The Importance of Crossing the Midline for Children

by | Mar 17, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Crossing the midline is when you move your legs and arms across the the imaginary line down the middle of your body. 🦵|🖐 

This skill is important in learning how to use both sides of your body together in smooth, controlled movement. 

It promotes coordination and communication of the left and right hemisphere of the brain. 

Without practising this, children can later on have difficulties with…

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Cutting 
  • Tracking words on a page
  • Crawling 
  • Swapping hands instead of reaching
  • Skipping
  • Kicking a ball
  • Tying shoelaces

Some ways to identify if your child is having problems crossing the midline-
▪︎Swapping hands while doing activities eg. Drawing/painting etc.

▪︎Moving their body to get something rather than reaching across their midline. 

▪︎Delay in hand dominance.

▪︎Troubles visually tracking objects which can progress to issues with following a text when reading.

▪︎Delays in gross motor skills such as climbing, star jumps, skipping.

 

Here are some simple, fun activities to develop this skill in your little one.

☞ Touch your hand to the opposite ear/shoulder/knee/foot and visa versa.

☞ Touch your elbow to your opposite lifted knee and swap.

☞ Sit cross-legged on the ground and pass a tennis ball around your body.

☞ Standing, pass a ball around your body moving up and down from knees to head. 

☞ Open legs and pass a tennis ball between legs in a figure-eight motion

☞ Sit back to back with a partner and pass a ball around each other’s bodies. 

☞ Crawling, marching and monkey walking.

☞ Sit and use dancing streamers, waving them all around the body.

☞ Practise dance and yoga.

☞ Climb rock walls.

☞ Use hula hoops.

☞ Kick a ball at a target win an inner foot, sideways kick.

☞ Kneeling down, throw a ball to them standing slightly to the side so they need to reach to catch it. 

☞ Play Simon Says and use movements that require them to cross their midline.

☞ Position yourself in the middle of the coffee table and trace a finger from one end to the other, then switch hands.

☞ Cross over walking: Lay a rope or draw a chalk line and walk with left foot on the right side of the rope then right foot to the left side of the top. 

☞ Learn the Nutbush!

☞ Alternate hands when completing table activities such as puzzles, sticking and removing stickers, eating with cutlery. 

☞ Putting gloves on. 

Practise skipping with and without a rope (5+ years).

You can find more ideas like this to help teach your little learner in a holistic way in the Teacher for Early Years- Specialised Edition.

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