What is Crossing Midline?
Why is crossing midline important to a child’s development?
When the child does not exhibit midline crossing, they tend to use both hands equally in tasks like handwriting, coloring, and cutting with scissors. Using both hands together in a coordinated manner (bilateral hand coordination) allows kids to cross midline during tasks. If they have difficulty with crossing midline, a child will switch hands during handwriting because both hands get practice with pencil manipulation.
The child might rotate their whole body instead of twisting at the trunk or shift their weight in a task rather than leaning the upper body over the midline.
You can often times observe a tendency to avoid midline crossing in activities such as kicking a ball, throwing beanbags, switching hands in coloring, difficulty with putting on pants and shoes independently, and difficulty with visual tracking and reading.
Activities to help with Crossing Midline:
More activities to practice crossing midline:
- Rotate the body in a twisting motion.
- Bend the upper body side to side.
- Play Simon Says.
- Thread lids on a long string.
- Wash a large wall with big swooping arm motions.
- Erase a large chalkboard.
- Scoop balloons in a water bin.
- Wash a car. Encourage the child to use large circular motions with the sponge.
- Kick a ball.
- Toss bean bags. (Encourage upper body movement!)
- Squirt gun activities at targets.
- Play with magnets on the garage door.
- Play Twister.
- Hit a ball with a bat.
- Play flashlight tag.
- Show the child how to write their name in the air with large arm movements.
- Bend over at the waist and swing the arm side to side, in large circles, and in figure 8 motions.
- Play with scarves to music.
This post is part of the Gross Motor A-Z series hosted by Still Playing School. You can see all of the gross motor activities here.