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Gross Motor Skills: Crossing the Midline

Building connections

Activity #4

What is the midline? If you were to draw an imaginary line down the middle of you body, starting with your head down to your toes, that is your midline. When you cross the line with either side of your body, that is crossing the midline. Crossing the midline builds connections between the right and left sides of the brain that are crucial for reading, writing, sports, and many other day-to-day activities.

Children who have difficulty reaching across the midline may actually "get stuck" in mid-reach and switch hands. They may compensate by turning their trunk to reach toward the opposite side.

Here are some activities to try with your child that will focus on helping them cross the midline:

  • Engage the body
    • Alternating hand-over-hand activities, such as pulling on a rope
    • Have your child use ribbons or streamers and wave them back and forth across their body using one hand
    • Play body awareness games like The Hokey Pokey and Simon Says
    • When playing with a ball, roll or throw the ball to the right and to the left of center, encourage your child to catch the ball with both hands together
  • Midline Games
    • Create sorting games: place objects to sort on the left side and containers to place them in on the right side: sort coins, cars vs. trucks, pompoms, marbles, bingo chips, etc
    • Draw paths on the floor with tape (or sidewalk chalk outside) with lots of turns and waves. Have your child push toy trucks and cars along the paths

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