7 Benefits Of Writing By Hand And How It Makes Children Smarter

Sarmistha Neogy
·5-min read

In an age where laptops and tablets have taken centerstage, writing by hand is fast becoming a primitive practice. Digital devices have made typing the more conventional method to log notes and data.

But new research shows that handwriting is an essential skill and has several benefits. From helping children improve their memory, to boosting their creativity, writing by hand is a key developmental skill for children.

Writing By Hand: How It Benefits Your Children

writing by hand
writing by hand

Writing by hand helps your kids to express their feelings better. Image courtesy: iStockphoto

1) Relieves stress, depression, and anxiety

Writing by hand increases activity in parts of the brain that are similar to meditation. In fact, studies reveal that writing about a stressful experience can lead to more therapeutic benefits such as act as a stress reliever and combat depressive thoughts.

When you write about your feelings everyday for 15 to 30 minutes, it can lead to measurable physical and mental health benefits. Studies call this the writing cure.

2) Improves focus

If you find your child to be distracted and having difficulty concentrating, try a few hand writing exercises. These include cursive writing, penning their thoughts, or simply drawing or writing a few sentences on a notepad.

Writing by hand not only helps children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD), it also helps kids improve their concentration, in general. This is because the process of writing uses a particular part of the brain that acts as a filter. It blocks any irrelevant information and pushed out only the part that the writer needs to understand.

3) Improves hand-eye coordination

Writing by hand is also a great way to improve the hand-eye coordination of your child. The coordination is different for every letter, so the movements are different. It is more mentally demanding than hitting a button for each letter on a keyboard.

4) Helps to express better

Sometimes, you will find that your child will struggle to convey a certain feeling or expression. But, he or she can communicate better when they have the pen and paper in front of them.

Writing by hand helps to avoid that tongue-tied feeling and teaches you the art of fleshing out your thoughts carefully.

5) Stimulates your brain

Writing by hand uses more of your brain and integrates thinking, movement, and sensation. It promotes deeper encoding of new information in ways that keyboard typing doesn’t.

It can also improve a person’s memory and help hold on to newer information for a longer period. Handwriting thus involves rich sensory-motor experiences that help stimulate your child’s brain. This is why it is often a go-to method of learning and memorising.

6) Boosts creativity

Writing by hand helps you think outside the box. It gives you a space to express yourself better and provide avenues in which you can convey the same thing differently.

It also helps one go through their thoughts over and over. One study even proves that children assigned to write essays by hand were found to express more ideas than those typing on keyboard.

7) Improves memory

We have all tried this technique when we were school-going children. Whenever we faced difficulty in memorising a difficult chapter, we wrote it down. This simplified our doubts and helped us understand concepts better. As parents, you can use the same technique with your children too.

Researchers note that a physical activity like writing by hand uses nerves and muscles in a complex way. It sends sensory feedback to our brains. The more complex the feedback, the easier our brain retains memories.

Keeping in mind the numerous benefits of writing, encouraging your child to write instead of typing can certainly go a long way. But if you’re struggling to get your child off the laptop, here are some tips to help you get started.

How To Get Your Child To Write More

writing by hand
writing by hand

Image courtesy: iStock

Make it fun

Children love any task that is fun, so naturally it is a good idea to make a writing exercise fun too. You can play word games with them. For instance, take two white sheets. Use one and give your child another one. Make four columns in both the sheets- Name, Place, Animal and Thing. Now, begin with alphabets one after the other and ask your child to stop you wherever he/she wishes.

Say, for instance, you stopped at alphabet ‘E.’ Now, both of you will have to fill each of the columns with words starting with ‘E.’ If you are the first one to complete the exercise, you will win the points.

Encourage diary writing

You can encourage your kids to wear their thinking cap by urging them to pen down their thoughts. Gift them colourful pens and a writing pad, and ask them to get started.

Ask your kids to write positive affirmations, or fill in a gratitude book everyday. They can choose to journal their day for 15-30 minutes. This practice will help them to articulate their feelings and express themselves better.

Ask them to write short stories

This is a great way to improve your child’s creative writing skills. Encourage them to write short stories. They can even cut out pictures from a magazine with different characters or locations, or choose to write down different words.

You can then place these in a container or glue them to cards to use as writing prompts. This can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

Show them the positive side of technology, too

writing by hand
writing by hand

Show kids the positive side of technology, like blog writing. Image courtesy: Pixabay

As parents, you can should also help your child identify the positive side of technology. For instance, if you find them interested in writing and expressing their thoughts, encourage them to start a blog. This will allow them to share their thoughts with others as well.

Writing by hand is an important practical life skill. Most generations still vouch for the effectiveness of this conventional method of expression and learning. Yes, it requires time and patience, but it also instills these virtues in your children.

News source: Vanila Papers, Elemental


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