PROS / Nimble Fingers Word Wacker provides detailed report cards and more than 250 typing drills to help children develop touch-typing skills.
CONS / There are no virtual guide hands for children to reference, nor are there any typing games to break up the tedium of the typing drills.
VERDICT / Although Nimble Fingers Word Wacker is lacking compared to our higher-ranked typing programs, it can make proficient typists out of dedicated and focused young typists.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
With only a handful of typing lessons and limited features, Nimble Fingers Word Wacker is the brass tacks of typing for kids software. The application isn't nearly as full featured or comprehensive as other programs on our lineup. However, it delivers all the fundamental components of an effective typing application, and its more than 250 typing drills ensure that your child will master every key on the keyboard.
Your little typist will start with the Beginning Keystrokes lesson, which includes the home row keys G and H, and E, I and C. From these beginning keystrokes, they will move on to Beginning Letters, where they will learn punctuation in addition to more home row practice. This typing program for kids then moves on to letters that are more advanced, such as X and Z. The lessons and included typing drills are progressive, in that each one builds on the skills your child learned in previous drills. We would like to see subsequent versions of this application include an initial skills assessment. This would allow kids with rudimentary typing skills to bypass the beginning lessons if their current typing level exceeds them.
All exercise results are stored in the Report Card section of the software. The Report Card details your child's words-per-minute (WPM) rate, number of typing errors, adjusted WPM and typing accuracy. These statistics are important to know in order to assess how your child's typing skills are developing.
Beyond keystroke lessons and drills, kids can participate in several additional exercises, including timed typing tests, numeric keypad training and a flash card exercise. In the latter, the software quickly flashes a word that your child must type. The idea is to help your child start thinking of words as a whole, rather than identifying individual letters.
One major shortcoming of this typing tutor for kids is that it doesn't provide virtual guide hands. The best typing software for kids provides virtual hands that hover over a keyboard to illustrate correct finger placement. We are also disappointed that the application does not have any fun typing games. These can break up the monotony of typing drills and provide essential typing practice for kids without making typing practice seem like tedious work.
The lack of games and the bare-bones interface of this no-frills typing for kids software are likely to be unappealing to younger children. However, with dedication, Nimble Fingers Word Wacker can teach your child how to touch-type effectively.