Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities | The OT Toolbox

Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities

Bilateral coordination is a big topic in child development. The fact is that the coordinated use of the hands is a tricky skill for many kids. Using the hands together in tasks is necessary for hand dominance and tasks like handwriting, managing clothing fasteners, catching and throwing a ball, fine motor tasks, and so many other skills. Below you will find winter bilateral coordination activities. These are winter themed activities that improve bilateral integration and can be used in occupational therapy activities in the winter months. Scroll through the activities below and add them to your therapy toolbox this winter!

Kids will love these winter bilateral coordination activities to help develop the skills to use both hands together in a coordinated way! Snowman activities, snowflake activities, and other winter themed activities for use in occupational therapy and at home.

Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities

This post is part of our Winter Week series here on The OT Toolbox. Each day this week, we are sharing activities, ideas, and tips for getting the kids active and moving...and working on occupational therapy goals in the winter months. This time of year can be tough on therapists; It's right after the holidays. If in a cold weather environment, it can be a glum and gloomy time of year with cold temps and shorter days. It can be hard to come up with fresh ideas! That's why I decided a Winter Week was in order. Each day this week, you'll find winter themed activities designed to meet occupational therapy goal areas in fun ways. Here's what's going on this week: 

Monday- Indoor Recess Ideas

Tuesday- Winter Brain Break Ideas

Wednesday- Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities

Thursday-Winter Mindfulness Activities

Friday- Winter Fine Motor Activities (AND Free Fine Motor Printables!)

On to the Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities! Have fun in OT these winter months!

First, What is Bilateral Coordination?

In short, bilateral coordination is the use of both hands together in a coordinated manner. There are three components of bilateral coordination, which include Symmetrical movements, Reciprocal movements, and Dominant hand/supporting hand movements. 

These movements 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.

Bilateral coordination is needed for skills like: eating, writing, coloring, drawing, self-dressing, brushing one's teeth, playing, tying shoes, and so much more!

The winter themed bilateral coordination activities below are ideas for activities that can help to work on coordinated use of both hands in fun activities!

Winter Themed Bilateral Coordination Activities

1. Cutting Paper Snowflakes- Folding and cutting are bilateral coordination activities that require both hands being used together. Make paper snowflakes with different textures or types of papers to put a fun spin on this winter activity. Try making paper snowflakes with cupcake liners, paper bags, tissue paper, or large construction paper sheets!

2. Paper Snowmen- Remember making strands of paper dolls? Try making a strand of paper snowmen while working on bilateral coordination while folding and cutting the snowmen.

3. Lacing Mittens- Make a cardboard set of mittens and poke holes around the edges. Then lace with cord, yarn, or string like Fun Family Crafts did with their mitten lacing activity. Lacing is a bilateral coordination activity that boost the skills kids need for tasks like handwriting. Read more about how lacing is such a great activity for kids here. 

4. Play Dough Snowmen- Mixing and rolling dough is a fantastic bilateral coordination activity. Here's why: By mixing dough, both hands are working together against resistance of the dough, providing a sensory component in the form of proprioception. This feedback can provide a powerful muscle memory to the hands as they work. Kids can mix, stir, and knead while strengthening the hands and arms. This Baking soda dough is perfect for creating snowmen, which require rolling and building...and more bilateral coordination!

5. Snowman Sensory Bag- This is such a fun sensory activity that allows kids to work both hands together to move parts of a snowman face while working on finger isolation and dexterity. This snowman sensory bag version from Mama Papa Bubba is very cute!

Be sure to stop back the rest of this week to find more winter activities to inspire movement and development! 

Looking for more bilateral coordination ideas? Try these: 

Development of Bilateral Coordination and Feeding

Bilateral Coordination Lacing Plate

Bilateral Coordination Activity with Pop Tubes

Bilateral Coordination and Visual Motor Activity with Hearts

Bilateral Coordination and Visual Motor Activity Clover

Homemade and Store Bought Lacing Cards for Bilateral Coordination Skills

These winter bilateral coordination activities are great for helping kids develop the skills to use both hands together in tasks like handwriting, cutting with scissors, and more.