What is crossing midline?
You may have heard your Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist talk about the importance of “crossing midline”. Well, what exactly does that mean? Crossing the body’s midline is the ability to reach across the body in the opposite direction with arms and legs. This allows children to cross their body and complete a task on the opposite side of their body. Tasks such as handwriting, tying shoes, and retaining objects placed on opposite sides of the body require the ability to sufficiently cross midline without switching hands.
How can I tell if my child is not crossing midline?
– Uses left hand for activities on the left side of the body and right hand for activities on right side of the body.
– Rotating their whole body to pick up an object placed on the opposite side of the body.
– Unable to complete certain gross motor activities such as x marches or scissor kicks.
– Switching hands when completing fine motor tasks such as writing or using a fork.
Activities for crossing midline
Below are some activities to increase crossing midline. Work on these activities at home to improve strength and coordination.
– Bilateral Activities (using both sides of the body) such as stringing beads, cutting tasks, folding paper, and playing with connect toys. Encourage the child to use each hand equally.
– Placing stickers on the opposite hand and having them take it off with the other hand.
– Draw infinity sign on a vertical surface (white board). Practice that motion in writing and in the air.
– Marching activities. Bring right hand to left knee and left hand to right knee as they step up.
– Passing Ball relays. Twist at the hips and take turns passing the ball in different directions, crossing the arms past the torso.
If you have any questions or concerns with your child’s development, contact us at TEAM 4 Kids to schedule an evaluation.
Egle Majute M.S., OTR/L