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:
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.