Coordination Skills

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Whether playing games, taking part in sport or doing schoolwork, coordination skills are important for your child.

Coordination usually refers to whether a child can get the arms and legs to work together in a coordinated, effective way.

In addition, many tasks which require coordinated movement also require the child to have good motor planning to time their movements accurately.

To get your child ready for school, there are 2 types of gross motor coordination that are are particularly important: bilateral coordination and hand-eye coordination.

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This page: coordination skills that kids need to develop

Bilateral Coordination Skills

Bilateral Coordination is the ability to use both sides of the body together in a coordinated way. This girl is pulling herself up a rope using both hands in a coordinated way.

Children with poor bilateral coordination skills may struggle with gross motor games or with fine motor tasks which require both hands to work together well.

Using bilateral coordination to pull up on a ropePulling up on a rope

Examples include jumping, skipping, cutting with scissors, using a knife and fork, and tying shoelaces.

The following pages on my site contain helpful info and photographed activities to help your child develop this skill:

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Hand Eye Coordination

This is the ability of the eyes to guide the hands in movement.

Catching a ball and being able to hit a ball with a bat are obvious examples, but many parents don’t realize that good hand-eye coordination can also help a child’s handwriting.

hand eye coordination enables kids to catch and throw accuratelyTossing a bean bag

Children need eye-hand coordination to guide their pencil between the lines and ensure their letters don’t go over the lines or touch each other.

Hand-eye coordination also forms the foundation for visual-motor integration, which helps kids learn to form letters and develop flowing handwriting

The following pages on my site contain helpful info and photographed activities to help your child develop this skill:

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Tips To Help Your Child Develop Coordination Skills

Helping your child work on his/her gross motor coordination abilities does not have to be too hard.

Just choose a couple of activities from the pages on my site, or from the wider selection in my gross motor e-books, and get started.

  • Give lots of encouragement and praise good attempts, even if they are not perfect. “You almost did it, well done!” “That was much better!” “Today is even better than yesterday!” “That was a good try!”
  • If your child struggles, then see if you can make the activity easier, or drop it, and try something different next time, coming back to the difficult activity in a week or two.
  • Look at your family’s daily routine and weekly routine. Each family is different and you need to decide what works best for you.
  • Daily routine: is there a time of day when it is generally possible for you to focus on your child for 10 minutes? After breakfast if you homeschool? After a rest time in the afternoon? Between bath and bed? Can you make a 10-minute break in the homework routine in the afternoon? Are there any exercises you can make a regular part of family outings, family life?

  • Weekly Routine: Which afternoon are you usually home without extra-mural activities? Or can you head for the playpark while you wait for your other child to finish extra-murals? What about Saturdays before chores?

Remember that incorporating gross motor exercises into your family’s life has wonderful long-term benefits!

Don't forget to look at other ways of improving your child’s general fitness levels and other gross motor skills, such as swimming, playing catch, cycling and walking on the beach.

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I hope you were helped and that you find ways to help your child develop the coordination skills needed for sport and learning!

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Try a Thingy Flip for Hand-Eye Coordination!

The Thingy Flip is an awesome toy/game that has been developed to improve eye-hand coordination skills. It can also help improve focus and concentration, and can have a great impact on your child's cricket, baseball, tennis or softball skills.

The Thingy Flip can be used to teach a young child how to toss and catch, but is equally helpful for teenagers and adults who want to perfect their hand-eye coordination.

An Australian creation, it can be shipped to many different locations. A great addition to any sports program, training program, or even as a homeschool break.

It's addictive once you start, as you try to improve your record each time!
Check out the Thingy Flip in action and get hooked!

Schools can sign up for a virtual program here.

thingy flip for eye-hand coordination
thingy-flip to train eye-hand coordinationThe Thingy Flip In Action!
summer discount on OT Mom e-books

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