Let’s face it, knowing how to type, quickly and without errors, is a VERY useful skill in today’s world. With technology growing at what seems like the speed of light, I can only imagine how important a skill it will be when our children are grown. While I lament the loss of hand-written letters, I have to admit, email is just soooo very convenient! 🙂
I remember taking typing my sophomore year of high school. All of the students sat in front of a keyboard with our little flip book and typed away! I got pretty good at it, at least good enough to type on the computer without getting frustrated. Now, when I see my boys “hunting and pecking” while trying to type, it’s another story…frustration is written all over their faces!
Keyboard Town Pals is a learn-to-type program aimed at children ages 5-10. This is not the “flip-book” typing you may remember, instead, it’s fun, and a lot more like a game! Kids are able to proceed through the program at their own pace, and there are no timed tests, just videos featuring the puppets that live in Keyboard Town!
Your host in Keyboard Town is Sunny, and she introduces children to the characters and set up of the program.
Each puppet lives in a house in Keyboard Town, which is divided into sections (uptown, downtown, and home key street). The video lessons feature the puppets talking about some of the things they like to do in Keyboard Town (i.e. “Frank and George take Violin lessons” when a child is learning the keys F, G, and V.) While they are watching the video, children are prompted to type the target letters, and the outline of a hand over a keyboard appears on the screen to tell them how to move their fingers. Lessons are short, and you can decide how many you want your child to complete. The Keyboard Town website has video previews available if you want to see how it works!
My youngest son, who tried this program, is 10 years old, so he is at the older end of the age range for it. I have to admit, he did kind of roll his eyes at me when he saw Sunny and the puppets, however, as he progressed through the program, he found he was getting the hang of this typing thing, and that was very motivating!! Since he started, he’s figured out how to properly place his hands on the keyboard, and he can type most of the letters with his index and pointer fingers without looking!
Keyboard Town Pals is available in English, French and Spanish and the cost of the program differs based on what you want to buy. A web-based learn-to-type program will cost $39.95 and is valid for one year from your activation date. You can also purchase a CD-ROM version of the program for the same price. Keyboard Town also offers “bundles” that include Keyboard Town Pals Learn to Type and Little Hands Can Type. You can get more information at the website here:
**Disclaimer: I was given free access to this program for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.