Kidztype (My Review Of Dance Mat Typing)

If you’re a parent, you should be aware of Kidztype typing games. Not only do they offer the popular Dance Mat typing game, but they offer plenty of other typing games to keep your kid entertained and, more importantly, learning!

Teaching isn’t easy, and it takes a special approach to keep children interested in learning.  For a skill like typing, a participatory learning environment is key. This is exactly what Kidztype offers.

This free service allows your children to play a game while learning. Kids love video games and Kidztype makes it happen.

They offer a few different options to learn typing and they make it fun. I’ll share a few of the things I like about their website and why it could be a great option for your family.

Kidztype Typing Games Improve Upon Past Methods

I learned to type on a computer. Thankfully there was a class that taught me to type over a 6-week period (yep, it only took 6 weeks and 1 hour per day).

The class began by showing us the correct finger placement on the keyboard. At first, the hand placement felt uncomfortable but over time, each key was memorized and I could quickly recall where each letter was on the keyboard.

There were exercises to complete and timed activities to monitor my typing speed. I remember my “words per minute” time being slow to start but by the end of the 6 weeks I was typing much faster than before the class. Plus, I didn’t have to look at my hands when I typed.

The most challenging part of the class was when we used a piece of cardboard to cover my hands. The cardboard kept me from looking at my hands and forced me to recall by memory.

These days I can type extremely fast (much faster than if I had to write by hand). Typing class was one of the best classes I’ve had because I use it every day and it saves me time (also read about mall scavenger hunt ideas).

Kidztype Dance Mat teaches the basics just like I was taught, however, I have to admit that they make it more fun. If I had this resource at home, then I wouldn’t have needed a class!

Why I Recommend Kidztype Dance Mat

On the internet there are plenty of typing options to choose from. Many require you to download software and some are expensive (not Kidztype). There are several reasons why I like this platform. I’ll list the main reasons below.

  • Plenty of Options and Levels – As you improve your typing, it’s important to challenge yourself. Dance Mat, in particular, has 4 levels that you can work through. Spend time on each lesson and slowly build up your skills. Some days you might want to take a break from Dance Mat, so you can choose from the other game options that are more fun.
  • Both Boys and Girls – Have a son or daughter who is picky about the games they play? Kidztype offers themes that are fun and some are suited better for girls while others cater to boys. There are ample choices, so your kids should be able to find something they enjoy.
  • Adults Can Participate As Well – Sure, the website is named for kids, but if you’re an adult and looking to improve your typing, you can also use Kidztype. There are no age limits to learning and there are enough games to make the process fun for everyone.
  • It’s FREE – Several years ago the main options to learn typing were from software. Software programs are expensive and many aren’t as helpful as they should be (not user friendly). Kidztype is free, so you don’t have to worry about a financial investment. If you have internet, you can use the program as much as you’d like. If you don’t have internet, you can visit the library or a coffee shop and use their internet while you learn. It’s also available to use for multiple people (no limits on users). The entire family can learn to type together!
  • No Need For Software – As I mentioned above, you don’t have to download software on your computer. I remember several years ago when I wanted to learn a language and Rosetta Stone was the only option. I had to download a large file onto my computer before I was able to use it. Now I use Duolingo, which is a small application on my phone. Kidztype is even better because you don’t even need an application, just visit the website and start typing!
  • Parents Can Easily Monitor Progress – Because the website can be used at home, it’s easy for parents to monitor progress. Set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes and ask your child to write their score after each game. You can compare these scores over time to hold them accountable. During Dance Mat, monitoring progress is easier. There are levels and your child can work through each at their own pace. By the time they complete Level 4, Stage 12, they will have a good grasp of how to use the keyboard and they can keep their new skills sharp with other games on the website.
  • No Limits On Users – I’ve already mentioned that Kidztype isn’t just for kids. Parents will find the games “childish” but it doesn’t mean they can’t play. Allocate a few minutes each day to improve your typing and it should improve your efficiency at work as well.

Kidztype: My Recommended Learning Methods

To maximize learning on Kidztype, here are a few pointers that I use when learning a new skill. Consider learning typing as if it was a new language.

It takes repetition and commitment and without a vision for the future and a routine, you and your children will not learn to type.

1. Set Goals

Before your children begin learning to type, have them set goals. Have them visualize what they want to do and how they will learn.

Have them write down their expectations for learning and write down why it’s important that they learn the skill. You can hang their goals on a wall or put them on the refrigerator so they are reminded of their goals.

2. Tell Someone

Accountability is always important. Whether it’s getting good grades in school or becoming a great athlete, you need friends, family, and coaches to remind you to work hard.

Find an accountability partner for your children. It’s even better if you find someone who wants to improve their typing as well (together, your children can work to improve).

>>read my article about activities for bored teenagers

3. Establish A Timeframe and Daily Routine

Allocate time each day to learn. It’s natural to want immediate results, however, you and your children won’t become good typists overnight. It will take weeks to improve the skill and the brain needs time to process all the information it is learning.

You can write down a schedule for your children and have them sign the calendar each day they work. Keep a fixed time so there isn’t confusion regarding the schedule.

4. Start Slowly

If the lessons are too difficult to begin, your children will not gain confidence. Make sure the lesson is easy at the beginning and don’t advance the lessons too quickly.

Once your children master the basics they will have a strong foundation on which to build. Here’s my list of best free typing games for kids.

5. Write Down Scores and Times

While your children are learning, you might hear them complain. They will become frustrated and they may not realize they are improving. Learning takes time.

Sometimes we need to see data to realize that we are, in fact, improving. Record times and scores at each level and allow your children to review the data (seeing is believing).

6. As Your Children Advance Cover Their Hands

As your child improves they will remember hand placement on the keyboard. It can be tempting for children to look at their hands while they type, however, this is not a good practice.

Your child should look at the screen as they become more competent with the keyboard. Using a piece of cardboard (folded at 90 degrees at each end), cover the keyboard and hands so the fingers cannot be seen.

Slowly but surely, your children will become more confident with the keyboard and they will keep their eyes on the screen.

Conclusion

Kidztype typing games and Dance Mat are an excellent option to learn typing. It was developed for children and it’s absolutely free!

If you or your children need to learn typing, Kidztype can teach them from the comfort of your own home. There are timed exercises and scores that are earned.

Although there are many games to choose from, Dance Mat is the best option to get started. There are 4 levels that will help your children learn finger placement. Once they have completed Dance Mat, there are many other games to chose from.

Learning to type is a process, so it’s important not to be frustrated in the early stages. I recommended setting goals, finding an accountability partner, developing a routine, and working diligently to learn the skill of typing.

An effective typist will be a faster writer, a better student, and a more efficient employee. Kidztype helps you learn and the best part, they help you for free!

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