Originally published in 2011
Updated in 2022
What typing (keyboarding) computer programs and websites are recommended by librarians, teachers, parents, and students?
Why do kids need to learn typing? It’s not just about typing skills or typing speed, but it’s about growing this necessary skill to use the keyboard for academic and future work success.
I believe that typing instruction should be required for kids to learn either at school or at home! In my experience, my high school touch typing class was THE BEST and MOST USEFUL class I took in high school. (Also, Home Ec– remember those days?)
That’s why I signed my kids up for an in-person touch-typing class one summer of middle school. And the class paid off big time because almost everything they do in high school and in university requires a keyboard. Being able to type means they can get their thoughts down on paper faster, and finish sooner.
Consider these benefits:
- typing well lets you get your thoughts on paper faster
- typing helps you finish your assignments faster
I think it’s best to wait until kids’ hands are big enough to reach the keys on the keyboard, probably around 8 or 9 years old. This is also a good age because a child’s hand-eye coordination will improve quicker than at younger ages.
Also, to teach beginners the home row keys, use a keyboard with bumps on the f and j keys OR add your own bumps with small triangle stickers.
For practice, cover the keyboard with the lid of a cardboard box. This will help your kids will look at the screen and not down at their hands as they slowly learn the entire keyboard and increase in difficulty levels.
Best Typing Games and Programs for Kids
Typing.com is one of the most popular typing program choices for teachers and librarians to teach kids keyboarding skills. The benefits of this program are that it tracks student progress and is compatible with Google classroom. Teachers and librarians surveyed preferred this site most of all. Because there are ads, they can make the program crash according to one teacher.
Popular with many classrooms, you can use the free version or paid version. The program has young children begin learning where the letters are located and mouse skills. Use the free for these younger kids. For more advanced options, then try the paid subscription. It will give you more practice options and practice games and you can track student progress.
Typing Club is a popular typing program choice for kids that many librarians use. You can get it for free with ads or pay $4 a student and use it without ads. This program can track student progress which librarians and teachers prefer.
Dance Mat Typing
Fun and popular, this is a great computer game choice with amazing graphics from the BBC with skill-level games kids will enjoy.
This is FUN and elementary students love it. It’s a game where kids practice typing. It’s not as instructive as the other programs so use it in conjunction with other instructional websites. Typing.com includes the racing game NitroType.
Keyboarding without Tears
Not many educators use this website but it was mentioned by one librarian.
More Keyboarding Websites
Typing Games from Slime Kids (free online typing games)
ABCya Typing Game (free online typing game)
Type Kids (paid typing website for kids to learn typing)
What programs do you use?
When did you start with your kids?