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Summer Fun: Bimanual Activity Ideas for Children with Hemiplegia

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The following list features ways to encourage ongoing development of bimanual skills over the summer months.

  • Putting on sunscreen (with help for thoroughness as needed):
    Ask your child to use one hand to squeeze sunscreen into the opposite hand.  Use a mirror as you help them rub in the sunscreen and have them work on body awareness by naming body parts.
     
  • Carrying:
    Have your child carry heavy buckets of sand and water with both hands, or go berry picking and carry a bucket in their non-dominant hand while the other hand picks the fruit.
     
  • Pouring:
    Encourage your child to practice pronation and supination by pouring sand or water between containers.
     
  • Ball skills:
    Your child can work on their carrying, catching and throwing skills with a beach ball. Make the ball easier to catch and carry by letting some of the air out of it.
     
  • Blowing bubbles:
    Your child can use a “no spill” bubble tumbler to promote success.  Have them hold the tumbler with their non-dominant hand, while the dominant hand holds the bubble wand.  If your child’s hand cannot fit around the container, have them stabilize it against their trunk with the side of their hand or forearm. 
     
  • Catching fireflies:
    Ask your child to both hands to catch and release fireflies in the evening.  Have your child cup their dominant hand and use their non-dominant hand as the “lid.”
     
  • Eating:
    While your child will eat most foods with just their dominant hand, they might need both hands to stabilize large foods like corn on the cob and big slices of watermelon.

Have a wonderful, active summer as you support your child’s growth and development!

If you have a topic or questions that you would like the Helping Hands blog to address, please email HelpingHands@kennedykrieger.org.

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