Learning to type
August 21, 2010 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Do you know of a free, online typing game that works for a kid who mostly knows the keyboard but is still very slow?

Every game I've found is too fast and quickly become too discouraging to be useful. If there was an un-timed typing game, or a typing game where you could adjust the speed of play, I think it would be a great way to help my kid get over the typing 'hump' to the point of proficiency.
posted by serazin to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't used it for many, many years, but I learned with Mavis Beacon, which if I recall is good for what you're looking for. Good luck.
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:23 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that wasn't free, but I do think it is worth the low cost.
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:23 AM on August 21, 2010

Learn to Type hint: you don't actually have to register.
posted by matty at 10:29 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've always enjoyed Typing Terror.
posted by teraspawn at 10:39 AM on August 21, 2010

Response by poster: Those games are fun, but just to be clear, we need games that are either un-timed, or where the time is adjustable, so a very slow typist will be able to participate without becoming discouraged quickly.
posted by serazin at 10:52 AM on August 21, 2010

Typer Shark, by popcap, may be worth looking into. It's cheap, and (if it's anything like other Popcap games) has free play, or at least adjustable difficulty. Judging from the screenshots on Steam, it has a typing tutor mode. It has a kid friendly theme, and a demo.

Steam link no demo, but half the price
Popcap link you can get a demo here
posted by codacorolla at 12:25 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just googling around:

this one has the words in a kitchen as if you are a chef. The words advance up the page but when they get to the top they don't kill you if you didn't get it yet - they just come back up from the bottom again and let you continue trying.

This tutorial lets you type at your own pace. It's practice for each letter group, but not a game.

Here's one where the letters are all layed out on a grid and the game is a Concentration/Memory style game - you type 2 letters to reveal the pictures underneath and try to clear matching pictures. The whole thing has a 5-minute time limit, so each letter can take as long as you like. You won't be likely to finish the whole game if you are slow, but you could make a lot of matches.

Here's one that doesn't mind if you type slow, but I can't figure out what you are supposed to type. Maybe your kid is smarter than I am.

Here's one that is a word puzzle - you have to get from SUN to MOON by typing real words that change/add/subtract one letter at a time. (eg: SUN,NUN,NOUN,NOON,MOON) No timer, practices the typing and has a thinking element.

Oh here's a good one. The Keybricks game at the bottom of the page. It is a grid of colored blocks with a letter on selected blocks. The object is to type the letter which will remove all the same-colored touching blocks and cause the other blocks to fall in their columns and create new patterns. You want to get all the color chunks together in order to clear the board. There isn't any timer - the part that makes it challenging is not a typing thing, it's a clearing-the-board thing: if you type a letter in a single-block section, you get a point against you. Do that five times and the game is over.
posted by CathyG at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Mavis helped a lot, but something that got it from my head to my heart was doing online crossword puzzles, like USA Today, Washington Post, and the LA Times. Gotta keep yourself from looking at the keyboard, though.
posted by DandyRandy at 4:26 PM on August 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks folks. So far that typing chef and tetrisy one seem to be going well.
posted by serazin at 12:02 PM on August 22, 2010

Back in the day (late 80s), I used Stickybear typing. There was a program that started off painstakingly slow (slow enough, to my memory, that it would meet your 'untimed' requirement - even my brother could use it, and he was 2 years younger than me), and you had to work your way up through the levels. It was so simple, but I loved that game!

Looks like it's still around. Not sure whether it's still as awesome as it was, but maybe worth a try.
posted by aniola at 12:26 PM on August 22, 2010

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