Wondering when and why to start teaching them to type? You can read my introduction about why I am teaching my Emma to type here.
The first step is to make sure your children have good posture and can see all of the keys. Your children’s arms will get tired very quickly if the keyboard is too high. Make sure that their elbows are close to a 90 degree angle.
I have this Keekaroo chair that allows me to adjust the seat and the foot rest. My children are able to sit with perfect posture at any table. I’ve have had it for a year now and it still looks brand new. I use it for all of the kids in my preschool class to help them learn to type and write.
2 Birds With One Stone
I started by teaching my toddler how to type her name. This made the lesson more meaningful and taught her how to spell her name while introducing her to the keyboard. After setting the Sans Serif font at 100pt, I told Emma, “We are going to spell your name with the computer today.” First, I put her hands in a resting position. Then, I touched the correct finger we would use to type E and then help here locate the key. I had her push it several times with the proper finger. I said, “Uh, oh. That is a little “e” and we need a big “E”.” Then, I showed her how to hold down the Shift button with the correct finger and push the e at the same time to make a big letter E. She was so excited. I had her do that several times with the correct fingers.
I rewarded her with a Popsicle Stick. That was the end of our first lesson! I kept the lesson very short (about 5min) because I wanted to keep her excitement up.
Next, I had her add a letter at a time, until she could type her whole name without any assistance. You may need to adjust the pace of your lesson to match your children’s ability. If your children cannot identify the letters in their name, you will need to go slower. Ideally, your children would already be familiar with the alphabet before you start teaching them to type. (However, if they are not, teaching your children to type is also a great way to teach the alphabet.)
Make each lesson different by changing the color of the font or background. When they can type all of the letters with minimal help, you can print their name and celebrate with a treat or snack. Remember to teach them to press the keys with the correct fingers. That really is the key. If you allow them to peck the keys, you will only have to reteach them later. See the image below to make sure you are teaching your child the correct fingering. When they can type their name while maintaining proper posture, speed and finger placement, they are ready to move on to the next step. Join me next time for Step 2, as I continue my journey to Teach my Toddler to Type.
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