This month the OT department wanted to share fun activities to encourage your child to cross midline! The “midline” is the imaginary line in the center of the body that separates the left and right sides. Crossing midline is moving your arm or leg past the center into the opposite side. This movement is used for putting toys away, painting on a large canvas, brushing hair, reaching for toilet paper, and many more activities of daily living. Being able to cross midline spontaneously will improve your child’s participation in reading, writing, sports, arts, and other school tasks.
The position where legs are moved to one side, one arm is used to support the body, and the other arm is available for movement (shown on right).
Activity: Have your child side sit while playing on the floor and place toys on the opposite side of the available arm. Encourage your child to cross the midline to reach for toys. Some examples of play are puzzle pieces, playing cards, or blocks.
Activity: Use a figure 8 roadway (or draw one) for your child to follow with a toy car. The child should be positioned so there is roadway to the left and right sides to reach. Encourage your child to move the car around the figure 8 to practice crossing midline.
Tip: Add familiar destinations to the figure 8 road (i.e. house and school) and have the child bring you between locations.
Activity: Tape a large poster on the wall or any vertical surface. Have your child stand in the center without moving his/her feet. Ask your child to draw using one hand and hold the poster board with the other. Encourage your child to draw on both sides of the poster.
Alternative: Have your child lay on her belly and place the poster board on the floor. Your child will hold the body up with one arm and color with the other hand. Large rainbows are good subjects to draw for crossing midline.
As always feel free to change the activity to fit your child sensitivities. Please contact your occupational therapist if you need more individualized support.
The OT Department