have the satisfaction of creating your own characters. He also really liked the fact that there were programmes and books with the same theme. I’m pleased to have found something that I can see a long term future for!
You can try Night Zookeeper on a seven day free trial plus there are different subscriptions available.