I recently realized I needed to find a way to help my kids learn to type. My son’s teacher assigned several books for his class to read during the summer. In addition, the kids needed to prepare a book report for each book. The books reports could be typed or handwritten. It took my son about two hours to type up each one page book report. As I watched him type with two fingers, it occurred to me his school wasn't learning how to type in the computer classes he’d been taking since kindergarten.

In high school, I took two semesters of typing, in addition to my computer courses. Typing didn’t fit very well with my “college prep” course schedule. Typing, shorthand and other “business” related courses were the domain of those students who would skip college and head directly to work after high school. I typed 65 words a minute when I graduated from high school. I went on to college where I earned spare cash typing papers for other people who never learned to type in high school. In my jobs as a paralegal and a writer, I still make use of my typing skills every day.

As my son’s homework load continues to increase, I see now how important it is that kids learn to type at a younger age. Typing is a skill he’ll use for years to come, or at least until voice recognition software becomes as common and easy-to-use as a computer keyboard. I found several resources online to help my son improve his typing skills. Some are simple programs, others use a more fun approach to help teach kids to type. 

Typeonline offers a free touch typing course. The site provides typing lessons, number pad lessons, typing practice exercises and a speed test. The structured course has 10 exercises to introduce proper typing technique. Kids learn about the home row, where to place their fingers and proper touch typing techniques. The lessons focus on one concept at a time and feature easy to understand explanations, as well as an area to practice each lesson. After completing a lesson, the program provides feedback about typing speed, the mistakes made and how accurate your typing was. This feedback allows kids to measure their progress and decide when they are ready to move on to the next lesson.

The lessons progress from typing letters to typing words and phrases. Once kids master the 10 lessons, they can move on to the copy practice section. In this section, the program gives a selection of text to copy. When you complete it, the program will point out your mistakes and note your accuracy. A separate copy section is offered for numbers as well. Another section offers 10 lessons to learn how to use the number pad. Use the typing speed tests for words, numbers or a mix of words and numbers. Kids can use the speed test to measure their improvement and set goals.

Learning to type helps kids finish their assignments faster.Credit: GoodNCrazyCredit: GoodNCrazy

Kids Learn to Type Faster with Typing Games

Typing games can be a good way to introduce younger kids to proper typing. You can find many typing games your kids can use for free on the internet. Typing games can also give an additional challenge for older kids to work on their technique. Some games help kids focus because they have to use proper typing technique while playing the game at the same time. Other games challenge kids to find and use and the letters on the keyboard. When kids use proper touch typing technique, these games will test their skills since they’ll need to type the letters quickly to avoid getting caught and losing the game.

Dance Mat Typing offers another fun way to help your kids learn to type. This fun, colorful program offers 12 stages to teach kids to type. Kids learn proper touch typing techniques right from the start. As they progress through the levels they learn the location of all the letters, how to type punctuation and how to use the shift keys to make capital letters. Free printable worksheets to reinforce the concepts in the program and can be used for practice offline. Goofy characters, colorful graphics and verbal instructions this interactive site provides grades 1-3 with a great way to learn to type. Kids can even compete to get their name on the high scoreboard.

Kids get better at typing with practice.Credit: Extra KetchupCredit: Extra Ketchup

Kids Build Skills with Learn to Type Software

If you’re not comfortable having your children learn to type online, choose a software program to teach typing. Sponge Bob Square Pants Typing offers a basic introduction to typing for kids. This beginning level program gets younger kids off to a good start with typing. They’ll learn proper typing technique along with in a fun, encouraging atmosphere. The program shifts between games and lessons to keep kids engaged and motivated. Count on Sponge Bob to help your kids learn the right way to type.

Typing Instructor for Kids 5.0 offers an easy to use program with colorful animated games and lessons to help kids learn more advanced typing skills with 30 games and over 160 lessons. 10 typing plans allow you to select the level that’s right for your child’s age and learning level. The software includes 40 practice selections taken from children’s classics, fairy tales, literature and nursery rhymes. Your kids can even choose music to listen to as they practice their typing.

Typing is a critical skill kids need to learn. Unfortunately most schools no longer take the time to teach typing. Learning to type can help your child get better grades in school and spend less time typing papers and homework. The best way to help teach your kids to type is by making it fun. Whether you choose an online option or buy typing software for kids, your kids will benefit in many ways from being able to type.