As babies, both hands are active and busy but a subtle change takes place as your child develops and interacts more frequently with toys, gadgets, and other items of interest. You may begin to notice he or she tends to use one hand over the other at around 2 or 3 years old while some children use both hands equally until age 5 to 6.
Do's and Don'ts
Children don't give a lot of thought to which hand to use. They don't over think it; they just use the one they're most comfortable using. Some children are ambidextrous and use the right hand for some things and the left for others.
Watch your child to see which hand is used for holding the fork, drawing, or coloring. This is a good indication of where their tendencies lie. Attempting to urge a child to use a particular hand may cause confusion especially if it's the other hand they're more prone to use.
Don't force them to use one hand versus the other. Keep in mind some children are ambidextrous, capable of using both hands equally well.
Let your child decide which hand does what. Some children use one hand to hold a cup and the other to throw a ball.
If your child is swapping from one hand to the other, consider doing bilateral coordination activities to help determine which will be the dominate hand.
At Horizon Education Centers, we're here to support your child in every way with our many programs for toddlers to preteens. We have centers throughout Ohio. Contact the one nearest you for information and any questions about our services.