App Name: Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch
Developer: Wonky Star
Recommended Age: 5-10
Description: This is an app which encourages children to use their imagination and think creatively to solve a variety of missions. Users are first introduced to the night zookeeper and the idea that the zoo and the animals within it become magical at night. There are two chapters, each with 11 missions to take care of or help the animals in various ways. There are two short narrated introduction videos which set up the story and introduce users to the interface. The series of missions is set up in an interactive storytelling format, and there is also a drawing tool for users to freely draw their own images.
Skills: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, storytelling, drawing, reading, writing.
Curriculum connections: Language Arts, Art
My thoughts: I enjoy the way that the missions are presented in a way which gently guides creative expression. Children are encouraged to think outside the box, and the prompts could help them extend their creative thinking and take risks in a safe environment without fear of making mistakes or looking for the “right” answer. However, although the app presents great opportunities for imagination and creativity, young users would need support using it as the prompts and instructions for each mission are not read out loud.
Ideas for use: This app would best be used individually, but could inspire discussion or writing prompts after students complete a mission. It would also be interesting to have students compare their solutions to a mission and discuss how they came up with their solution. Using the app in this way may be best suited to classrooms with one-to-one devices as the app does not have an option for more than one user profile.