Pencil in Hand, Really Cool Stuff in Brain

It's always been clear to me that when a kid draws, there's a whole lot of deep stuff going on inside their heads that is fired off by the movement of their hand. You can practically see the brain cells jumping around. It opens up a whole new world, almost like an alternative language.

But now, I have found that it goes even deeper than that, right into our ability to formulate ideas at all. It's fascinating.

Lately I've had reason to get involved in how handwriting affects the ability to think. The wrong grip on the pencil, the wrong muscles, too much reliance on using the eyes to form the letters, and it's like the whole thinking process gets gummed up.

Improve these things, and a torrent of ideas gets unblocked. It's amazing.

This article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "How Handwriting Trains the Brain," talks about "the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas." The act of making marks, and writing things that someone else is supposed to read, goes way way down into the roots of our intelligence and ability to think.

So now I have even more reason to jump up and down and say, everybody grab a pencil. That keyboard is convenient, but it's not accomplishing the same things as drawing and writing by hand do. Especially for young people. It's huge.

And when you've drawn something, send it to me for the Drooly Dog Drawing Project (on the Site/on Facebook). I can't wait to see what you come up with! Brain cells fire away!