There are many great ways to teach typing to kids these days, from free Web sites to downloadable apps, but the most comprehensive approach is a step-by-step program that assesses skill level and guides the user through skill-building lessons.

When looking for typing games for kids, look for programs that are easy to use, so you and the kids won’t lose interest out of frustration with the instruction or installation. Check to make sure there’s a good variety of lessons and games. Typing skills should include typing from text and audio and the software should track speed and accuracy.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the five best step-by-step typing programs on the market today. And you and the kids will love the games that are included with the instruction.

1. Typing Instructor For Kids

This popular typing game takes kids on an adventure to “Typer Island,” where they learn the basics of keyboarding using age-appropriate lessons. Included are challenges and games that will keep your youngsters practicing. Explore an exotic land and go on castle adventures! You have the option of learning in either English or Spanish. The games are arcade style and have multiple levels. For children 7 and older. For PCs only.

2. Typing Quick and Easy

This program comes with 26 typing lessons and eight games. The games are Flotsam Fighter II, Wild West, Sea Adventure, Gone Fishin’, Cliff Hanger and Erik the Viking. You have 50 different background music choices, a blessing for parents who don’t want to listen to the same ditty over and over again. For all ages. For PCs only.

3. SpongeBob SquarePants Typing

Kids love SpongeBob and will want to hang out with him and his pals while sharpening their typing skills. Tutorials provide skill-building in adventure settings. Progress is tracked for speed, accuracy, and correct finger placement. For all ages. For Macs and PCs

4. JumpStart Typing

This game has arcade-style play and over 30 lessons. The skill levels automatically adjust. The game is designed specifically for kids and comes with movies that teach good technique. Two of the games that are included are: Skateboarding Practice, where you learn to type while mastering skateboarding tricks, and Snowboarding Type, where you learn to type while zooming down a ski slope. Wow, who could ask for a more exciting way to learn? For ages 7-12. For Macs and PCs.

5. Garfield’s Typing Pal 1

A little gentler than some of the other razzle-dazzle programs, Garfield’s Typing Pal 1 still gets the job done, while maybe being a bit slow or boring for some. Customizable lessons classify a child’s skill level and move him through the different lessons. Lessons and progress reports help parents track their children’s progress. For all ages. For PCs only.

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