What is Bilateral Coordination?
Bilateral coordination (sometimes called bilateral integration) is simply performing a task that requires both sides of the body to work at one time.
Since we specialise in handwriting, we are going to be focusing on moving both hands together, and coordinating these into fluid, symmetrical movements.
Why is Bilateral Coordination Important?
To perform bilateral movements, both hemispheres of the brain need to integrate together to process information used for directionality, motor planning and visual motor skills.
Bilateral coordination is an important skill to develop as it assists a child in performing tasks such as handwriting, cutting, self-dressing, eating with cutlery, carrying objects, buttoning up a shirt and buckling a seatbelt independently.
Bilateral Coordination and Handwriting
Handwriting is a bilateral task, requiring a child to write with one hand and stabilise the page with the other. This is why we need to ensure that our children have developed sound bilateral skills as part of their foundational preparation for handwriting.
Bilateral Coordination Activity for Handwriting
This is a great activity for encouraging bilateral coordination, as it requires children to move both of their hands in a symmetrical pattern at the same time.
You Will Need
- Bilateral Activity Free Printable [Download Here]
- Crayon Rocks
- Sticky Tape to stabilise paper on the table
[TIP] We encourage you to use any medium your child is comfortable with to mark the paper. They may even like to start by just tracing the patterns with their finger.
Let’s Get Started
- Present your child with an activity sheet of choice.
- Using sticky tape, stabilise the paper to the table/surface.
- Ask them to observe the activity and describe what they see.
- Prompt your child to choose a Crayon Rock for each hand.
- When they feel comfortable, ask them to put their Crayon Rock at the starting point of the pattern, and prompt them to begin drawing with both hands, using the lines as guides until they reach the large green dot at the end.
- As your child gains confidence, offer them the opportunity to explore other patterns, and continue the activity.
[TIP] We are not expecting perfection here, the goal of this activity is to learn to move both hands symmetrically and it does not matter if your child misses the lines.
It is recommended your child starts with the straight line pattern, as this is simple and will allow your child to master the task before moving o more complicated patterns.
This may seem like a really simple activity, but we encourage you as an adult to give it a try! You may be surprised at how challenging it is. Share your pictures with us on Insta using the hashtag #crayonrocks