Therapist Thursday…..Both sides of the body working together

by: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L

Bilateral coordination is an important and necessary for skill for writing, coloring, and cutting.  This refers to the use of the two sides of the body working together.  When performing skills such as cutting and writing, the two sides of the body are performing different tasks.  One hand is holding the paper, while the other hand is cutting or writing.  In skills such as jumping jacks or rolling a worm with play-doh, both sides of the body are doing the same thing.  For some kids, cutting and writing are challenging activities because they have difficulty with bilateral coordination.  Here are some fun ways you can work on this skill at home with your kids:

  1. Nuts and Bolts: Taking a part and putting back together nuts and boltshandsworkingtogether1
  2. Stringing Beads: Make sure they hold the string with one hand, while putting the beads on with the other.
  3. Baking: Have your child help stir the ingredients.  They can hold the bowl with one hand, and stir with the other                                                      handsworkingtogether2
  4. Pop beads: Large and small pop bead are great for hand strengthening to.
  5. Water bottles: Removing screw top lids from bottles and putting them back on
  6. Soldier Marching: Touching the left hand to the right knee, and then alternating with the right hand touching the left knee
  7. Zoom Ball: This is a fun game to play with a friend and is great strengthening activity too                                                                                           handsworkingtogether5
  8. Stickers: Make sure one hand holds the sheet of stickers, while the other one removes the stickers
  9. Locks and keys: One hand holds the lock, while the other one turns the key handsworkingtogether6

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