Lessons & Drills
Best Typing Software for Kids
Choosing the Typing Software for Kids
We spent about 10 hours evaluating seven typing programs for kids, and even though our hands got a little sore, we also had a lot of fun! The best typing software teaches children correct finger-to-key movement across the entire keyboard and includes a variety of material to keep them motivated while they learn. To us, that means Typing Instructor for Kids was our pick for best overall because it takes your child on an adventure while simultaneously teaching them accurate and fast typing.
If you’re looking for the most affordable option, we recommend Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz. This software is available via digital download or as a CD and includes more than 300 lessons and 10 games so your child won’t get bored. The fun, modern design was appealing even to us old fogies, as typing tutors Mavis and Dex lead us through the world of finger placement, speed and accuracy drills. All under the guise of fun, of course!
All the Right Type 4 is our best choice for classroom use because of its fun design and monthly subscription payment plan. This software takes young typists to a futuristic campus and teaches typing skills through engaging games and lessons. The monthly subscription means you won't be paying for a product you aren't using during the summer months, and users play it online, so there's no need to download any software.
Lessons & Drills
No matter the target age, typing software for kids should start with the basics of proper finger placement and movement. The best software begins with lessons focusing on individual fingers and each hand. After your children learn proper finger placement, the remaining lessons will boost their accuracy and speed. Keyboarding drills, timed typing tests and engaging, multi-level typing games all reinforce the skills taught in each lesson.
The best lessons move gradually by focusing on a few keys at a time and build to letter chains, words and sentences. Beginning to learn keyboarding can be a slow process, so it's important for software to have fun games to keep kids typing and practicing their new skills. The best software teaches children about good posture and proper hand and wrist positions while typing. This can help avoid future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome and various neck and back ailments.
As a parent, you know your children better than any software, which is why the best programs allow you to customize lessons. You can customize features such as challenge levels, words-per-minute (WPM) goals, timed lessons and typing tests. That way, you can adjust what your child focuses on and how fast he or she progresses through the program. Some kids keyboarding programs let you create custom practice material that allows children to write their own stories or practice with text from their favorite books. Features like this make learning easier and encourage your child to interact with the software. Other engaging features include audio dictation, keystroke sounds and virtual guide hands over the keyboard.
We also looked at the number of times you can download the program, something that affects its value. Our best pick, Typing Instructor for Kids, can be shared or resued on up to five computers with different users, But you can get the best value out of Mavis Beacon KeyBoarding Kidz, with its whooping 20+ downloads. Be way of software that can only be used on one computer, especially if you need to install it on a few.
Real progress will be obvious when you watch your kids show off their new skills. But progress-reporting features are essential in order to gauge how your children are progressing in their technique. Tracking for WPM and accuracy are common metrics on progress reports, but some reports break these down further and produce reports for each finger, hand and key. These help you know which lessons your child should focus on most. We also checked to see if each program includes easy-to-read graphs and charts that display all this information.
Beyond providing you with detailed reports, the best software rewards your child for hard work with pop-up encouragement and printable certificates of achievement. These can help kids stay motivated and give them a sense of progress while learning how to type.
Help & Support
Some typing software includes a user guide or manual explaining how to use the software, but many are intuitive and lead you through setup once you install the program without having to read directions. Once you’ve started, you can also find information online via FAQs and technical support.
As your children learn to type quickly and accurately, they also learn to communicate more effectively. Engaging games and rewards help kids of any age learn how to type properly without making it seem like drudgery. Typing software not only gives them a chance to learn typing techniques, but also proper posture, language skills and the joy that comes with independent learning.