Looking for typing programs to brush up on skills with that new Chromebook or laptop? Recently, I was made aware of this little gem tucked into the web passed onto us by its owner. Kidztype.com is an extensive website for learning to type and the best thing about it is that there is something there for teaching every age level from wee ones to adults. AND it is completely free! Typing is now a mandatory skill and one that needs to be fully automated for kids to begin to express their thoughts freely and fluidly. Being a three finger hunter and pecker myself, I have always regretted never taking typing. Sure, I played Slam Dunk Typing and Mario Teaches Typing with my kids when they were young, but never stayed with it to gain proficiency. Kidztype opens to one of many typing programs and practices. BBC Dance Mat Typing appears on the home page and is a delightful introduction to typing for younger ones. Kids will need to have the necessary hand skills to pursue this properly, such as being able to isolate their digits and what therapists call hand separation skills in place. Hand separation skills reflect intrinsic hand strength and development for tasks such as holding a writing instrument, cutting with scissors, and having a nice neat and mature pincer grasp. Pushing kids too early will almost certainly end in frustration and lead to bad habits in the future. Using a touch screen to identify and find letters on a keyboard is one thing, but the focus there is one of exploration and not necessarily goal-oriented. Getting back to BBC Dance Mat Typing it consists of a series of 12 lessons with each building upon the previous set of skills. After a brief warm up, kids are then introduced to the lesson. Practice is then provided for using both the left and right hands separately and together using both strings of letters and words. Short video clips keep motivation high and are hilarious! It’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement, and want to see what is portrayed in the next segment. Dainty the Hippo was a favorite and one that is sure to bring a smile to the face of even the most seewious of customers. The lessons include all aspects of typing including punctuation and capitalization. Once kids gain confidence and are ready to move on to typing words, there are three games under the typing games heading. There is a car game, a vampire hunting game, and a ninja game that will appeal to a broad cross range of kids. Typing Lessons and Typing Exercises are produced using the same interface in a more adult format. It is quick and to the point, and playing a round or two will quickly awaken the hands. The blog was a little hard for me to follow, but I could generally understand the content and point of the articles. One of the things I was most impressed with from www.kidztype.com was not only the amount of material presented by the page owner but also, there were relatively few ads posted on the page. This is a gift to students everywhere who use roman lettering for language, and one any teacher or family can tap into for either direct learning or practice. Highly Recommended. Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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