Easy OT Activities For
Crossing The Midline
Is your child’s midline crossing poor? These fun occupational therapy activities for crossing the midline are easy to do at home and come with lots of photos to show you just what to do!
If you haven’t already done so, read my article on Crossing the Midline and find out why it is so important for your child. Then come back to try these activities.
There are indoor and outdoor activities for crossing the midline.
If your child has not yet established a dominant hand (read my article on hand dominance), then start with the activities that use both hands to cross the midline on both sides (eg the scrubbing brush, ball relay, ball pass). Or if only one hand is used in the suggested activity, then let your child try it with both hands, one at a time.
Kids’ Indoor Activities for Crossing the Midline
Kids' Outdoor Activities for Crossing the Midline
|This right handed child is avoiding crossing his midline and is using his left hand to pick up the cards on his left side during a game.|
|So, gently hold his left hand down so that he reaches with his right hand across his midline.|
|With an older child, prompt him to keep his assisting hand resting on the side of the table.|
|Then he will use his dominant hand to reach across the midline for the next card that he needs.|
|Although this girl is crossing the midline during her game, her left hand (assistant hand) is on the chair. Rather cultivate the habit of having the assistant hand on the table as seen in the photo above. This helps the child to develop the bilateral coordination skill of stabilising the paper while writing!|
|Using “Lazy-8”’s has long been a popular way of getting a child to cross the midline. You could use different shapes (eg a whale, a house), on one condition…|
|…your child must be positioned directly in the centre of the shape to be drawn, and the assistant hand must be on the board as shown!|
|If your child is doing a worksheet or drawing activity, watch out for the subtle shifting of the page to the “dominant hand” side. If you look closely, this boy only has to reach over as far as his midline (the shirt buttons) with his pen. |
|A small shift in the paper means that he is now crossing his midline a little bit in order to draw the lines.|
|A bit messy, but lots of fun… rubbing shaving cream on a wall with both hands, and then using th hands one on top of the other to draw a large circle or loop, will help your child to cross the midline with both hands.|
|This could be done inside or outside. Using both hands on a object such as a scrubbing brush, and moving it in all directions, will subtly help your child to cross the midline with both hands.|
|Even a simple throwing and catching ball game can be adapted to require midline crossing. Have the child sit cross-legged on the floor/ground.|
|Then have the thrower move slightly to the side, so the child must turn the upper body to catch and throw the ball. Do this on both sides, and gradually increase the angle at from which the ball is thrown, to increase the amount of midline crossing.|
|In this close-up, you can see how the right hand is crossing the midline to catch the ball.|
|We used a ball for this simple relay, but any object could be used, as long as the child passes and receives the object with both hands. Make sure that they are sitting either cross-legged, or on their knees to make sure their hips stay stable while their shoulders turn.|
|In this game, the child is seated, and throws across the midline to a target with the dominant hand. We used wadded up newpaper!|
|Make sure your child keeps the position of their hips and legs stable, to avoid this! Here, the lower body has moved with the upper body, and there is no trunk rotation and thus no midline crossing!|
|This is an alternative starting position for throwing across the midline.|
|In this ball passing game, two kids sit back to back and pass the ball around to each other. You could do it 5 times in each direction as a warm up for other gross motor activities, or as a break from desk tasks.|
If you found these activities for crossing the midline helpful, you may also enjoy the tips found in Coordination Skills.
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