Can learning to type ever be fun for kids? Disney tries to make it so by providing entertaining sound effects, lovable Lion King characters and great graphics in Disney’s Adventures in Typing with Timon and Pumba. Rafiki teaches basic posture, home row skills and 15 typing lessons, while Timon and Pumba help practice proficiency with 5 different games. The games are clever and well planned to entertain and educate, but children must complete quite a few lessons before being allowed to advance to a new game.
Disney's Adventures in Typing continually educates and positively encourages children. The program will help teach young users how to type with valuable lessons and games, but they need a great deal of patience to learn. Progress reports keep track of childrens' accuracy, games played, as well as best keys and worst keys. As children learn to type faster and more accurately, the games and lessons adjust accordingly.
Unlike many other learn-to-type programs, Disney's Adventures in Typing makes no attempt to assess the initial skill levels of the user -- every new user starts at the very beginning, and progresses in a linear fashion through all the lessons. If this proves inappropriate, the "Parental Controls" section include an "unlock everything" option, which allows users to select lessons and drills in any order.
While the games are fun, entertaining, and beneficial, Rafiki’s lessons can get long and boring for some children. Users must finish a series of lessons along with the same game before moving on to the next lessons and game. Our 8-year-old tester enjoyed the first game, but grew tired of the lessons. She quit before moving to the next game, even though she really enjoyed the first one. It is difficult for children not to get anxious, if they expect constant entertainment. But if your child has patience, he/she will find the program useful and enjoyable.
Ease of Use / Install
Clear on-screen directions and instruction make this program very easy to use. Learning to type takes time (and practice) to master, but the program is well arranged for mechanical ease throughout the learning process. The only reason our testers reported opening the CD jewel-case manual, was to discover how to access the parental controls options.
Best for... / Bottom-Line
More games for each series of lessons would make children happier. Unfortunately, the high ratio of lessons to games might keep children from voluntarily returning to use this program. Nonetheless, this program provides a relatively painless way to learn typing skills. For willing children, the tools in this program are ready and waiting.