Have you ever wondered why the handwriting of some children is so sloppy? or why other children make such a mess in the kitchen? Try doing all of your normal activities with your non-dominant hand for one full day and you will quickly understand their challenge.
I spent several days trying to perform normal daily tasks with my left-hand. I wanted to see how challenging it would be, but also felt like spending long hours in front of the computer, always cutting food, brushing my teeth and doing everything with my right hand had left me a bit unbalanced. Sometimes I felt like my spine was a bit crooked and muscles on one half of my body were developed differently than the other side. Would doing things with my left-hand have any effect?
Writing, cooking, brushing my teeth and operating the computer mouse were four main activities that were extremely challenging. In addition, unlocking doors proved quite difficult. Both number 5 and 2 came out backwards on paper. Wow! That was a wake-up call. In the kitchen, cutting tomatoes and potatoes, my hands did not know how to hold the food. I didn't cut myself, but a few of my fingernails ended up a little shorter. Using the vegetable peeler proved to be an interesting challenge. It took several swipes just to get the cutter to cut. Unlocking the front door, I turned the key in the wrong direction and consistently clicked the wrong mouse buttons. Eating took up about twice as much time. It's really difficult to cut an egg with a fork, and even more challenging with the left hand. It took forever just to get the cut piece of egg stabbed onto my fork, and I had difficulty getting out every last drop of yogurt from my bowl. My teeth did feel clean after I clumsily wiggled the brush around for a few minutes in my mouth. My right hand is an expert, but my left needs definite practice.
Two main things struck me while working left-handed. One was the amount of brain power involved in theses seemingly automated tasks. Once I switched hands, these activities were no longer automatic and required my brain to wake-up. The other was the muscle control which had been developed unsymmetrically.
After using my left-hand for a full day, I decided to continue the experiment for the entire month. By the third week I became quite proficient using the mouse and was able to cut my food much quicker. At the swimming pool I realized that my flip turns were right-handed and doing them backwards caused new muscles in my stomach to wake-up.
If you try using your opposite hand, be sure to leave a comment to say how it went.
Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.