5 Games and Activities to Stimulate Laterality in Children

Games and activities are fundamental to stimulate laterality in children, as well as to work on other physical abilities. Learn more.
5 Games and Activities to Stimulate Laterality in Children

Last update: 02 August, 2022

Planning games and activities is one of the best options to stimulate laterality in children, especially if they’re entertaining proposals.

It’s important to highlight the importance of working on different physical abilities, especially in sensitive stages such as childhood. During this period of time, little ones must learn to relate to their environment and begin to recognize some abstract concepts, such as those linked to spatial location.

Based on the above, we’ll teach you some exercises to stimulate laterality in your children. All of them must be properly supervised. Let’s start!

Stimulate laterality: Games and activities

Games and activities to stimulate this ability in children must be well planned in terms of duration, materials needed, and the place where they’ll be carried out.

Therefore, the work as parents is focused on knowing and understanding each activity. Even if it’s carried out by a teacher or instructor, the parents’ mission is to understand and supervise it.

Now, take note of our recommendations.

A child's feet surrounded by arrows pointing in different directions.
The concept of laterality is a crucial physical capacity that allows us to better relate to the environment around us. For this reason, it should be encouraged from childhood.

1. “Apple or banana”

The ‘apple or banana’ game can be named after any other fruit, it all depends on your imagination or the choice you make. Beyond its name, this activity requires concentration as well as basic knowledge on the part of the participating children.

The apple represents the left arm, while the banana represents the right arm. Once you mention some of the fruits, the children will have to raise the corresponding arm.

For example, you say ‘apple’ and immediately the children raise their left arm. Any child who makes a mistake must perform a penance assigned by the other children.

2. Animal sorting

Normally, animal sorting activities are based on the biological or physical characteristics of the species. However, the segregation of this game only takes into account the position of the face, with respect to the direction in which the eyes look.

To carry out the classification, the children must draw a vertical line on a blank sheet of paper: On the left side, they write the word ‘left’ and the same for the right side.

Once this division has been drawn, each child will have a certain number of figures showing only one side of the face, which is directed to the right or to the left. The objective of the children will be to classify each animal according to its face.

3. Vice versa

The ‘vice versa’ game is recommended for older children or for those who easily understand the concept of laterality.

To carry it out, gather a group of children (at least 5), who are distributed randomly around the place, but looking in the direction of the leader. In this case, you can be the leader of the game.

You can then lead the game in different ways. The first one will be oral, and so you’ll tell them to raise their right hand and they’ll have to raise their left hand. You can also give them displacement orders, which will have to be carried out in the opposite way.

The second option to direct the game is the visual way. In this case, you must perform movements related to laterality and the children must imitate the opposite.

The benefits of this game aren’t limited to stimulating laterality, but also reaction capacity, attention, and coordination.

4. Throwing with the opposite hand

Throwing activities encourage various physical abilities in children, including laterality. In this case, the objective is based on making different throws with both hands, one ball at a time.

To carry it out, get balls of a size relative to the size of the children’s hands so that they don’t have difficulty grasping them. Afterward, place the children at a distance of approximately 3 to 6 feet from a basket.

The activity consists of throwing the balls and putting them in the basket, first with the right hand and then with the left.

Chilren trying to keep a ball in the air.
With the ball in the air, encourage the children to choose to hit it with one hand or the other and alternate them according to a defined sequence.

5. Shoe throwing

Stimulation of laterality shouldn’t focus solely on the upper extremities. The legs and feet should also be stimulated.

For this, we suggest a game called ‘shoe tosses’, which are carried out with the feet.

All you need is to have the children’s usual footwear. Each one will throw the right shoe with the right foot until it falls backward. Then they’ll do the same with the left foot.

Games and activities to stimulate laterality, use your imagination

Imagination is the main tool when planning games and activities, even for the purpose of stimulating laterality. The goal is to capture the children’s attention, as well as to constantly motivate them to work on this ability.

Ideally, you should participate in the activity as well, not just supervise or guide. This way, you’ll become a better role model.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.