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Bilateral Coordination

Bilateral coordination refers to the bodies ability to use both sides of the body simultaneously to carry out a task.

Two Major Components of Bilateral Coordination:

Crossing midline is an individual's ability to reach across the middle of the body with either arms or legs during functional activities. At around 3-4 years old, a child should begin to cross the midline of the body spontaneously and develop a consistent hand dominance. This will present as the child having a preference for what hand holds a feeding utensil, writing utensil, and throws a ball etc. The ability to cross midline is a crucial component for proper bilateral coordination of both arms and legs.

The second important component to efficient bilateral coordination is body awareness. Body awareness is the ability to understand how our body moves and where our body is in space. For example, body awareness tells us how far away our body is from objects or people, how much pressure is necessary to be applied to a crayon when coloring, and allows a child to be able to accurately identify certain body parts. If a child presents with poor body awareness, they may have a difficult time bilaterally coordinating both sides of their body due to a lack of awareness of where their body is in space.

Typical Progression of Bilateral Coordination:

  1. Infants will start by bringing hands to midline to play with their fingers

  2. Babies will begin to use both hands simultaneously to bang together objects/clap

  3. Child will hold one hand stagnant while the other one works on a task

  4. Task is performed with both of their hands working together to coordinate the movement

Children require bilateral coordination skills to be able to do everyday tasks such as putting on shoes and socks, walking up and down stairs, cutting their food, or even riding a bike.

Fine motor activities that incorporate bilateral coordination:

Pulling squigs off the mirror

Coloring & Scissor Use


Activities on a vertical surface

Other Activities:

Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Pat-a-Cake and Clapping

Musical instruments such as drums & cymbals

Rolling out dough with rolling pin

Stringing Beads


Gross motor activities that incorporate bilateral coordination:

Crawling through a tunnel

Propelling on scooter board

Animal Walks


Snow Angels

Hop Scotch

Other Activities:

Riding a bike


Jumping Jacks

Wheelbarrow Walking

Throwing and catching a ball


1.Buckner, M.K. (n.d.). Bilateral Coordination. Therapy Street For Kids. Retrieved at <>


The content in this blog should not be used in place of medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes. All activities/exercises posted in this blog should be performed with adult supervision, caution, and at your own risk. Big Leaps, LLC is not responsible for any injury while performing an activity/exercise that has been posted on this blog. If you have any information on the content of our blog, feel free to contact us at


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