The present article shows that infant and dyad differences in hand–eye coordination predict dyad differences in joint attention (JA). In the study reported here, 51 toddlers ranging in age from 11 to 24 months and their parents wore head‐mounted eye trackers as they played with objects together. We found that physically active toddlers aligned their looking behavior with their parent and achieved a substantial proportion of time spent jointly attending to the same object. However, JA did not arise through gaze following but rather through the coordination of gaze with manual actions on objects as both infants and parents attended to their partner's object manipulations. Moreover, dyad differences in JA were associated with dyad differences in hand following.