Typing is as essential to success in the 21st century as any other skill. Like literacy and math, kids need to learn to type at a young age; especially because technology is increasingly present in schools.
By learning to type, kids can access the hundreds of tools and resources that are - literally - at their fingertips.
These days, most K-12 curriculum includes typing instruction in a dedicated technology class or built into the school day. However, virtual learning poses a unique challenge to kids learning from home. Like all academic content, it can be more challenging to learn through a keyboard and screen than in traditional, in-person school settings.
But that’s just it: how can we support kids learning to type when they need to type to access all of their academic content and sharpen their skills?
It’s more important than ever to do so, and these games and apps can help. There’s a wide variety of options out there, so no parent has to wonder how to teach kids to type.
Fortunately, there are a number of free or inexpensive apps and online games that can supplement kids’ education and even make typing fun to learn. Many of these platforms offer “gamified” options perfect for beginners and others offer customizable options ideal for older students looking to improve their skills.
Typing Apps & Games for Kids
Colorful games, interactive challenges, and 10-minute diagnostic tests: there are a wealth of ways to help your child learn to type. These typing apps and games - in no particular order - make for a worthwhile time investment that will benefit your child for years to come.
1. Keyboarding Zoo
Far from a dusty computer lab and monotone instructions, Keyboarding Zoo offers a delightful introduction to typing for little ones. Players will love meeting the colorful animals that will help them learn the basics. This game focuses on using pointer and index fingers and will help students build a solid foundation for typing in school.
2. Dance Mat Typing
Dance Mat Typing is one of the most popular online typing games for good reason: kids get the full benefits of gamification with its video game-like effect and challenges. Kids progress through 12 levels to improve their speed and typing dexterity.
3. Typing Fingers
This app is ideal for folks who could use an enrichment typing game or a fully-fledged typing curriculum. Typing Fingers offers both quick resources and full programs designed for homeschooling, and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android.
Designed for teachers, QwertyTown is still easy to use at home and offers a free trial. This gamified platform has won numerous awards and works well for elementary and middle school students. To quote one user testimonial, “QwertyTown has been an exciting journey into a new area of digital literacy for our students.”
5. Ghost Typing
Typing gets a spooky twist with the Ghost Typing; who knew you could learn to type and play a survival game at the same time? It’s recommended for ages 10 and up and would be great for a Halloween activity or just to mix things up for your student.
Kids will be so lost in Epistory’s cool origami world and video-game quality graphics, they might just forget they’re sharpening those typing skills. Players will need to use their keyboard to progress through this fun RPG quest.
This game is great for kids who could use a little extra motivation to practice but don’t want to be stuck with a platform they feel is too young for them.
TapTyping is the perfect app for teens who already know the basics and need more of a challenge to build their skills. According to one reviewer, it’s “Great for teens or adults looking for typing practice!I love this app! I’ve been using it for a couple days and I’ve already seen improvements in my typing speed and accuracy!”
8. Learn Typing
Learn Typing is a great place for middle schoolers to start and offers diagnostic tests to determine their typing level. This free Android app has both beginner and advanced modes for straightforward practice.
This website offers a free treasure trove of typing resources for grades K-12. Typing.com is a favorite of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and it’s easy to see why. It offers comprehensive lessons, units of study, diagnostic tests, and a variety of games and fun themes for students to choose from. It’s suitable for any age and even offers bonus material in digital literacy and coding.
If you’re not sure where to start with your student, you can’t go wrong with this trusted resource.
10. Typing Club
Typing Club is great for secondary students, and its paired platform, Jungle Junior, works great for younger learners. It’s a free platform that offers interesting apps like Going Solo for a story-based game approach to honing typing skills. Kids will earn badges and be able to track their progress as they learn to type faster and more accurately.
Created by Microsoft, TypingMaster is a customizable typing tool that provides valuable results and information in minutes. Plus, it offers a range of ways to measure typing ability; kids can play a typing game or install a tool that measures their typing speed as they work on a writing assignment, and it provides detailed progress reports.
Tech skills are more valuable than ever, and yes, that includes typing
Having great typing skills is like holding the basic keys to accessing today’s technology. Just think about how much it’s needed for day to day life! In an increasingly digital world, it’s hard to imagine any field, method of communication, or next brilliant idea that won’t require a bit of typing!
So whether your child is typing out lines of code or the next great American novel, encourage them to practice! Odds are, that practice will pay off no matter what the future holds.