Shooting a basketball, painting a flower, playing a piano: all these activities require your brain and your hands to be in constant communication. Brain-Hand Connectivity is an undeniable building block for success in handwriting, fine motor skills, and literacy.
Science backs a foundational connection between the hand and the brain. The hand and fingers have a large representation within the motor cortex. This is due to the hand and fingers requiring complex muscle movements. We develop and strengthen the connection between hand and brain by doing hands-on activities. Building sand castles, making mud pies, and drawing pictures all reinforce connectivity and develop fine motor skills. Without knowing it, a child forming a cookie-dough ball is developing cognitive skills. The same goes for drawing.
We use drawing as a learning tool because there is a clear connection in the circuitry of the brain between areas controlling fine motor skills and areas controlling cognition. These areas are developing simultaneously, with exceptional speed during early brain development. Research reported by Donna Krache in “Connecting the Dots Between Handwriting and High Scores” shows that penmanship reflects high academic achievement in both reading and math, and it’s reflected in both teachers’ grades and standardized test scores. The study reports, “Students who received good handwriting grades in pre-K had an overall ‘B’ average in second grade. Their standardized tests scored above average in both math and reading. By contrast, pre-kindergarten students who did poorly on fine motor writing tasks had an overall ‘C’ average and below-average test scores in second grade.” At the foundation of these studies is developed fine motor skills used in handwriting. When children are connected to their hands, they learn to express themselves, engage their brain, and unleash their creativity. The future math and reading success of students therefore heavily relies on fine motor skill development.
Although we can test, research, and study the benefits of fine motor development, it must be implemented into the lives of children to have an impact. In the current click, swipe, type era we are in, the connection between the brain and the hand is missed. Kids aren’t developing their fine motor skills as much because they are inside watching tv instead of participating in hands-on activities. If you join us at DrawntoDiscover, you’ll find that your child’s brain-hand connectivity increases and they are able to unleash their literacy and creativity potential.
In the next 2 parts of our series we will explore automaticity and visual literacy. As the core of both handwriting and drawing is brain-hand connectivity. As soon as children are connected to their hands, the possibilities for expressive creativity are endless.
Missed the intro to this series? Check out “Helping Children Better Express Themselves: Intro”
Read “Building Block 2: Automaticity” next!
~Caleigh Cramer and Miss WEndy
Reference Source: “Connecting the Dots Between Handwriting and High Scores” by Donna Krache