What is crossing midline?
Crossing midline is the ability to move ones hands, feet, and eyes not only together, but across and to the other side of the body.
Why is it important?
It is important for children to have the ability to reach the midline of the body with opposing arms and legs in order to perform tasks on the opposite side of the body. Another important reason to be able to cross midline is so that it allows the right and left side of the brain to communicate. Each side of the brain is used to carry out different tasks. Therefore, it is necessary for both the left and right side of the brain to work together in order to coordinate certain movements and improve effective learning.
How it can affect your child:
Crossing midline builds the foundation for appropriate development of various motor and cognitive skills. Many daily activities require the coordination that comes from cross lateral motions. Children who have difficulty crossing the body’s midline often have trouble with skills such as writing, reading, crawling, riding a bike, and many other schools/playtime activities.
How can you help?
There are many ways to be able to help your child exercise the ability to cross the midline. The following are examples of crossing midline exercises to engage your child in:
- Pop bubbles with one hand in all directions
- Wash car/window with his/her dominant hand and encourage to go all directions
- Cross crawl in standing position with hand touching opposite knee
- Draw a large figure eight as if it were laying down from side to side – NOT from top to bottom