It’s hard enough finding a good typing program for adults, let alone children. The mundane drills just don’t keep the kids interested enough for them to learn anything. A friend had recommended Dance Mat Typing by the BBC and I’m so glad she did. The graphics are simple yet colorful and the audio clips are just plain fun. My daughter LOVES the program and still revisits the site to brush up.
This free, online site teaches children the proper placement of their fingers on a keyboard and helps the typing process feel more natural. The learning curve is steady and the lessons are broken up into four main levels. Those levels are then divided into stages, each with a different and lovable mascot. There is no time limit and each level can be done standalone. Learning is done at your and your child’s pace.
The way the characters are drawn and the personalities attributed to them will appeal to kids of all ages. Oh, and the various British accents are great! They will have your little (or not so little) one giggling and anxious to see what will happen next. At the end of a stage the character will break out in some kind of rap/song and dance summarizing the lesson. Pretty hilarious if I may say so myself.
When a key is typed incorrectly, a funny little sound is played such as a cute little “oh-oh” or “click on me”. This alerts the child to the mistake without making them feel bad or penalized for such an error. Students are not forced to memorize the keys right away and are, in fact, encouraged to take it slow and look at the keys in the beginning. I like how you can see an animated image of which finger should be used for the key they are about to type. This helps to visualize the movement, therefore making it easier to do.
We don’t use Dance Mat Typing as much as we should but that is more so the fault of me hogging the computer. Even several years later my daughter still enjoys ‘playing’ it and each time her typing skills are sharpened just a bit more.
Be sure to check out this free resource that will teach your child to type in only a few lessons. They’ll be typing faster than you in no time!