Crossing The Midline
Why is crossing of the midline so important for learning?
Crossing the midline of your body helps build pathways in the brain and is an
important prerequisite skill required for the appropriate development of various motor
and cognitive skills.
How does it help with school readiness?
The midline is the invisible line that divides the body into a right and left side. Effective
crossing of the midline allows the child to sit still when seated at a desk, without turning their
bodies or paper. It is an important skill for the development of reading and writing. When
crossing the midline new neural pathways develop from one brain hemisphere to the other,
thus increasing overall functioning and learning experience.
While Little Harvard’s educators do their part at school, here’s
what parents can do at home: (Please consider child age for each of the below)
1. Pop bubbles with only one hand (they will have to reach across their body to pop the
bubbles floating on the opposite side).
2) Draw large figure eights (the infinity sign or an 8 turned on its side) on paper, on the floor
with a finger, in the air with a finger, or drive a matchbox car around a figure eight pattern.
3) Let the child play with sand, scooping sand from one side of the body and putting it into a
bucket on the opposite side of the body without switching hands.
4) Let the child pretend to drive a car with a ball in his/her hands to use as a steering wheel
and encourage the crossing of his/her arms as he/she turns the ‘steering wheel’ OR to make
this similar in style to most of the others—pretend to drive a car with a ball in both hands to
use as a steering wheel and cross both arms while turning the “steering wheel”.
5) Play flashlight tag. In a dimmed room, lie on your backs and have the child follow your
flashlight beam projected on the wall with his own flashlight.
6). Touch the opposite elbow and knee.
7) Cross one foot over the other while walking sideways.
8) Do “grapevine” walks.
9). Knee slap walk- Walk around raising each knee while touching/slapping it with the
opposite hand (or elbow). Change it to a skip while touching the opposite knee as it comes
10) Windmill-stand with feet spread apart and arms extended out to the sides. Bend over at
waist and tap right hand to left foot. Stand back up and then bend and tap left hand to right
11) Point your left finger out and put your right thumb up. Switch them, and switch, and
switch, and switch…
12) Hold your nose, then cross the other hand over and grab your opposite ear. Slap your
thighs and switch your hands…switch, slap, switch, slap…
13) Write your name in the air while rotating your foot in a circle clockwise.
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