Kimberley O’Brien recently compiled the Pilot Pen Creativity report, investigating the development of creative writing in children and the impact of computer-based learning.
Fostering creativity is crucial for children to assist the development of independent thought, problem solving and the exploration of fact and fiction. Creative children have a greater capacity to develop the vital skills of curiosity, intuition and a preference for complex ideas, research shows. Journalling also enhances emotional regulation and allows for children to understand the triggers for certain emotions, such as anger. In fact, research has shown creative writing and psychotherapy have shared affective experiences that allow for the expression of feelings, accessing the unconscious and self-discovery.
Computers are helpful but research has shown that speed of idea formation and transcription are enhanced and streamlined with traditional handwriting. Handwriting difficulties are one of the most common problems addressed by occupational therapists. Therefore, it is essential that proper handwriting skills are cultivated by ages 8-10, even as computer-based activities are integrated into the school curriculum.
Parents can take an active role to ensure their children have properly developed handwriting skills. Kimberley has compiled a list of tips for parents to adopt at home to foster children’s creativity and handwriting skills. Such tips include using visual reminders such as chalkboards; developing ‘storyboards’ and valuing handcrafted works; initiating pen-pals as well as encouraging fine-motor skills.
The full list of tips are available on the Pilot Pen Website here.