The world of Mickey Mouse and his friends cleverly disguises some serious, structured instruction in this kids typing software. As Mary Poppins might say, this keyboard application for kids exemplifies how "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."
Made of 160 lessons and typing tests specifically for kids, this medicine teaches skills such as home-row memorization and proper body positions. Children also get a healthy dose of ergonomics, instruction on the numeric keypad and multi-level games that make practice fun.
Gameplay takes place in Typelandia, a medieval cartoon world where Mickey's friends – Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Daisy and Pluto – face a series of challenges while under enchantments. Your kids can rescue the characters and move through the story using their developing typing skills. The element of fun is evident throughout, but a thorough typing education underlies the curriculum.
This program is made by the same company as our top pick, Typing Instructor for Kids, and there are more than a few similarities. Mickey’s Typing Adventure teaches your kids how to use all the keys on the keyboard. It primarily emphasizes accuracy, but lessons in speed add to the overall education during the adventure. Kids learn the best way to sit while typing, and virtual guide hands show them how to position their fingers correctly over the keyboard.
The software helps your kids develop useful finger-to-key skills in an engaging way, though it doesn’t have as many unique games as Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz. The drills in Mickey’s Typing Adventure test kids’ skills with both hands and individual fingers, and its graduated lessons build on each other to solidify everything they learn. These lessons begin with strings of words, then sentences and eventually work into paragraphs.
Timed typing tests and games can be played at multiple skill levels, so a beginner can start on easy and work up to more advanced challenges. Kids can also access extra practice material with content from popular Disney stories like "Tangled" and "The Lion King" that is sure to keep them typing and interested.
The manufacturer says youngsters up to age 12 are the target audience, but it is unlikely that preteens will want to use this software, even if they secretly love Disney. We recommend this program for children as young as 6 years old.
Mickey’s Typing Adventure is suitable for very small classrooms or home settings because it permits up to five users on one license. However, during our most recent update, we found that the company now offers this program online as a subscription – rather than pay a one-time download fee of $19.99, you can pay week to week or even monthly with costs as low as $3.95. This may be a good option if you’re trying to economize or if your kids prefer to do more intensive study in short bursts.
You can customize the program’s lessons and exercises by adjusting sound effects, changing the WPM goals and choosing the font. When your child makes a mistake, it shows up in red, but they also get encouragement along the way for a job well done.
The software automatically saves results of timed tests, lessons and other efforts. Your children can see performance results by key, finger, hand and row. As your kids improve as typists, they can set WPM goals and chart progress. They will then find out what the next lesson in the series is. You can print progress reports to see how well your youngsters are doing as well as certificates of achievement that proudly proclaim your kids’ successes.
Results also display right away, which is helpful for children who tend not to be especially patient. When they finish a lesson, they can immediately see their words-per-minute (WPM), adjusted WPM and accuracy percentage scores on what looks like a piece of medieval parchment.
If you run into difficulties with this software, you can consult the user guide as well as in-application assistance. The manufacturer's website also provides FAQs. If you need more help than that, you can contact the manufacturer by phone or email.
Mickey’s Typing Adventure’s familiar Disney animation, colorful characters and background keep it from being a snooze fest of dreary homework. Your children will not only be motivated to learn touch-typing, but they will no doubt enjoy the process. The software’s lessons, exercises and tests provide excellent education, but the fact that they are cloaked in a series of Disney adventures makes them far more enjoyable for kids than straightforward drills.