It is not an overreach to say that technology has taken over our lives like never before. We are all addicted to our digital devices and our children’s lives are no different. This became even more apparent with home-based learning where laptops, tablets and cell phones were in excessive use.
It is then safe to say that a child who doesn’t know how to work on a digital device or in particular, type may even feel left behind. So even though typing as a skill can be acquired at any age, the earlier children learn to type proficiently, the better it is for them.
When your child can type effectively, they can focus on the task in front of them without being hassled about hunting for letters on the keyboard.
If your child still hasn’t got the hang of using a keyboard well enough, perhaps it is time to enrol them in the best typing programs. Let us deep dive into this skill, its importance and how you can make your children proficient in it.
When Is the Right Age To Learn Typing?
Image courtesy: iStock
Children can learn how to type around the age of 6 or 7 years. It is usually when their hands are big enough to comfortably fit on the standard keyboard. This is also the period when they are learning to read and write at school. So the timing is perfect!
However, this is not to say that younger children cannot learn to type. They can and in many cases, they do. If you spot your child trying to type, its advisable to encourage them as this skill also has its many advantages.
Benefits Of Enrolling In The Best Typing Program For Kids
The best typing program for kids is one that emphasises on enhancing writing, reading, and spelling skills. It should further prepares your little one for higher grades, especially when they will have to rely more on digital devices to finish their assignments.
Here are some more benefits of learning to type.
1. Increased self-esteem
Learning how to type can work wonders on your child’s self-esteem. If your child struggles with poor handwriting or any form of writing challenges like dysgraphia, using a keyboard may help.
There are several courses that have been designed for this purpose such as the Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS). Here, kids can learn at the pace that is most suitable for them.
2. Better writing and spelling skills
Typing on a computer can help your child better organise his/her thoughts and ideas. It also allows them to create a draft that they can later edit. This is more important for younger kids, those who are just learning how to write.
Since we think much faster than we write, touch typing can give shape to their ideas into language with the help of movement of their hands.
Typing can become a lot of fun and easier when your kid can type without looking at the keyboard. Because this allows them to not hunt for letters on the keyboard but go with their rhythm of thoughts.
3. Better reading skills
One of the first skills that kids master when they are learning how to read is to map the sound of letters. This technique helps them decode words. For instance, in a TTRS course, children hear the letter read out loud, see it on the screen and then they type the corresponding key. This technique supports phonics and makes sounding out words easier.
As we know, children have a short attention span, so its ideal to make learning to type a fun and engaging activity. And the best way to do it is with programs that offer this convenience.
We’ve curated a list of 7 sites and apps that help children learn and practice their typing skills with ease, and they are listed in no particular oder.
7 Best Typing Program For Kids
This website offers a collections of exercises and practice lessons. The site in particular has been designed to help kids learn and practice their typing skills.
The games on the site are interactive with gliding cats, juicy apples, and ninjas. They also have different levels, so your kid can choose the one according to the difficulty level.
This is apt for children who are in kindergarten and above. The site has over 30 games: from Underwater Typing, Keyracer to Balloon Typing. Along with these games, you can also pick and choose lessons based on three skills levels. For instance, the beginner has 25 lessons, intermediate has 9 lessons, and advanced has 17 lessons.
This website offers several educational games for young grade-schoolers. There are free keyboarding games, like Keyboarding Zoo. These games are apt for kids who are beginning to type.
Your kids will love this site, thanks to the ghosts and the aliens that add a bit of fun and spookiness. In the game KeyMan, they can run from ghosts and in “EmUp,” and can shoot alien letters to save the planet. This is a great option for your kids to learn and practise their typing skills at the same time.
This is a site that has been aimed at both teachers and students. Your kids can get their hands on easy lessons and also the several games on the Typing website.
The lessons offered on the site cover all areas of the keyboard. Your kids will also have the option to practice typing punctuation, special characters, sentences and much more.
Image courtesy: Typetastic screengrab
It is a fantastic site for kids where they can enjoy basic word typing games like Letter Trucks and Astro Bubbles. TypeTastic offers 14 fun games across its three-level journey. Each of the games have been created to help kids get excited about typing.
The site offers three clear sections including lessons, games, and tests. This is meant to help kids progress in a systematic order. For instance, they can learn the lessons, then get to practice their skills with nifty games, and finally, take a test.
The site also gives you an option to choose a goal such as achieving 20 words per minute. Plus, there are many interesting games on the site, which your kids can explore.
Best Typing Program For Kids With Learning Difficulties
Children who have trouble learning to read can also face difficulty with writing and spelling. Specifically those who have been diagnosed with dyslexia ADHD, anxiety, depression, and problems with executive functioning, short term, and working memory, and auditory processing.
Here are the 3 best typing programs and methods for kids with disabilities.
Dance Mat Typing: This method will teach your child touch-typing, letter placement, correct finger placement and more.
Keyboard Climber: This is a game that allows children with disability to practise finding letters on the keyboard.
The Frogs Are Off Their Diet: This game involves practising multiple typing combinations of letters.
Empowered with the knowledge of resources available, the next step would be to encourage kids to take up typing as a hobby.
4 Top Tips To Encourage Your Kids To Type
Give them time
Every child learns at a pace that is right for them. So it is key to give them time and not put undue pressure on them to deliver results. Kids usually learn typing by mastering one key at a time, letter combination, phrases and then complete sentences. So be patient and teach them the techniques you know to make them more proficient.
Give importance to accuracy than speed
Teach your kids to focus on accuracy and speed will automatically come. Some kids may make more mistakes than others, if they are pressurised to type fast before they are ready. Therefore, its important to teach your kids to take their time to learn how to type properly as opposed to quickly.
Praise them for good work
Kids are always on the lookout for positive feedback, so keep showering them with these from time to time. This will motivate them to work harder and it will also boost their confidence.
Encourage good posture
Take note of your kid’s posture while they are on the computer. Ask them to sit up straight with their shoulders back and knees and elbows bent at 90 degrees. Ask them to take frequent breaks, get up from their seat, and look away from the screen after every 30 minutes.
At the end of the day, how well your kid types also depends on how much they practice. So, allow them the time to do the needful, be patient with them and encourage them at every step. This will ensure more confidence and help them master the skill faster.