Even though a keyboard is today’s writing tool of choice for most people, many schools are going back to teaching formal handwriting skills. This is happening thanks to research that has pointed out many benefits of handwriting over typing and other forms of writing. So, here’s why your kid should practice using a pen and how to do it properly.

Why should kids write?

Many scientists and educators have conducted research on how handwriting increases brain activity and stimulates learning. Norwegian scientists have noticed significant links between writing by hand and the activation of sensorimotor system in the brain. This means that kids who wrote letters by hand remembered them much better than those who used a keyboard to type the same letters. Researchers at the Washington University have concluded that kids who write by hand create more complete sentences but write slower than those who write using a keyboard. But, it’s not all about speed and the complexity of the sentences. Kids who are trained to write fluently in complete sentences are better equipped to evaluate and generate ideas, put their thoughts in order, and think more critically. All of these benefits mean that kids who hand-write have a better chance of achieving great academic performance. Therefore, your kids should practice writing, and here are some fun ways to spark their interest in the art of using a pen.

child writing on a piece of paper with a pencil.

Write a letter

Kids love using crayons for coloring and drawing, but most of them avoid writing. However, if you turn it into a game, they will enjoy it immensely. For instance, have your kids pick a celebrity or someone they admire and write a letter to them. Let them express their feelings towards them and state their gratitude. This way, they’ll be able to practice how to express their thoughts in a coherent and concise manner and how to properly address people. You can also use letters in different colors and some colorful markers and crayons for decorating the letter and the envelope with all sorts of drawings and cutouts. Mail the letters, and if you get a response, your kids will be super excited.  It can also be a great hobby for you since it offers relaxation at the end of a busy day, plus you’re guaranteed to make the receiver’s day.

Send a message in a bottle

Many kids dream of finding a message in a bottle that had traveled miles and miles until reaching their hands. If you live at the seaside or by the river, why not send one? This super fun project will not only make someone out there very happy, but it will also improve your children’s writing skills. You don’t need much, just a glass bottle, cork and of course, a fun message inside. Let your kids make a couple of such bottles, and release them together. Just don’t overdo it; you don’t want to pollute the water.

message in a bottle. a fun activity to get kids to write.

Make handwritten motivational posters

If you want to motivate older kids to use pens and practice their handwriting, then involve them in a project of making handwritten motivational posters. They are very popular today, and they truly look beautiful when framed. Find some inspirational quotes and motivational messages, think of the design and start writing. You can use many different pen and marker sizes from a fineliner to big bold markers to achieve different effects. It might take a few tries until you get it just right, but once you’re finished, it’ll look amazing. This project also exercises patience and steady hands, which will certainly come in handy if you’re raising a little surgeon or a tailor.

As you can see, handwriting is a crucial part of children’s education and it has many benefits they will use throughout their childhood, adolescence and adult life. So, grab some pens and paper and write on!

Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you lead a quality life. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson

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