"Zoo Wild" is a free game found on Google Play. I love the way it teaches conservation to budding young scientists (ages 3 - 10) and fosters a love of nature and the environment. This project has been a labor of love for Clint Clark and his entire family. Below, Clint describes the game and how its development has impacted his family.
When my son was born, my wife and I desired to be parents that empowered our children, built empathy and encouraged creativity. This has sent us on quite a wild adventure which has led to our latest creation Zoo Wild, a free mobile game on Google Play.
As parents, we are put off by the amount of ads and purchases in kids mobile games and vowed not just to make a free game, but one without ads and purchases. Not just that, but we desired to have learning embedded amongst all the wild fun. If you teach any kids between ages 3-10 or have children of your own, install it and join in on our adventure.
We desired to set our animal game apart from the other million or so that have been made.
- First, we opted for realistic depictions of the species. Not smiley, big-eyed animals.
- Second, we focus on learning facts about the species including their classifications, diets, the world regions in which they live, and most importantly their conservation status –- how endangered they are.
- Third, we decided to create five different “mini-games” as opposed to one play style to keep kids engaged that build a variety of skills. There are opportunities to learn and apply their knowledge.
- Fourth, we found a tremendous lady to provide narration for the game so pre-readers can still play and learn.
- Fifth, we wanted to include more species than just the familiar favorites that are included in every zoo, animal book, bedspread and backpack.
We have taught our children a great deal about endangered species and conservation and we’ve found it is a tremendous empathy builder. The idea that an animal might die and not exist anymore, really hits kids. We share how conservation efforts are made and together we’ve learned about deforestation, pollution, global warming, poaching. All before they went to kindergarten.
In addition to the mobile game, my wife has built hundreds of resources around each species that are available on TPT. (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Zoo-Wild). We also had some fun and Kickstarted an animal conservation card game, Zoo Webs.
All the while, we’ve included our kids through the entire process so they can learn they can make a difference for animals and our environment. Our kids choose all of the species, critique the art, look up the facts and decide where to donate the profit. They eagerly await choosing the next animal.
We hope our game can help some kiddos learn about different species, about conservation and perhaps activate a passion for the next generation of zookeepers, wildlife biologists and environmental activists!