Typing is an important skill that I teach in my homeschool, but sometimes it can get a little boring. Finding a good program that appeals to kids is not an easy task. At KidzType, kids get to play free typing games like killing zombies, slicing fruit and piloting your way through UFOs all while learning to type.
Every day I type on a computer. Every. Single. Day. And, I have to admit that I’m a pretty efficient typist — 60 WPM. But, I didn’t just start typing one day. I took typing in high school and college back when you had to type on an electric typewriter.
I didn’t think learning to type was a good use of my time back in school. My husband didn’t either. He wasn’t required to take typing for his degree. He was going into science, and it was more important for him to learn how to work a bunsen burner.
But, guess what? All these years later we BOTH use computers every day. We both are required to type for our jobs. And only one of us can type with all ten fingers. In my personal experience, typing is an important skill.
Why is Typing an Important Skill?
Typing isn’t just an essential skill if you are going into a field that requires you to write. Virtually every field these days involves some use of a computer, and even if you plan on working outdoors chopping trees, you’re probably going to want to Google something occasionally. The truth is that technology is moving fast and with it the ability to use computers efficiently.
When your child learns to type, it helps them to work smarter. They aren’t bogged down hunting and pecking on the computer looking for the correct letters to type into a search.
It also helps children to think creatively. It’s hard enough to learn to communicate our thoughts effectively but adding the stress of having to slow down and search the keyboard can stifle the creative juices.
When Should Kids Learn to Type?
Have you ever watched a two-year-old pick up a cell phone or iPad and start swiping? My nephew can find his favorite videos on his mom’s phone in seconds. Kids today are technology natives – they are born into a generation where computers are a given. We are expected to know how to work them almost as soon as we learn to talk. So what age should kids start learning to type?
Well, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer, but most experts agree that elementary school is a good place to start. Starting early helps the students in upper grades and gives them the opportunity to reach 30 WPM by middle school.
How to Teach Typing Using Typing Games
I have used various typing programs over the years. This year my kids asked for something more fun. They were bored with the dry typing programs we had used in the past and wanted something that would add a little entertainment as well. We came across KidzType soon after. I’ll be honest in that I wasn’t sure how they would react, but I shouldn’t have worried. The first day, the youngest spent an hour playing typing games and proclaimed she loved her new typing program.
Now, I’m not suggesting you teach typing an hour each day. In fact, most research suggests only 10-15 minutes a day is sufficient to teach students. We spend about that much time each day working through the lessons and playing games at KidzType.
So What Exactly is KidzType and How Does it Teach with Free Typing Games?
KidzType is an online typing site that has many some excellent features to teach typing, like:
- Typing Lessons – these lessons teach the hand positions and letters.
- Typing Exercises and Practices – The exercises teach the lesson again and the practice sessions provide more help on specific rows and letters.
- Dance Mat Typing – My daughter would proudly exclaim that she had “given life to 5 angels” after her lessons. KidzType uses fun graphics and sounds to teach the lessons.
- Typing Games – These fun games use the skills from the lessons to pop rockets, race airplanes flown by cats and even shoot vampires!
- And, Typing Tests – On KidzType’s sister site, TypeDojo you can take typing tests to determine WPM and accuracy. There are several tests including a ten-key test (as an accountant in a former life I rocked that one!)
What Are Our TakeAways from Using KidzType’s Free Typing Games and Lessons?
I found them personally easy to use and track progress. My daughter found them fun and improved her WPM to 20. Her favorite game was Car Rider, while mine was Vampire Hunter (yeah, it’s a little addicting).