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Bilateral coordination

What is bilateral coordination?

Bilateral means "both sides." Bilateral coordination is using both sides of the body together in an activity. Many daily self-care and play activities require bilateral coordination skills.

How can I help my child?

The following activities can help your child develop better bilateral coordination. This home program should be used only under the guidance of an occupational or physical therapist.

Fine motor (small muscle) activities

__ Pop-beads or interlocking toys (Legos®)pull apart and push together

__ Lacing/sewing cards

__ String beads onto laces, pipe cleaners, or dowels

__ Shuffle and deal cards

__ Carpentry (hammering, using screws, and bolts)

Gross motor (large muscle) activities

__ Musical instruments such as cymbals, drums, triangle, and guitar

__ Play catch with a large ball or dribble the ball with two hands

__Clapping activities and games (pat-a-cake, Itsy Bitsy Spider)

__ Wheelbarrow or animal walks

__ Scooterborard activities - use arms to propel self through an obstacle course or pull self forward

Activities of daily living

__ Open jars and other containers with lids, and factory sealed food items.

__ Open and close fasteners - buttons, zippers, belt buckles, and shoe laces

__ Open toothpaste

__ Put on socks and shoe

School activities

__ Tear paper into strips and small pieces to make collages

__ Color tiny pieces of paper (hold paper steady with one hand and color with the other)

__ Use a ruler to make a calendar or graph

__ Use a rotary pencil sharpener

__ Cut with scissors

Community activities

__ Swimming: splashing, kicking, pulling self along edge of pool using arms, and pulling self out of pool

__ Outdoor playground activities such as climbing poles and ladders and swinging

__ Riding a bike or scooter






This home program is to be used only under the guidance of a physical or occupational therapist. If you have any problems with this home program, or any questions, please call your therapist in the Developmental and Rehabilitation Services Department.

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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