Wednesday, December 19, 2012

10 Bilateral Coordination Activities for the Body

Some children who receive pediatric occupational and physical therapy have goals related to bilateral coordination for the whole body.  Here are ideas to practice bilateral coordination skills in older children:

1.  Marching to music and clapping hands at the same time.

2.  Cross crawls - touch your right hand to your left knee and then the left hand to your right knee.  Repeat touching the opposite feet.

3.  Traditional jumping jacks

4.  Cross Country Jumping Jacks - place right arm and right leg forward jump and switch left arm and left leg forward.  Try opposite sides - place right arm and left leg forward jump and switch left arm and right leg forward.

5.  March in place sitting down while drawing circles in the air with both hands

6.  Try a task using both hands or both hands and feet at the same time - ie: dribbling a ball with both hands, kicking a ball and dribbling a ball.

7.  Play hopscotch - the skill of jumping feet apart and together requires coordination of both sides of the body

8.  Perform motor activities to the beat of a metronome

9.  Jumping activities - jumping rope, jump up and clap hands, jump up and touch your heels behind your bottom, jumping activities through a floor ladder, etc.

10.  Animal walks that use both sides of the body - ie: crab walk, bear walk and crawling

What are your favorite bilateral coordination activities for the whole body?


Bill said...

These are great methods to help improve my coordination, thank you!

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Ali said...

Hi! I love these, but have younger children (under 5). Do you have any suggestions or modifications that are good for toddlers and preschoolers? Thanks!

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Here are a few bilateral coordination activities for the younger crowd - climbing playground equipment, pumping a swing, carrying objects (using both sides of the body to carry a tray or large ball for example while walking), riding a ride on toy, tricycle or scooter, climbing stairs, etc.

Everyday activities are perfect for this younger crowd as well. Here are a few examples in the kitchen
1. Spread soft butter or jelly on bread: one hand holds the knife and one hand holds the bread.
2. Pouring a drink - one hand holds the pitcher and the other hand stabilizes the cup.
3. Mixing - hold the bowl with one hand and use the other hand to stir with a spoon.
4. Open and close jars/containers - hold the jar/container with one hand and open the lid with the other hand.
5. Roll out dough - hold a rolling pin with both hands and roll out pizza, cookie or pie dough.

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