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Using Hands to Manipulate Objects

(Transferring, Crossing Midline, Using two hands together)

“Manipulative (in a good way)”

  • Use a variety of fun toys some of which can be helped with one hand, and larger toys needing two hands for other activities.
  • Hold a small toy or block in front of your child.  Encourage him to pick it up with either hand.  Watch to see if your child moves the toy from one hand to another independently.  If not, offer your child another toy to that same hand and see if he transfers the first toy to hold the second toy.
  • Hold a toy out to the side (left side or right side of the body) and see if your child will use the hand on the other side of the body to reach for the toy (e.g.using the left hand to take a toy on the right side, crossing over the stomach to reach). If he does not initiate this independently, gently hold down the hand on that side to encourage your child to use the hand on the opposite side.
  • girl-playing-with-mudGive a toy such as a ring stacker and place it in front of your child and encourage him to take the rings off. See if your child holds the stacker with one hand while taking the ring off with the other hand. If he only uses one hand initially, prompt to use the other hand verbally and physically (say “Use the other hand” while guiding the unused hand over to the toy). When using two hands to manipulate a toy, your child is using both hands “bilaterally”.