Crossing the Midline

girl at preschool crossing the midline

What is crossing the midline and why is it so important?

Imagine drawing a vertical line in the middle of your body dividing your left and right side. This line is known as your midline. Crossing the midline is the ability to reach across the middle of your body with an arm or leg and complete a task. For example you use your right hand to pick something up on the left side of your body.

girl at preschool dancing

The reason why crossing the midline is important is because it helps children develop necessary skills such as dressing themselves, writing, reading, and cutting. Being able to cross the midline requires both sides of the brain to communicate with each other and have both sides of the body move together as one.

Children will typically begin showing signs of crossing the midline between ages 4-6 months and will continue to hone in on this skill until around ages 8-9.

Signs your child may have difficulty crossing the midline may include delays in crawling, moving their entire body to retrieve objects on one side of their body instead of reaching across for it, or difficulties with age appropriate self care activities.

girl at preschool swing ribbon around

Ways to encourage crossing the midline include dancing, playing Simon says, dancing with scarves, drawing figure 8’s, sweeping, clapping games such as patty cake, yoga, sports, and painting.

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