The best typing software for kids can help them progress in touch typing from a young age. This not only means mastering the art of using a keyboard well but also getting the hang of spellings, even in the more complicated cases.
One reason to get typing correctly mastered early is to make sure the child is able to maintain a correct posture and hand position. Getting that right young could be the difference between a comfortable experience and injuries down the line like repetitive strain or back ache.
Speed is also another bonus when using the best typing software for kids as it can mean getting thoughts down digitally is easier and quicker for them. This can be really helpful if students are using one of best online tutoring services where keyboard based input is regular.
In our testing we take lots of factors into account including teaching methods, age-appropriateness, engagement levels and more.
You may also want to look into the best learn Spanish online courses as another great way to put these new typing skills to use.
1. Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz: Best typing software for kids overall
The colorful, animated Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz is a fun way for your child to learn to type, and it‘s also reasonably priced. Mavis Beacon has clear, concise instruction and encourages you child throughout each lesson.
Keyboarding Kidz is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, and you can purchase it on a CD-ROM or as a digital download. Mavis Beacon covers all the basics and includes beginner lessons that explain how to type using each hand. However, there are also timed typing tests for kids who are more advanced. This software stands out because it has more than 300 lessons and can host more than 20 user profiles.
The program’s ten games have a variety of themes, including outer space, road racing and even a shark attack. They all work the same: type fast and accurately to win. Your child can choose either Mavis, a girl, or Dex, a boy, as their typing tutor.
Read our Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz review
2. Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum: The most fun software
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum takes your kid on an adventure while teaching them to type quickly and accurately. With 160 lessons and 30 games, it's a comprehensive program your child will genuinely enjoy.
Tobo Typer and Lafitte the talking parrot act as tutors, teaching your child the premise of every game and lesson and encouraging them toward the ultimate goal of capturing the castle. Supplementary features, including adjustable fonts, personalized word-per-minute goals, and room for up to five players, round out the software. You can even change the sound that plays when your kid hits an incorrect key – a fun addition most typing software lacks. Along with the fun games and features, it includes basics like speed and accuracy tests.
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum shows you in-depth data about your child’s progress by finger, hand, key and row. If they are doing well, you can print out certificates of achievement so they have tangible rewards. Typing Instructor for Kids is effective, but more importantly, it's fun. This software works on Windows operating systems. If you run into problems, you can contact tech support by phone or through the manufacturer’s website.
3. Type to Learn: Best cloud-based option
Launched by Illinois-based Sunburst Digital, and now in its fifth iteration, Type To Learn is a cloud-based learning platform that enables K-12 children to hone their typing skills from just about anywhere – as long as they have an internet connection and a keyboard.
The program was created with the help of scientific research, but is presented in a fun and engaging way that should keep kids motivated. Pupils are thrust into a futuristic adventure where they have to complete a number of gamified typing tasks – based on things like speed, accuracy and technique – in order to save the world from a communication breakdown. As they progress, they're promoted up the ranks from beginner/recruit to master agent, giving them a sense of achievement. It's sure to be pretty addictive for younger kids – though the simplicity of the games might not hold an older child's attention for long.
It may be one of the more expensive options on the market (home and school subscriptions are available), but the quality of its tuition, the flexibility offered by its cloud-based system, along with its special features for sight- and hearing-impaired students, make Type To Learn a very worthy addition to this list.
Read our Type to Learn review
4. Typing.com: Best free option
Fun and easy to use, this online platform is ideal for anyone who wants to save some money. There is a premium subscription available, but that’s mostly aimed at teachers who want to curate and build lessons for their own pupils. For individuals, the free tier membership should be adequate. You do have to create a free Google account to be able to sign in and track your progress, but this isn’t too arduous an experience. You can also just opt to dive into the tests and games without creating an account.
We like that you can adjust ‘word difficulty’ on most of the games, challenging young learners to type and remember complicated spellings. Or you can pick games that challenge you to find individual letters within a set period of time, which helps students try and remember where keys are placed on the layout. Lessons are easy to follow too, with simple instructions and a handy graphic outlining where your fingers should be placed on the keyboard.
Our only slight criticism is that this has a fairly complicated interface for tracking progress, so it's best for older students (aged 11 and above) rather than really young pupils taking their first steps with the QWERTY keyboard. However, this is still a useful tracking tool for older students, offering an easy way to see your progress and track your typing goals.
Read our typing.com review
5. Typing Quick and Easy: Best for mini-games
Typing Quick & Easy teaches students to type to music to build rhythm. It includes over 50 tracks, but it’s missing some of the more common features we found in the software we tested.
For example, there’s no virtual typing tutor, and words of encouragement don’t pop up during the lessons. Also, Typing Quick & Easy doesn’t have as many games as programs like Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz, but the quality of them is way better. Still, it includes all the critical features we looked for like word-per-minute goal customization and plenty of stories and passages to practice on.
Based on our testing, we think this product is best suited to older students. Although it’s easy enough for a young child to navigate, the software’s no frills, music-based training might suit a more mature audience a little better.
One upside is the program only requires a one-time payment of $14.99, making it the cheapest software we reviewed that you buy outright. However, only one person can use the software – unlike other programs, you can’t create multiple user profiles in Typing Quick and Easy.
Read our Typing Quick and Easy review
6. Mickey's Typing Adventure: Best for younger kids
Mickey’s Typing Adventure is made by the same company that produces our top pick, and it has all the key features of the best kids typing software.
In this program, Mickey and his friends have been enchanted, and it’s up to your kid to master typing to save them. At each level, the software introduces a new key or row, and your child saves a new character when they master it. A virtual typing instructor helps students learn hand placement and healthy typing posture.
The inclusion of Mickey and his friends makes the software feel more youthful than others we reviewed, and we worry that the Disney magic might wear on older kids. All the program’s writing samples are pulled from Disney films and stories as well, so there’s no escape from the theme. While we think the software’s enchantments will appeal to younger users, the developers don’t recommend it for kids under age 6. Up to five people can increase their speed and accuracy using Mickey’s Typing Adventure.
Read our Mickey's Typing Adventure review
7. All the Right Type: Great for school learners
All The Right Type 4 has more than 300 lessons, and you purchase it as a monthly subscription. Also, you access this typing program solely online, so you don’t need to download anything. All these things contribute to it being the best kids typing program for classrooms.
The software’s typing lessons take place on a campus of sorts. While its graphics aren’t amazing, they also aren’t cartoonish and childlike, so older children will still find the program engaging. Kids navigate the online campus to find timed typing tests and more than 20 multi-level games, all of which help improve their speed and accuracy. Teachers can also create individualized lessons for their students.
If something goes wrong, you can access tech support via email or phone or watch video tutorials to find answers. This is unconventional typing software, but it is worth checking out.
Read our All the Right Type review
What’s the benefit of learning to type?
Typing is now well used in education and, as such, could be considered as important as using a pen. Learning to write is always given a lot of attention, so shouldn't typing also get that treatment?
Many kids may be used to using touchscreens from a young age which is fine for touch and swipe input but won't help them very much when it comes to using a full-sized physical QWERTY keyboard.
Learning to type properly can mean faster input, saving them time. It can mean better posture, helping them avoid injuries. And it can also mean learning to spell better through inputting words a letter at a time.
How we tested
We spent about ten hours evaluating kids typing software and even used some of the programs ourselves. As we compared the programs, we considered the number of lessons and games they have as well as if they have basics such as timed typing tests. In addition, we noted if they teach how to type on other keyboards like a ten-key numeric pad.
While we consider testing serious business, we also had a little fun. In our evaluation, we noted how high-quality each program’s graphics look, how fun its games are and whether it gave us encouragement along the way. Taking user reviews and YouTube video tutorials into account, we favored more intuitive programs that don’t require you read a user manual to get started.
As your children learn to type quickly and accurately, they also learn to communicate more effectively. Programs with engaging games and awards help kids of any age learn to type properly without making it seem like drudgery. Typing software gives children a chance to learn typing techniques, proper posture, language skills and the joy that comes from independent learning.
What to look for when shopping for typing software for kids
How to pick the best typing software for kids is important as if you know what to look for, you can find the perfect partner for your little one's learning needs.
The most important factor is age. Make sure the software caters for your child and, ideally, goes into older ages so it's going to last and you get your money's worth. Too simple and they'll get bored, too tough and they may give up, so it's important to find something that caters to many needs.
Price is, of course, worth considering. Since there are some free options you'll need to decide if you want the more advanced features enough to pay for them. It can be a good idea to try a free option first, to see how your child warms to it, before committing to spending anything.
Fun is also important. Some software does a great job of gamifying the typing and if your little one is already a fan of digital games then that could be a sign this type of software will work best for them.
When should kids start learning how to type?
The ideal age to start learning to type might not necessarily be the youngest possible. It's a good idea to let your child grasp the basics of spelling and writing so they've got that integrated first. Then they can start to learn to type as another layer on top of that. Start too young and all that at once could be a little overwhelming which may put them off.
So between the ages of seven and ten are great for starting to learn to type, in many cases. This should mean they're physically and intellectually developed enough to pick up learning in the best way possible.
Under seven years old and fine motor skills, finger span and hand-eye coordination may simply not be good enough. Sure, let them use a keyboard younger, but to go into full-on training it may pay to wait so they pick it up at a pace that suits their body's developmental stage.
This age is also a time of mental expression where typing could prove a useful outlet which they enjoy. Any younger and you're just giving them another reason to look at a screen when keeping screen time to a minimum is probably a good thing.