Midline crossing is very important so, as a parent, you need to know why and how to help your children develop it.
The “Midline” refers to the imaginary line that’s drawn from the head to the feet that separated the body into the left and right halves. Crossing it means that one part of the body, say a hand or a foot, can move over to the other side.
The goal is to have kids practice midline crossing from a very early age so that it becomes second nature.
What Is Midline Crossing?
Midline crossing starts begins happening in infancy when babies learn to reach for things using both hands. Say a baby is reaching out for a ball that’s slightly to the left side of their body; in doing that, they’re crossing the midline.
Bilateral movements and interacting with the environment are very important for child development and it helps them cross the midline. As they grow older, children start to use the left hand on the left side of the body and the right hand on the right side of their body when they play.
However, spatial perception and left-right discrimination start developing at ages 4 through 8, along with the ability to cross the midline.
The skill should be completely integrated by the ages of 8 or 9.
Factors that Affect Midline Crossing
As mentioned earlier, interacting with the environment and engaging in bilateral movements can help children develop their midline crossing a lot more effectively.
This means that you have to play a lot with your child as they’re growing up so they can be actively engaging in midline crossing.
Don’t limit your child’s interaction with their environment. Encourage it and limit their time in baby gear or playing with screens. Otherwise, you will limit their midline crossing development greatly.
Trunk rotation is another important factor that affects midline crossing. Children need to rotate their trunk so they can improve their core stability and be less stiff, which will help with midline crossing.
The Benefits of Midline Crossing
When you make sure your children develop their midline crossing skills, they will be able to interact a lot better with their environment. They will have more freedom of movement and they will learn to use their body more effectively. For instance if one hand is occupied, they know they can use the one on other side of their body.
This ability helps toddlers reach for objects while crawling, eventually, it will make feeding themselves easier, and so much more. This is why it’s so important to regularly engage your child in midline crossing activities. You want to do this from infancy and continue encouraging it in all their stages of development.
Physical activities and games are not just about having fun, they also teach our children to use their bodies more efficiently and effectively.
As parents, it’s important to make time for these things, to do our research. And to keep our children moving and improving in their development.
This will help them later on in school and when they engage in most physical activities such as sports, dancing, walking and jumping!
Visit our store for some great games that encourage midline crossing in kids some of our favorites are:
Flexible Race Track Toy Road – driving cars from one side to the other while sitting on a single place is great midline crossing practice.
Wooden Vehicle Stringing Beads – place the beads on either side of your child while in a sitting position and let them take beads from the left side with the right arm and visa versa.
Wooden Block Sets - place the blocks on one side of your child while in a sitting position and let them take the blocks from one side and build their construction on the opposite side, encouraging midline crossing.
Alphabet Learning Locks – place the locks and keys on opposite side of a seated child and encourage them to cross the midline and match up the keys and locks.
Butterfly - Forest Play Mat – for infants, place toys on either side and allow them to roll and grab at toys using opposite hands.