Make Creative Writing Engaging and Magical!
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Online creative writing can be both engaging and magical with a language arts program that knows just how to get reluctant writers from staring at a blank page to actively writing in ways they never have before! Check out how games and imagination bring writing, grammar, and spelling to life with Night Zookeeper!
*Disclosure: I was asked for an honest review of Night Zookeeper. I was compensated for my time. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only choose to share resources that I would use with my own family and those that I believe other families will enjoy and benefit from.
Homeschooling Reluctant Writers
For many children writing is a dreaded chore, while for others, it can be downright painful. These are the kiddos that need an extra boost of confidence and fun. Children need to see how magical writing can be and how expressing our thoughts are not a cause for fear or anxiety but a release of reactivity and imagination.
My daughter LOVES copywork and coming up with fanciful stories for me to scribe for her. She’ll even draw pictures to go along with her stories! But she isn’t physically writing stories on her own yet. Of course, she’d much rather be doing her arts and crafts than writing. What creative 8-year-old wouldn’t?
My son has been a reluctant writer from day one. He tends to stare at the page blankly before throwing his hands up in the air and saying, “I don’t know what to write!”
That’s been a hard pill for me to swallow because this kid is brilliant! But he struggles with getting his thoughts onto paper. This year we are focussing heavily on his writing skills while still trying to keep it fun without the overwhelm.
So I’m always looking for new and exciting resources to help my son and daughter on their writing journeys. I recently discovered Night Zookeeper and thought it could be an excellent addition to our homeschool writing endeavors.
Online Creative Writing Language Arts Curriculum
Night Zookeeper is an award-winning creative writing platform that helps improve the writing skills of 5-12+ year olds. But it’s so much more than that!
There are plenty of reading and writing programs available for kids. And for many, these programs work just fine. But for other children, especially reluctant writers , struggling readers , or kids who need extra help in the language arts department, Night Zookeeper is a gamechanger because it is a game-based language arts curriculum that sparks imagination and creativity!
Game-Based Homeschool Writing
With Night Zookeeper , kids draw magical zoo animals that go on their interactive journey through the Night Zoo. That’s right; there is a fun drawing aspect to this online creative writing curriculum ! Perfect for my daughter, who loves to draw, and fun for my son too! The Night Zoo is filled with some of the most magical and bizarre animals you’ve ever seen!
Your kids will help the zookeeper, Will, and his friends, as they try to protect the zoo from the evil Lord Nulth and his robotic monsters called the Voids. They are trying to steal the Night Zoo’s colors. In return for looking after the animals and completing activities, your children will collect orbs. Orbs help you to power up or they can be cashed in to buy new animals to add to the zoo!
With over 1,000 different learning games and activities, your children will practice grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and sentence structure! I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it again, games are a fantastic way to enhance learning in your homeschool! Night Zookeeper hits the ball out of the park with this one!
Night Zookeeper Parental Controls and Information
To get all of the important information for parents, download the Night Zookeeper Parent Guide. There you’ll find details about how to get started, saving your child’s work, the zoo menu guide, information about challenges and competitions, how to set up and use the parent dashboard, privacy settings, and more!
Here are a few things I personally love about my kids using Night Zookeeper:
- From the parent dashboard, I can monitor my children’s writing, achievements, and feedback from their tutors.
- I LOVE that this is a SAFE and MONITORED environment with no ads. No photos can be uploaded either. Instead, kids draw their own fun avatars as their profile pictures.
- There is a communal aspect in which kids can compete with other kids worldwide with an online writing competition!
- Kids can also comment on each other’s work. Comments are strictly monitored.
- These competitions offer real prizes like books and card games!
- Future authors can also compete to have their work published in the Night Zookeeper books!
Online Creative Writing with Night Zookeeper for Older Kids
Night Zookeeper is geared toward 5-12-year-olds. So, would it work for 13 and 14-year-olds?
You know your kiddos best. However, I saw progress in my reluctant 14-year-olds writing abilities. My son enjoys the program and requests it every morning. He is presented with writing topics and writing prompts in small bite-sized chunks. After just three days, he had already written three different drafts culminating in over 200 words.
He has written about his animal creation, the Fri Bird, his favorite books, and a news report! After a week, he had seven submitted projects and over 500 words. The same kid that struggles to get words onto a page is writing without my nagging or prodding!
That’s progress, folks!
Benefits Night Zookeepers Online Creative Writing
The online creative writing benefits of Night Zookeeper are vast and far-reaching.
- Improved core writing skills
- Creative drawing and the creation of zoo animals are so much fun.
- FREE monthly printables that follow the online gameplay.
- Game-based interactive spelling games, and grammar lessons
- Children are encouraged to explore many different forms of writing , including stories about magical animals, recipes, newspaper articles, persuasive reports, poetry, and letter writing.
- Weekly Lessons that incorporate interactive video elements and games to teach your children key skills.
- Online writingcompetitions with kids from around the world are a fun bonus.
- Positive feedback from a dedicated team of tutors with encouragement for your kids on improving their writing is super helpful.
- Publishing opportunities for kids in Night Zookeeper books is an exciting possibility.
Engaging Online Creative Writing with Night Zookeeper
I am thoroughly impressed with Night Zookeeper! It could be used as the sole language arts curriculum for homeschoolers because it covers reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. We used it for about 30 minutes each day per kid. Though it is said that only 30 minutes per week to a few hours per week will suffice. You could also use Night Zookeeper as a supplement to your current program because it will help your kids build on their literacy skills in such a delightfully fun way.
Some Reasons I Think Night Zookeeper Is a Fantastic Resource for Homeschoolers:
- Short writing challenges take the overwhelm out of putting words onto paper.
- It sparks the imagination with its gamified writing process.
- Reluctant writers will find this program helps boost their confidence while providing them with highly engaging tools and encouragement to help them write their thoughts and ideas down.
Night Zookeeper Special Offer
Be sure to check out this unique online creative writing resource for your reluctant writers! Right now, Night ZooKeeper is available at $59.99 for the year for a single child subscription and $77.99 for 2-3 children. (NOTE: This offer may have ended. Please check with Night Zookeeper for current pricing information.)
More children can be added at a bespoke price.
People who sign up get a free 7-day trial and then get 50% off on the yearly subscription.
Magical creative writing
Here you’ll find information about how to write fantasy, with advice on the dos and don’ts of creating magical worlds. This is just one of many pages on this website about creative writing techniques. At the bottom, you’ll find links to related pages about how to write a novel, as well as the chance to take free creative writing lessons.
How to write fantasy – what’s a fantasy novel?
Fantasy is a genre or category of fiction that is about things that are generally considered to be impossible. This includes magic, and magical creatures such as elves, dragons, and unicorns (the tooth fairy is, of course, real). Fantasy is often based on myths, legends, and folklore, and frequently includes elements from the Middle Ages. It tends to be action-packed, including quests or adventures. A conflict between good and evil is a common subject in fantasy.
How to write fantasy – things you should do:
- Read a lot of fantasy fiction. Learn about the traditions of the fantasy genre.
- Research the folklore and traditions related to the magical elements you plan to use in your story.
- If you are setting your story in medieval times or using elements from those times, research medieval life in the real world. Any innovations or changes you make to reality should be based on your informed artistic decision, not just a lack of knowledge. If you have a sword that doesn’t work like a real sword because it is magic, you can let readers know how and why, and that’s fine. If you have a sword that doesn’t work like a real one because you haven’t got a clue about swords, you might risk confusing your readers or losing their trust.
- Plan your magical worlds before you start, figure out all of the details, and get to know them as well as your own neighborhood. This will help you write about them more naturally and make them more real for your reader. It will also help you avoid getting into a mess where the pieces of your magical world don’t fit logically together.
- Figure out the rules of any kind of magic in your book. The magic has to have some kind of limits. If your hero(ine) or villain can do anything s/he wants, then the story will be over before it starts — there is no chance for a struggle or suspense. Let readers know what the important rules are, and follow them.
- Show your magical world in detail. Besides your book, where will readers have the chance to meet magical creatures or see magic in action? Make them feel like they’re there. Click here for tips on writing strong descriptions.
- Let your hero(ine) conquer obstacles and solve problems based on his or her own abilities, instead of events outside your character’s control.
How to write fantasy – things you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t feel that you have to tell readers everything you know about your characters and your magical worlds. Even though you’ll do a lot of planning before you start, there’s no need to put every detail in the book. All that preparation will make your worlds real to the reader because it lets you choose the right details to include.
- Don’t forget that you can give your reader information by “showing” instead of “telling.” Read more about that here.
- Don’t fudge or break your own magical rules. If you do this, readers will feel cheated. And they will no longer trust what you’ve told them or shown them about the worlds you’ve created. The story will stop feeling real to them.
- Don’t copy stories, settings, characters from other fantasy authors. Although fantasy often uses elements from very old traditions, you should try to do something new with them. No one needs another Lord of the Rings spin-off. Use your imagination to create a magical universe that has never been seen before.
- Don’t lose track of the story. It’s fun to create worlds with their own histories, geography, customs, creatures and magical rules, but don’t get so caught up in those details that you forget to have anything happen. Invent a main character or characters, give them a goal or a problem, throw in some complications, and you’re on your way.
Photo credit: Cederic X. @ Unsplash
How to write fantasy – what next?
to brush up on plot development techniques.
to read about how to write fantasy novel outlines.
to read more about how to write fantasy on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association website.
for a list of CWN pages about different types of novels and novel writing tips.
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magic – quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Magic will only ever prove itself to the pure of heart, to show that it guides, protects and comes as willing companion. For those who cannot yet make pure wishes, those whom have become lost to some degree, it is better left that way until they can. Moreover, pure ones, who want to help so much and teach others how to see their own beauty, mission and purpose. trust the magic to come to them if and when it is their time. Until then, they will never believe, and that’s okay.
I experience magic everyday because I am an angel witch. I cannot imagine being as I was before the transition. The sense of magic, the company of the angels and the divine, it is a form of company. Yet more than that, this kind of magic that comes with purity, emotional generosity, unconditional loving and faith – it is a magic everyone can learn. Anyone can become an angel witch, though the training program is rigorous and challenging. Being in the flow of creation is a form of pain and you have to stay in it for the sake of others. If your motivation isn’t right, the flow won’t hold you in. That’s the way it is. That is how the art of magic, the magic of art, comes to us.
The good witch or wizard is a conduit for the divine spirit, the magic not belonging to them yet to the creator of the universe. In such a way, through avoiding power, they remain pure of heart. Thus good magic and miracles are the same thing.
If you take on pain for the love of the self and others, to improve the world, to learn the ways of heroes, then you earn magic. The universe will bring magic to your soul and begin to bring the coincidences that will be as miracles to others – or the most amazing luck they’ve ever seen. The universe needs those who come to pain by climbing these mountains through empathy and determination, picking their path with intelligence. Those who seek harm or fall into pits for the sake of asking others to rescue them, they will never find the magic. For them, it is a fiction. For the heroes it is their reality, one only ever seen or experienced by others as heroic as they.
Some places are magic; it’s a thing you feel in the soul as much as the eyes. The valley was the kind of green that sets free the child self, inviting you to join the infinite horizon of your soul.
They say that any technology sufficiently advanced looks like magic, and you see, there is the clue to the art of magic. it’s also a science, a technology. It can be used for the betterment of mankind, to promote our evolution, or to bring devastation upon us all. Those who practice the dark arts use it for power and control, for abuse and for the pleasure they feel in causing pain and death. It is for the most parts a linguistical method, hence the “spells” in literature, the sense that it is done with words. because for the most part, it is. It is often combined with fear and sometimes drugs. It works because of the way the brain is wired with words and images.
Magic can be used to make a person forget experiences, to not see what is right in front of them and to control behaviour. With words you can be paralysed or have your body controlled. yet it is possible to fight your way out of it, to resist the “spell” and I’m living proof of that. I’m the one who was never supposed to survive. For the ones that fight the spells, who emerge with memories that were supposed to be erased, there will be the drugs to induce insanity and the watchers to ensure you are living as you ought to, that even if you have memories you are too intimidated to tell them. Magic is a science and an art, it uses the entire brain. so be both too, be a scientist and an artist, use positive phrasing, be kind with your words. then the ones who aren’t will stand out, or else they’ll have to hide and be reduced in the ways they harm our world. And please remember, there are the good magicians too, the ones who will share their abilities and teach you how it works. So please, dear muggles, wake up, because we’re trying with every ounce of strength we have to save you.
We good magicians work with and for the positive universal force, we are helped by love and made well by love. The dark arts magicians are helped by the negative force and they are poisoned by love, feeding off pain.
Okay, okay. This is the deal as we are. The Earth matrix is going in for a reboot and upgrade based on current trajectories. The caveat is that you must maintain or improve your navigation to planetary and social health. You must show competence in caring for your home world and one another. So, re-boot yourselves, start the work of fixing your world, she is beautiful, such a shame she got in this state in the first place. We remain monitoring with our AI systems and will alert the Ancient of Days if there are any significant deviations. The “magic” of our technology should become less obvious yet we remain in close contact with key players for obvious reasons of support and protection. You, however, owe that to them too and we expect to see that situation improve. Calibrations are looking good. We are go for auto-pilot mode.