Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaching Kids to Type

Learning to type correctly is an invaluable skill for anyone nowadays. With so much of our work, learning and leisure time centered around computers and the internet, being able to type fast and accurately is important.

I think the best way for kids to learn keyboarding skills is via games. There is software available for purchase in most computer stores, or you can access some games online.

Tux Typing features Tux, the Linux penguin. It's available as a free download for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. There are two games, Fish Cascade and Comet Zap and each comes graded from easy to hard. Games start with alphabet identification or finding the keys on your keyboard, and move on to practise fluency and accuracy.

Type for Gold is a game you don't need to download but can play online. Typing words you are given makes an athlete run faster. You need to wait a little until the ad disappears.

Dance Mat Typing is an offering from the BBC Online. I like that it starts with an explanation and teaches correct finger placement. Then it moves on slowly, emphasizing lots of drill. Kids might not find it as much fun, but it wraps practice up in an interactive package that's solidly based.

If your child wants to learn to type, games are a fun way to learn. Some kids can't see the wisdom of typing correctly, so it might be an idea to make a typing game something they do each day before they play a different game of choice. I believe it will pay dividends while children are students, and more so when they go for their first job.

(Image credit: klepas on Flickr)


  1. Planningqueen25 January, 2011

    Thanks for sharing these resources Susan. Touch typing is a great skill to have, but my kids need work on it.

  2. The Book Chook25 January, 2011

    Glad they're useful, Nic!

  3. This is really important. My husband can't type properly (and is too stubborn to learn). Computer skills were only just coming into vogue when we went to school. It makes typing research articles much slower for him.

    For me, there is something very satisfying about touch typing. And I do want my children to be able to touch type; I think it's an invaluable skill these days. I haven't touched on this at all at home yet but I probably should with Adelaide. She loves to type stories on the computer and I don't want her to fall into bad habits when it comes to typing. They do learn it at school but following up with some learning at home is always a good idea.

    Thanks for these links BC.

  4. The Book Chook25 January, 2011

    I was going really well with touch-typing lessons but I back-slid and now I've reverted to fast two finger hunt-and-pecking. Not sure I'm stubborn, more like lazy.

    Totally agree Kel, it's really easy to develop bad habits and best not to. I am living proof of that!

  5. Rebecca Newman25 January, 2011

    Brilliant. I've been thinking about starting my kids on touch typing, I am definitely checking out these resources. (Mr 7 wants to know if we can get a green keyboard. Do you think the green keyboard approach is 'make it so bright that it hurts their eyes if they look at their hands'?

  6. Thanks for the resources. I agree touch typing is an essential skill these days and definitely something I will encourage my boys to learn.

  7. The Book Chook25 January, 2011

    Definitely. I need one! Although I do a sort of keyboard look- jerk head up - screen check approach. I may be sedentary but my head gets a real work out.

  8. Thank you Book Chook! I have a few typing games saved for my children, but I love finding out about more. xxx :-D

  9. The Book Chook25 January, 2011

    I truly think it's one of those things that's easier learnt when young, Cat. Glad it helped!

  10. The Book Chook25 January, 2011

    That's excellent, Sarah, thanks for the feedback!

  11. Rebecca Newman26 January, 2011

    As befits a chook. :-)

  12. I agree, touch typing is such an important skill to learn nowadays. I am so thankful (now) that typing classes were compulsory at my (all girl) high school. It really makes things easier when typing out papers.

    Thank you for sharing these links :)

  13. The Book Chook30 January, 2011

    You're welcome Tracy - thanks for the feedback. I wish I'd been to a school that taught typing, even though I bet I would have whined at the time!

  14. I wonder if typing will be a necessary skill when students are into adult hood? I think about the direction that technology is heading and it seems that the trend is toward less input devices (keyboards and mice) and toward a touch interface. Students seem to gravitate naturally toward this technology and typing is beginning to look more like texting on these devices.
    That being said, I recognize that typing is an important skill for students to have now. I created this site (a collection of typing games) for my students: http://typing.weebly.com

  15. The Book Chook05 February, 2011

    Good point Kelly. Maybe typing will be like handwriting, not as used as other ways of data entry. Meanwhile, thanks so much for sharing the games in your link above!

  16. Have just found this - brilliant, thank you. I wish touch-typing was taught in school - but having these learning-through-play ideas, I'm sure I won't meet any opposition to it at home now.

  17. Anonymous20 May, 2012

    I'm a mom of 2 childrens...1 of each (boy and girl). They both can't type fast and so they cant finish there "projects"- my daughter is 11 and my son is 14. I keep on telling them to practice typing on a simple keyboard to help there skills. They NEVER listen....so if you know some sort of typing game PLZ TELL ME so i can get my children up to there skills for typing fast.

  18. @AnonymousThe ones I mention above are in game format, try the kids on those. I'll keep my eyes open for more for you.

  19. I teach now my son at http://www.ratatype.com/. Easy lessons and nice layout.


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