Keyboard Town Pals claims to teach children to type in about an hour, without using boring drills or endless exercises.
After using the program with two of my children, I think it would be a great introduction to where the letters are located on a keyboard. The letter positions are taught using a memorable videos and appealing puppet characters. For instance, Amy (the puppet living in the letter A key on the home row) goes downtown to feed the zebras. Then she goes uptown to visit someone that asked a lot of questions. After learning all three of the keys that are typed using the pinky finger on the left hand, the video moves on to the next finger.
I like the approach that teaches the letters for one finger at a time. I also like the way that they have created fun stories to help the child remember the locations.
Unfortunately, Brennan (my ten-year-old) thought the puppet characters and music were "babyish." He also noticed that the video continued to play even if he was simply typing gibberish instead of what he was supposed to be practicing.
Lauren, my five year old, was more entertained by the puppets on the video. As she watched, I made sure that she understood which finger was supposed to be pushing the keys. I'm not sure if the video didn't make the finger positions clear enough for her or if she wasn't paying close enough attention to it.
I think both of my kids need a lot more typing practice than what is provided with Keyboard Town Pals. After the eight Keyboard Town Pals lessons, they are able to find all of the keys on the keyboard, but I'm not sure that they will be able to consistently (and quickly) type the letters using the correct fingers.
Keyboard Time Pals costs $39.95 to access the web based program for one year and is also available as a CD-Rom for the same cost. They also produce Spanish and French versions of the program.
If you'd like to hear how much the other members of the review crew thought about Keyboard Town Pals, please visit The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog here.
I received a six-week subscription to Keyboard Town Pals as a member of the 2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.