Bilateral Coordination Activities
Why is bilateral coordination important?
Bilateral coordination is important for a variety of skills.
When bilateral coordination or bilateral integration is intact and progressing appropriately through development, it is an indicator that both sides of the brain are communicating effectively and sharing information during functional tasks.
Younger toddlers and babies can be observed using both hands in play as they pick up objects in their line of sight. However, they typically will pick up items with the hand that is closest to the object or toy.
As toddlers progress in development, they will begin to establish a dominant hand and crossing midline. This ability to utilize a dominant hand and a non-dominant hand in activities indicates a maturation of the brain and lateralization in functional tasks, which is very important for motor planning, directionality, and visual motor skills.
In fact, impaired bilateral coordination skills can lead to difficulty in the classroom.
Development of bilateral coordination in self-feeding depends greatly on the child’s developmental level. The baby who is learning to place dry cereal in their mouth will be vastly different level than the child who is scooping soup or cutting a piece of chicken. Development of fine motor skills and visual motor skills have an impact on coordination of the hands in self-feeding.
What makes up bilateral coordination?
In fact, there are three components of bilateral coordination:
Dominant hand/supporting hand movements
There are different types of bilateral coordination:
- holding a squeeze bottle with both hands at the midline to paint.
- Jumping rope
- Jumping Jacks
- Catching a ball with two hands
- Riding a bike
- Lacing cards
- Tying shoes
This occupational therapy tool is Easter-themed but it builds the skills needed for kids to cut with scissors while refining and building accuracy with scissor skills.
Bilateral Coordination and the Vestibular System
Related: Need some indoor bilateral coordination activities like this one? Try our list of Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities that kids will love!