Typewriters may have fallen into charmingly collectible obsolescence, but typing remains an essential skill for kids to develop — in fact, it’s more central than ever to our professional and personal lives. Knowing how to type quickly and accurately can make all the difference, facilitating seamless communication with teachers and classmates and keeping assignments on track and on schedule. Typing games are the best way to get kids up to speed with while keeping them engaged and entertained.
There are tons of free typing games for kids online, which take kids one step (er, one key) at a time, so they won’t get overwhelmed by the seemingly random QWERTY of the keyboard. We’ve rounded up eight of the best typing games, ranging from “beginner” to “advanced.” They all make typing practice fun — incorporating adventures, animals, songs, race cars, and more. All of the typing practice games below are free, focus on specific skills, remind kids to use good form, and allow them to build on skills with increasingly advanced levels. The hard part is dragging kids away when computer time is over.
Beginner Typing Games for Kids
As balloons float upwards, players must type the letter pictured on each balloon before the balloon floats up into the sky out of reach. Players can choose different levels of difficulty or opt to restrict a game to only letters from one row of the keyboard. Because letters can be typed in any order, and are all lower case, this game is good for beginners who are still getting the hang of where each letter is located on the keyboard. It would probably be too easy for those who are ready to type sentences. You may want to hit mute before you introduce this game, or risk suffering the nonstop sound of balloons popping.
In this interactive game from the BBC, kids are led through four levels of typing practice by a groovy British goat, a dancing hippo, a German mountain cow, and a Persian cat. Each level is divided into three stages, which focuses on specific keys, and emphasizes proper form. Because there’s such detailed instruction, kids can play this game relatively independently. It’s well-paced and offers plenty of positive reinforcement, which is key for kids who get frustrated or overwhelmed by the task.
3. Typing Club
Typing club is less of a game and more of a course. It takes kids step by step through each key on the keyboard and makes sure they master each skill before moving on to the next. It’s thorough and breaks things down in easy-to -earn chunks, but lacks any of the frills that other games use to motivate players, like songs and characters. (This may be a relief to parents in earshot.) Users can take a placement test to see where they should start, watch their stats progress, and earn badges. If you’re looking for a progressive course, or need somewhere for a beginner to start, as opposed to a short game that provides occasional practice, Typing Club is it.
Intermediate Typing Games For Kids
For kids who understand the basics, but need some practice memorizing the location of each letter on the keyboard.
In this game, players move forward by correctly typing different words. There are four levels, options to include numbers, and opportunities to practice specific rows on the keyboard, typing only words made of those letters. This is a great option for kids who know the basics but need to practice typing without looking at the keyboard, who are used to typing with one finger and need to practice correct form, or who are better with one hand.
5. Cup Stacking
Users stack and unstack cup pyramids as fast as they can by typing the letters on each cup. Once a pyramid is stacked, players must unstack it by typing that sequence of letters in reverse. The repetition helps drill down where each letter is in relation to one another, especially for hard to reach and less common keys like Q, X, and P. Players are competing against their best time, so there’s always room for improvement.
The object of this game is to stack as many boxes as possible on top of one another before the 90 seconds is up. As a crane swings boxes back and forth, players must type the letter featured on the box in order to release it. Keytower requires some timing skill to decide when to type the letter and release the box, and its premise makes it possible for kids to forget that they’re even practicing typing. But it’s slow enough that players could have time to type each letter with one finger, so they may need to be reminded to use good form.
Advanced Typing Games For Kids
For those who want to refine their typing skills and increase their speed.
7. Nitro Type
In this fast-paced race car game, players compete by typing out complex paragraphs as quickly and accurately as possible and watching their race car progress as they do. If a player misses a letter, their car won’t move forward until they fix their mistake, so it teaches accuracy just as much as speed. Nitro type most closely mimics real-life typing scenarios – though race cars aren’t usually involved, paragraphs, as opposed to randomly assorted letters, are – so it’s great practice for more advanced typers. Plus, kids are incentivized by playing against friends and earning points for each race, which can be put towards the purchase of new race cars, so they won’t grow bored after a few rounds. Nitro type does offer upgraded memberships (for perks like ad-free games) that require real money, so be wary of young typers and auto-fill credit card information.
Remember all that time in calculus you spent not playing snake on your TI-81 calculator? Sure you don’t. Well, this game is pretty much the same thing. Players hone the use of the middle, index, and forefinger on both hands while steering a snake into various fruits and trying not to bump into the elongated body. It requires quick thinking and really gets kids familiar with specific keys, so it’s a great tool for kids who know the basics of typing but want to be able to type quicker, without so much thought.