At what age can you determine if a child is right or left handed? My 3 year old favors her left hand with she is colouring or painting, but the right when picking up things or lifting things. She can be instructed to use her right hand when painting or colouring but she gets tired and then transfers it to her left.

No one in the family is left handed.


Posted anonymously, 9th February 2016


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  • It doesn’t really matter if they’re right or left handed does it? I didn’t use to encourage the use of non use of either hand. I just let them go for it, whatever worked for them was fine for me. It would be awesome if she continues using both



  • Try not to worry about preference – children do sort this out eventually.



  • My 6 yr old used both hands and still does, bit since starting school has favoured her right. My 2 year old twins can use both hands depending on what theyre doing, but alreday clearly one prefers her right and the other uses his left for playing with toys, eating, picking up his drinkbottle etc. i guess its a wait and see. No one else in our family is a leftie!



  • My daughter who is 5 injured her right hand last week (first week of prep and all!) Prior to the accident she was using her right hand for all tasks. Since the injury she has had to use her left hand. I can’t believe that after one week of using her left hand how comfortable she is withusing it. I am strongly encouraging her to start using her right hand again as both my husband & son are left handed. I think some young kids use both hands/feet for different tasks. You might have to wait and see!



  • I’m not sure there is an “age” when you can determine weather they will be lefties or righties. Both my sons (now 30 and 26) used their right and left hands equally when they were young, and both turned out to be right-handed and the oldest can still uses his left hand sometimes.



  • I’m left handed and all my family including my three children are right handed. I know all mine showed signs of being right handed at kindy and continued to school.



  • Children often use both hands and a preference is usually sorted once they start school.



  • I remember reading somewhere that children show a dominance or preference after about 2-3 years old



  • i have lefty sisters & one of my children is a lefty / righty for all of life hes now 29 & still does both



  • My little one (just shy of 2 years) prefers his right hand when drawing or eating but his left hand when throwing a ball or left foot when kicking a ball. We have been told that he is right handed. Interestingly both hubby and I are left handed but as I understand it there is no clear genetic link to handedness, so it wouldn’t matter if there are no lefties in your family.


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