Updated: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 6:20am

School holiday saviour: Education app Night Zookeeper unlocks children’s creativity with magical online quests

School holiday saviour: Education app Night Zookeeper unlocks children’s creativity with magical online quests

By Helen Le Caplain

As the summer holidays approach parents will soon be breaking out in a cold sweat at the prospect of entertaining their little darlings for six weeks.

The unreliable Mancunian climate trips could mean that trips to the seaside or park may be postponed or, worst case scenario, cancelled.

So if you’re kept under house arrest day after day how on earth can you keep excitable children entertained without resorting to cartoon marathons or mindless computer games?

The team behind award-winning educational game Night Zookeeper could solve that problem as they provide an online experience, giving children a chance to immerse themselves in a magical world that stimulates their imagination and unleashes their creativity.

Co-founder Paul Hutson, from Greater Manchester, said: “Our mission is to develop an online platform rich in possibilities, which enables children to express their creativity.

“We want to turn children into creators of online content rather than simply consumers.”

This is no mind-numbing digital babysitter, the Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch app encourages parents to play the game along with their children to improve literacy skills and unlock their creative potential together.

The Night Zookeeper story was written eight years ago by founder and creator Joshua Davidson during his time in Melbourne, when he noticed the zoo was open to the public at night.

He began wondering what kind of magical adventures these animals could get up to when the sun went down.

After reading the story co-founder and primary school teacher Paul Hutson invited Joshua into his school to run a project with the students, which really excited and motivated them.

It was during this first project that the idea of transforming the premise of the story into a business began.

From very small beginnings the team has now racked up an impressive number of accolades and investors including telecommunications giant Telefónica and entrepreneur champions Ascension Media, Angel investors and Big Venture Challenge.

“There have been so many things for the team to be proud of so far, from winning start-up business competitions to winning a place on the Big Venture Challenge,” explained Paul.

“However I know the team are never happier than when they read feedback from children, teachers and parents stating how much they have enjoyed the Night Zookeeper experience.” 

Children can sink their teeth into the The Teleporting Torch  challenges which encourage children to draw pictures and write short stories to accompany them.

The 100 Word Challenge is a weekly writing competition during which children are given a prompt which inspires them to creative a fantastical fictional tale.


TEAM: Joshua Davidson, Mathieu Triay, Simon Burman, Paul Hutson

Paul added: “Our plan is grow Night Zookeeper's online and offline presence – we want to develop and build products which engage millions of children around the world in creative activities on a daily basis.

“We are very excited about the scope of the project and have some wonderful products in the pipeline.”

So if the weather does turn nasty once the schools break for summer, rest assured that you have a giant digital weapon in your arsenal to entertain and inspire young minds.

For more information about Night Zookeeper and its latest app visit http://www.nightzookeeper.com/

The app is free until Friday June 14

App image courtesy of EdReach via YouTube, with thanks

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