Free typing tutor for children
Tux Typing is a free desktop program designed to teach children to type in a fun and stimulating way. Users are introduced to Tux, the Linux penguin, and mascot. In two different games, words fall from the sky, and players have to type them before they fall to the ground. Kids and adults alike can challenge themselves with varying levels of difficulty.
How do you play Tux Typing?
Tux Typing is a free and open-source typing tutor created primarily for children, although adults are likely to find it useful too. It features several different types of gameplay, at a variety of difficulty levels. It is intended to improve words per minute speed of typists.
The software is available as a free download on a variety of platforms including Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows (Vista and up to Windows 10), and Linux (Ubuntu). It was developed by Tux4Kids, a company that develops high-quality software for children.
Tux Typing supports a wide range of languages, including Armenian, Bokmal, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, Czech, Danish, German, English, Euskera, French, Spanish, Greek, Jamaican, Lithuanian, Nepalese, Russian, Swedish, Swahili and even a few smaller languages you might not expect to find.
The language can be selected in the program's main menu, although users will find that not every element of the game is translated – this might be frustrating to those who don't read English.
In the first game, fish fall from the sky. Each fish has a letter or a word written on it. When the player presses the matching key, or types the correct word, Tux will locate himself at the bottom of the screen ready to eat the fish. If fish still have letters in when Tux swallows them, then his belly gets sore and the player loses a life. The second game is similar, but the aim is to stop comets from dropping in a city.
Challenging for all
In the main menu, you can choose a level of difficulty for both games. Within these difficulty levels are different challenges from typing just the alphabet to whole words. On the hardest levels, words fall at a very rapid rate that would test even experienced touch typists. Adults as well as children, therefore, are likely to gain benefits from using Tux Typing.
It's also possible to edit and add to Tux Typing's word lists, creating brand-new lists or adding additional words to the existing lists. This makes Tux Typing highly customizable for different users.
Tux Typing is an extremely easy program to set up and start using so teachers will quickly be able to get students learning how to type. The user interface is simplistic, although it does have some slightly strange user pathways, with Phrase Typing, for example, being hidden under Options rather than the main menu item.
There are various alternative typing tutorials to Tux Typing including PacWriter, Typing Magic, and Typing Game Collection. Users who like the Tux4Kids ethos and want to have more learning adventures with Tux the penguin can try TuxMath and Tux Paint.
What are lessons in Tux Typing?
As well as the two games, Tux Typing includes lessons that are designed to help children become touch typists.
Lessons use XML-based scripting to run various tutorials on individual letters on the keyboard. The program will display a combination of the chosen letter and then show you which fingers you should use to type the combination. The software will measure the accuracy and typing speed for each lesson.
The phrase typing section is very similar to lessons but involves typing phrases or complete sentences, with the aim to improve typing speed and accuracy each time. Every time a mistake is made, a klaxon will sound to highlight the error to the user.
Entertaining typing tutorial game
Tux Typing is a charming, free typing tutorial game for children that will keep them entertained and rapidly improve their typing skills. With its varying levels of difficulty, it will challenge children and even teach adult users some skills they didn't have, particularly touch typing.
What's particularly nice about Tux Typing is that every game has different backdrops, sounds and effects so children shouldn't get bored too quickly, although adults might find the music to be repetitive.