Many children will use both hands as they learn how to hold things. However, switching back and forth may prevent your child from refining skills that only require one hand.
For example, learning how to throw a ball may take longer if your little one throws it with their right hand sometimes and their left other times. You can help speed up development by paying close attention to their movements and encouraging the use of their stronger side.
Here are a few tips for determining if your toddler is right or left-handed:
- Note which hand they use most
Which hand does your child usually grab things with? Make note of how many times they use their left and right hand each day for about a week. If they use one hand 70% of the time, you can bet that is their dominant hand. If you see a 50/50 split, keep the experiment going until you can tell a difference.
- Check for hand-swapping
Some kids will start an activity with one hand and then swap when that side gets tired. If you notice this, the first hand your child uses may be their dominant hand – they just need to build up some endurance. Give them more chances to develop their fine motor skills in that hand with plenty of one-handed activities.
- Use midline crossing activities
Small children are likely to use their left hand to pick up things to their left and their right hand to pick up things to their right. Place objects in the middle of your little one’s field of view and see which hand they tend to grab with.
IMAGINE EARLY EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE