A hand preference is typically developed by age 3, meaning you will observe if your child is right or left-handed. Some kids establish hand dominance as early as 18 months. While others may not establish a dominant hand until Kindergarten.
To encourage hand dominance, place objects and tools in the front center of the child so the child will have a natural development of preference.
Once you see your child is using one hand more than the other, begin encouraging use of that hand as the "doing” hand while the opposite hand is the "helping” hand. This will help develop those skills needed for hand dominance and decrease switching of hands when fatigued.
It is important to develop a hand dominance by the time the child begins to write letters as it will impact their learning of formation as well as their progress with legibility and formation. Handwriting is a skill that builds upon foundational skills, so having a solid base where the child has achieved hand dominance and has begun refining fine motor skills with their preferred hand is integral to their success.
Let us know if you are unsure about your child's handedness and we will help you problem solve and remediate!