At Collaborative OT Solutions, our Occupational Therapists are always working to help kids and their families not only in the clinic. . . but also at school and home!
If your child has difficulties deciding if they are “left handed” or “right handed”, here are some great ways to work together to help them feel more confident using one hand as the dominant “working hand” and the other hand as the “helper hand” . . .
- Hand play! Tracing the hand, making hand puppets, and “messy play” like shaving cream are all ways to observe which hand your child finds dominant. What hand are they picking up the item to play with? What hand are they using to trace the other?
- Construction play! Building, stacking, and hammering. Observe what hand is used to build, manipulate and complete most of the ‘work’ and what is used to support (e.g. dominant hand used to hold the hammer, whole supporting hand holds the nail in place). When building with blocks, Legos, etc. what hand is being used most to manage the pieces?
- Kitchen tasks! Activities that allow for rolling dough, making cookies, etc. Even asking a child to ‘open a jar’ can give a further insight into the ‘doing’ and ‘helping’ hands. Using kitchen utensils overall can give a good gauge of what hand is preferred.
- Ball games! You can roll, throw or place a ball in a child’s hand. Get them to throw it at a target, or back to you, and see what hand is used most often. Even encouraging one hand to throw and the other to point can reinforce which hand is ‘doing’ and which is ‘helping’.
- Academic and Craft Tasks! Cutting, drawing and beading. These often give a good guide into a child’s natural preference. Cutting simple objects such as putty or play dough, coloring over stencils, or placing beads onto thick thread or pipe cleaners can all be observed while asking ourselves which hand is ‘working’ and which is ‘helping’?
Talk to your child’s treating therapist about fun strategies and ideas to promote carry-over of their skills at home. OT puts the FUN in FUNCTION!
We have two convenient locations to assist: Chula Vista (619) 621-5266 | San Diego (858) 547-7533 or click the button below for more information.