I find it really hard to resist the urge to type in the search terms for my kids when they are looking something up online, typing so slowly with their one finger!
I can also see them get a bit frustrated at how long it takes them to type and locate the correct letter.
Back in my day, we learned to type in our first year of high school. Now kids practically need to learn typing skills in kindergarten.
Not all kids will be receptive to putting their fingers on the home row set of keys and learning the keyboard letter by letter the same repetitive and boring way we did. So what’s the best way to teach typing for kids now?
The answer is, with typing games.
The following is a list of typing games that can help motivate kids to learn to type. Not only will they learn a skill, they can also have fun doing it!
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Typing Games for Kids
Typing for Beginners
The kind of games I consider for beginners are the typing games that teach kids about finger placement on the home rows and slowly memorizing the keys above, below and beside the home rows.
You should probably understand finger placement to have fun with these games which help with practice and speed. The games focus more on repetition to help reinforce and memorize the placement of the keys. Starting an intermediate game without learning proper positioning may leave kids frustrated if they can’t keep up with the game.
You can type words and sentences but are still working on proficiency and speed. I think its safe to say that almost any racing themed typing game is for advanced typers because you really need to have letter placements memorized well to be able to focus on speed.
Typing Games for Beginners
1. Typing Club
Typing club has really well structured videos with eye catching graphics and great tutorials via hundreds of short videos. It teaches proper finger positions to help kids get accustomed to the home row first. The practice games are fun and reinforces the lesson while allowing kids to practice.
This is a free site but can be upgraded at a cost for some premium features. This program can also be used in a classroom setting. In fact, lessons are customized for kids to learn typing as early as pre-kindergarten up to high school.
Typing Club may not feel so much like a video game, but it will help with training proper finger placement. You can also earn badges each time you pass a typing test.
2. Dance Mat Typing
This game is an ideal start for beginners. There are four different levels to this typing game and it starts with learning the home row keys. Level 2 is learning the 6 keys above the home row. Level 3 is learning the six keys below the home row. Level 4 is learning five more keys and how to make capital letters.
Each new lesson builds on the previous lesson by slowly introducing new letters as you progress. At the end of each level you can test your typing speed and get a little reward.
Also the characters are fun and will help guide kids through each level. This is a free program.
3. Keyboard Zoo
This game is very basic and helps with letter placement repetition and memorization. The colorful background and characters will make it fun for young kids. Letters appear on the screen and you have to type in the letter the exact number of times it appears on the screen.
This is similar to Keyboard Ninja in that you can practice the letters by area first such as by home row, top row, bottom row, just the numbers or all the letters together. You can also select level of difficulty. The object of the game is to try to pop the balloons by typing the letters that are on them.
Similar to Typing Club, Typetastic is also great in a classroom setting and its free to use. Teachers can sign up to use the ad-free edition.
There are three levels according to age group. K-2 to Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle and High School.
This program is engaging, colorful and full of cute animals.
Intermediate Level Typing Games
6. Keyboard Ninja (aka Typing Ninja)
Keyboard ninja allows you to select which area of the keyboard to play with which allows kids to practice one area of the keyboard at a time.
Level of difficulty and area of the keyboard or playing with all the letters are all options.
Basically a letter jumps up on the screen and you have to select the same letter on the keyboard as quickly as possible. Although it helps that the letters are isolated to one area if you select that option, even at the easy level I still find it to be quite quick if you aren’t familiar with placement yet. This is why I would consider this more intermediate but great for practicing one letter at a time.
7. Letter Leaper
This game also allows users to practice one area of the keyboard at a time. Its not too fast paced and it is one letter at a time so it might seem more beginner level, however the game doesn’t teach finger placement so you do need to be familiar with where the letters are.
This game is not visual like the others. Instead a word or sentence is said once you put the appropriate button. You must type either the word or the entire sentence and submit your response. This is also a timed game where if you don’t complete a certain number or words in time, an explosive will go off.
This may be more suitable for bigger kids who don’t need the visuals and characters to prompt and motivate them to learn. But its great for practicing listening and typing skills.
9. Typing Jets
This game allows kids from anywhere in the world to race against each other while practicing their keyboarding skills.
A group of letters, typically in the same section, appear in the sky while jets are flying around. The larger letters are the ones that need to be typed in to shoot them down and collect points.
There is a leader board to look at other people’s scores and a small flag beside the username to see where they are playing from.
Advanced Level Typing Games
10. Type Racer
This game requires you to type in full sentences word by word in order to get the cars to move in the race. The faster you type, the faster the cars move.
This game requires advanced typing, not only because of speed but also need to be proficient with typing punctuation and capital letters.
11. Desert Typing Racer
Type in the group of letter or the word to make the car move. You have to try to type fast to keep up and make the car go faster. The words and letter groups appear quickly so you really have to type fast and furiously in this game!
12. Type Dojo
Although Typing Dojo has all the different levels – from basic to advanced, I think its best to use this program in the advanced stage. This is because the program tracks words per minute, accuracy and time.
The visual of the keyboard is helpful to show finger placements, but tracking all the metrics may be a little too much for beginners.
Typing games are a great way for kids to learn a very useful and necessary skill like typing!