Crossing the midline refers to one’s ability to reach across (with both arms and legs) the invisible line we could draw down the centre of the body. To be able to co-ordinate both sides of our body, we need to be able to cross that invisible line. Activities that encourage a child to cross the midline with his arms and legs encourage communication between the two hemispheres of the brain and develop bilateral co-ordination – or the ability to use both sides of the body together. Children who have difficulty crossing the midline will work the right side of the body with the right hand, and the left with the left, to avoid crossing that invisible line. This makes development of a dominant hand and academic tasks such as reading and writing very difficult. Playing sports and even playground play will also be trickier. Even the ability to dress and feed oneself requires the ability to cross the midline!
I’ve collected together 10 YouTube videos that share ideas for developing midline crossing ability. They are perfect for brain breaks, being both short and engaging, just right for refreshing and refocusing student attention while getting the brain and body working together more effortlessly and efficiently!
10 Crossing the Midline Activities for Kids
1. One for younger children, this catchy Jump Up, Turn Around song includes lots of different actions that cross the midline.
2. Learning Station’s Brain Breaks song will have the kids crissing and crossing in ways they never even knew they could!
3. Join Cosmic Kids Yoga’s Disco with the Washing Machine song.
4. A great first clapping game is this version of Pease Porridge Hot.
5. This version of All Star from Just Dance Kids includes lots of dance moves that get kids crossing their midline.
6. Or get your Mmmbop on!
7. Midline fun with a scarf for each child and a touch of Star Wars!
8. Let your fingers do the walking with this finger exercise routine.
9. For this exercise you will need one ball or beanbag for each pair of children. As demonstrated below, the twisting ball pass can be completed sitting or standing back to back. Don’t forget to change dirsctions!
Alternatively, if you have only one ball, sit/stand the group of children in a circle with their backs facing inwards and have them pass the ball around the circle using a similar motion to the one demonstrated above. Make sure they move their arms from side to side, not their whole bodies.
10. Boom Snap Clap is a challenging partner clapping game for older kids. Which partnership can master the tricky hand clapping routine first!??
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