Keyboards for Little People
These days, I am constantly on the computer and my wrist are killing me. In this day and age, I'm not the only one on the computer. So are both my little boys. Both my kids started using the computer when they turned three years old.
If adults have so many problems because they use the computer so much, I can't imagine how difficult and painful it must be for our kids (and anyone who is smaller than the average adult) to use an adult-sized computer keyboard. Thank goodness other people are on the same wavelength and have created interesting solutions... many inventors are way ahead of me on this one.
Here are a few of the keyboards I have found that fit little people hands:
KIDSKEY KEYBOARD (My First Keyboard):
The Kidskey Keyboard is color coded to help beginning spellers easily locate numbers, vowels and consonants.
The keyboard's dimensions are 13.25" (W) x 6.5" (D) x 1.375" (H). It comes with a both a USB and PS2 connector. You can see it here.
KidzMouse Keys works for small children by simplifying the keyboard, rounding the tops of keys, and shortening the overall span from the bottom to the top of the keys.
What is also helpful is that the Kidz Keyboard kid friendly keyboard only has the keys that kids need: it has 67 keys versus the 104 keys on an adult keyboard. The dimensions are 16"(W) x 7" (L) x 1.25" (H). The recommendesd ages are 2 to 10 years.
The best feature of this keyboard (in my opinion) is that it has built in software to help little kids avoid inadvertently getting run-on letters when they're hunting for a key (Can you say cattttttttttttttttt?). KidzMouse Keys are great in that they only post one character per key press.
It comes with USB or PS/2 connector with an adapter and a free adapter is included.
MY KIDS MINIKEYBOARD:
The MiniKeyboard by A4 Tech is two-thirds the size of a normal keyboard. The dimensions of keyboard are 14.2"(L)* 6.5"(W)* 1.2"(H)
It also includes an exclusive "A-shape" key layout to prevent repetitive strain injury of your wrists and arms. According to the merchant, center "A-type" keys "matches the ways your fingers naturally move and provides maximum comfort while typing".
A smaller mouse comes with the smaller keyboard. The Petite Handed Design Mouse is also smaller than the adult size mouse. The dimensions of the mouse are 4.1"(L)* 2.2"(W)* 1.3"(H).
It comes in fun colors like blue, pink, yellow and green.
The keyboard comes with a PS2 connector and the mouse comes with a USB and PS2 Connector. (See keyboard here.)
So these are a couple of the kid-friendly keyboards available on the market. I think they look pretty great and they are all available from Amazon so they are easy to source. If anyone has used them, please let us know what you think.
Also, here are some general keyboarding milestones that I found helpful from ChildrenSofware.com:
Preschool & Kindergarten (ages 3-6)
Kids can spell their names and recognize letters on the keyboard. Children can hunt and peck to spell their names or other simple, familiar words and can remember placement of commonly used keys like ENTER and SPACEBAR.
Early Elementary (ages 6-9)
Children can begin to write with the keyboard but use a hunt and peck approach. By the end of this period, they may remember where some of the frequently used letter keys are like a and s. Typing for kids in this age group is usually a very slow process as they are focused more on details of how to compose words and sentences.
Upper Elementary (ages 9 to 12)
Children have basic spelling and writing skills and can begin to word process short reports, stories and email. They are able to use the keyboard for punctuation, e.g., SHIFT for caps and quotation marks.