A child sticking stickers into a book, using both hands together

Bilateral co-ordination: using both hands together

Bilateral coordination is the ability to use both sides of the body effectively and efficiently. This skill is crucial for mastering tasks like getting dressed, using cutlery, or riding a bike. Developing bilateral coordination is also essential for establishing handedness and refining fine motor skills.

There are three types:


Symmetrical bilateral co-ordination involves using both sides of the body at the same time and in the same way. Think catching a ball with both hands or doing star jumps.


Asymmetrical bilateral co-ordination is for those tasks where the two sides do different things. One hand stabilises the paper while the other writes; one hand turns the paper while the other cuts with scissors; one hand holds the jar, the other twists the lid.


Reciprocal bilateral co-ordination is used in those situations where both sides work in an alternating fashion. Pushing the pedals of a bike, for example.

All these skills are prerequisites for confident, mistake-free writing. Our goal is to go from left to right across the page in a controlled manner. 

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