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  • Sarina Shirazee

Bilateral coordination

Bilateral coordination is the ability to use both sides of the body in a controlled and organised way. This can mean using both sides together to perform the same task (e.g., catching a ball), alternating movement (e.g. climbing up stairs), or using each side of the body at the same time but to perform different tasks (e.g. writing with one hand and holding the page with the other).⠀⠀


From a very early age, you should notice your child performing bilateral coordination tasks like crawling, clapping, holding a bottle with two hands, or holding a bowl with one hand and scooping food with the other.⠀⠀


Activities that require and promote bilateral coordination include:⠀⠀


Simple symmetrical activities:⠀⠀


• Jumping with feet together on the floor or on a trampoline⠀⠀

• Throwing and catching a ball⠀⠀

• Songs with actions⠀⠀

• Tearing and scrunching paper⠀⠀

• Pulling cotton wool apart⠀⠀

• Rolling play dough into a sausage⠀⠀

• Connecting and pulling apart construction toys like Lego⠀⠀


Alternating movement activities:⠀⠀


• Running⠀⠀

• Marching⠀⠀

• Skipping⠀⠀

• Swimming⠀⠀

• Going up and down stairs⠀⠀

• Crawling⠀⠀

• Riding a bike⠀⠀

• Hand clapping games⠀⠀

• Banging drums⠀⠀

• Climbing ladders⠀⠀

• Rolling play dough into a ball⠀⠀

• Animal walks⠀⠀

• Wheelbarrow walks (support under the hips for little ones or older ones with decreased strength)⠀⠀


Activities requiring different skills sets for each side:⠀⠀


• Drawing, colouring or writing with one hand holding the page still⠀⠀

• Cutting⠀⠀

• Spreading peanut butter etc on bread⠀⠀

• Using a knife and fork⠀⠀

• Holding a plate or bowl with one hand while eating with the other⠀⠀

• Threading beads⠀⠀

• Tracing around stencils⠀⠀

• Opening jars and containers⠀⠀

• Hopping on one foot⠀⠀

• Riding a scooter

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