Bilateral coordination is the ability to use both sides of your body in a coordinated way.  This is an important developmental skills, as many tasks of everyday living require the use of both sides of the body, such as walking, eating, writing, dressing and playing.

Bilateral coordination can be separated into three types:

Symmetrical: when both hands or feet are performing the same motion. For example clapping, jumping, catching a ball with two hands, star jumps, or using a rolling pin.

Reciprocal: when both sides of the body move in a rhythmical motion. For example, walking, riding a bike or swimming.

Asymmetrical: when both sides are working together, but doing different tasks, with one side leading and the other side helping/supporting. For example, writing and colouring in, cutting with scissors, typing shoelaces, or playing a musical instrument.

Many childhood activities require children to use their hands and legs together in a coordinated way. To help your child develop their bilateral coordination skills, try some of these fun activities:

  • Throwing a ball or balloon with one or two hands;
  • Tearing or ripping up paper and scrunching it into a ball;
  • Rolling, cutting and manipulating playdough;
  • Playing with instruments;
  • Cutting with scissors;
  • Colouring in;
  • Threading activities-threading buttons or pasta through string, weaving string over and under through a template;
  • Playing Simon Says, mirroring movements;
  • Obstacle courses, playground equipment or jungle gyms.

If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to coordinate their body, please contact your GP, an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist for further support.

We have Occupational Therapy appointments available in Beenleigh, Morayfield, and Toowoomba.  We also do consults via video conference with TeleHealthBook a phone consult now to discuss your specific therapy needs!

About the Author

Morgan Evitt
Occupational Therapist

Morgan graduated from the University of Queensland with First Class Honours and the Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence. She’s much more that just a smart cookie though. Her clinical experience across both adult and paediatric services in hospitals, the community and private practice have provided a solid foundation for her ongoing career at Therapy Alliance Group. Her previous work as a disability support worker, teacher aide for Autism Queensland and an Occupational Therapy Assistant prior to graduation have provided her with a deep understanding of what life is really like for children with special needs and their families. She has a real knack for engaging and relating to children and helping parents to understand exactly how to help their child. Things I like: Netball, trashy TV, outdoor adventures, and time spent with family and friends (particularly when food is involved). Things I don’t like: Insects and spiders. Favourite colour: Purple.

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