Typing is Fine, but Handwriting Makes its Mark When it Comes to Learning

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids

handwriting

Research shows that handwriting increases brain activity. Credit: Getty Images

Sure, typing is a skill kids need to learn earlier and earlier -- what with all the laptops, cell phones and games that require it these days.

But it doesn't make you smarter like handwriting can.

New research shows writing things out by hand not only increases brain activity, but also helps develop fine motor skills and can even predict how well a student will do in school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"For children, handwriting is extremely important. Not how well they do it, but that they do it and practice it," Karin Harman James, lead researcher and an assistant psychological and brain sciences professor at Indiana University, tells the newspaper. "Typing does not do the same thing."

Researchers at IU studied brain scans of two groups preschoolers -- one practiced printing letters and one practiced saying and recognizing letters, according to the Tribune. After four weeks, those who put pen to paper showed brain activation akin to a grown-up, James tells the Tribune.

It's just the latest study to show the benefits of handwriting. According to the newspaper, other studies that have found the same paper is graded worse if the handwriting is messy, and a University of Washington study found grade schoolers could write essays faster than they could type, and also wrote in more complete sentences when they were using a pen, the newspaper adds.

Seems to us the handwriting is on the wall. Now, where did we put that pen?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.