The Mystery of Hand Dominance in Children

The development of predominant and proficient use of one hand over the other is important for handwriting, feeding, and other activities.  According to, 90% of the population is right-hand dominant and 10% is left- or mixed-hand dominant.

Did you know?  Encouraging or forcing the use of a particular hand in activities such as handwriting may lead to stuttering, stammering, and increased levels of stress within young children (Meng, 2007).


Honor the natural development

While it may be tempting to help a child “decide” which hand to use, research recommends encouraging activities that require two hands to perform different jobs to develop hand dominance.  Presenting toys at the midline allows children to grasp spontaneously.


Don’t worry if the child switches hands during play or learning – recognize this developmental time as the gift it is.


Source:  Dr. Marianne Gibbs, EdD, OTR, Write Out of the Box –, Picture from

Reference:  Meng, L. (2007). The rate of handedness conversion and related factors in left-handed children. Laterality, 12(2), 131-138.

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