Bilateral coordination activities are essential for coordinated and fluid movements that require both sides of the body. Also called bilateral integration, the movements of both hands together in activities requires processing and integration of both hemispheres of the brain to enable both hands working together at the same time. Without bilateral coordination, a child might appear to be clumsy or drop items, use primarily one hand in activities, or switch hands during tasks that require a dominant hand and a helper hand.
Bilateral Coordination Activities
There are different types of bilateral coordination:
1.) Symmetrical movements- Both hands do the same thing at the same time. An example of this would be pulling up pants or socks. Other activities that can work on this skill include
- holding a squeeze bottle with both hands at the midline to paint.
- Jumping rope
- Jumping Jacks
- Catching a ball with two hands
2.) Alternating Movements- Using the two extremities in alternating motions. You will see alternating bilateral coordination with swimming or climbing a ladder. Activities to work on this skill include:
- Riding a bike
3.) Dominant hand/Non-dominant hand- Using one hand to perform a task while the other assists is needed for many fine motor skills. This type of bilateral coordination is needed for writing, and cutting with scissors. Activities to work on this skill include:
- Lacing cards
- Tying shoes
Bilateral Coordination and the Vestibular System
Bilateral coordination is closely related to the vestibular system. When our baody registers movement and gravity it allows us to respond with appropriate movement, balance, and posture. The vestibular system and our body's ability to register information and integrate it into movements enables bilateral coordination and body awareness of the upper and lower body.
Below, you will find all of our activities that build and develop bilateral coordination. Try these activities to work on many skills like visual motor integration and fine motor skills while encouraging bilateral coordination. Be sure to stop back, because this page will be updated often!
Bilateral Coordination ideas for kids:
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