Developing Bilateral Skills

alisonhThe Fit OTLeave a Comment

developing bilateral skills, developing bilateral coordination

Bilateral skill means the coordinating both of your hands together for a task.  Fasteners, opening items, cutting, dressing, typing the list goes on and on.  That is why it is SO important for kids to develop bilateral skills.

Many children struggle with developing bilateral skills.

And many OTs are pulling their hair trying to think of what they can do the than boring wooden beads. It’s important to keep it fun and engaging for the child. You can only string so many beads before you and the OT are bored out of their mind right?

I found these totally awesome beads that have inspired this post and are one of the many ways you can work on developing bilateral skills in children.

developing bilateral skills, developing bilateral coordination

How adorable are these? They don’t look like beads at all. They look fun!  Warning: they will be put in the mouth of most kids first.

Why I love these beads:

developing bilateral skills, developing bilateral coordination

-They are big which makes them easier to hold on to

-They are novel. Way more fun than boring wooden beads

-They are various shapes which helps children learn how to manipulate different objects.

-They are heavy duty and washable

-Did I mention how adorable they are?

-You can grade the level of difficulty. Pretzels are easier to string than peanuts or the raisins.

-You can work on sorting, patterns, colors and shapes with these.

The only con is the lace which is short and little flimsy. BUT if you are like me you have plenty of lace options and these would work great on a pipe cleaner if needed.

Other activities for developing bilateral skills

-Cut and rip paper.  Rip paper into small pieces and then form in the shape of different letters.

-Easter eggs. You can put coins, little erasers and many other toys in easter eggs to keep them fun.

-Wind up toys.

-Pull apart toys like these alligators  or popsicles.  You can also use legos or pop beads.

-Air darts. I found some fun ones at the dollar store.  You put the foam dart on the end and squeeze to make it launch.

-Stickers. (what OT doesn’t love stickers? Depending on the skill of the child.  Larger stickers are easier to get off the paper than smaller ones.

What are your favorite activities to work on developing bilateral skills?  I am always looking for new ideas.

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