Activities to Enhance Crossing
 The Midline or the Center of the Body

  1.  Cars on a large path.  Draw the path on a large piece of paper to put on the floor.  You can even have your child help you decorate your "city."  Putting masking tape down on the floor also works to mark a road to drive on, just be sure to get those turns in. Your child will tend to take his weight on his non-dominant hand as he crawls and move the car with the dominant  hand..
  1.  Painting on large paper or chalkboard.  The paper is big enough when so that when it's centered in front of the child, with the sides extended to either side of the  child's body so he has to reach either way to fill it.     
  1. Practice ball skills reaching across the middle of the body.  Have a couple waste baskets on either side of the body to aim at.  Use the dominant hand.  If you don't know which hand is dominant, have the child consistently use one hand for a set of balls and then switch and try the other hand.  For activities to help with the development of hand dominance see:  "Activities to Encourage Hand Dominance"
  1. Stamping with ink-stamps on  a large sheet of paper using the dominant hand to hold the stamp and using the non-dominant  hand to hold the stamp pad. 
  1. Play flashlight tag.  In a dimmed room, lay on your backs and  have the child follow your flashlight beam projected on the wall with his own flashlight.  
  1. Turning a steering wheel in a large arc.  Some play structures in parks have steering wheels to play with.
  1. Wash the car
  1. Pick-up games   Place objects to the child’s right  and a container on his left side, so that he must reach across  midline to drop objects into the container.  Put your hand in front of the child’s non-dominant hand, as needed,  to block  his using it for reaching objects. Also a variation of this is to have the child hold the container in his non-dominant  hand and drop the objects in with his dominant hand.   Manipulatives that can be  used are: pom poms, pennies, paper clips, marbles, pegs (they can made  inexpensively by cutting them from a thin dowel), and chips from games.  Try using a yogurt container with a hole cut in the lid  to size for the object used.  Yogurt containers are a nice size for the children to hold. 
  1. Scooping games--use a plastic basin and covering the  bottom with an item such as beans, salt, or rice.  Have your child hold a laundry scoop in his right  hand and  move the material across the body to a small container on the left side of the basin.  Then try using two laundry scoops one in each hand to scoop the material.  Fill up containers on opposite sides of the body in an X pattern.  Alternate hands, then moving the hands in unison.
  1. Use an animal grabber, salad tongs or snow ball maker  to pick up small balls, bean bags or jacks  placed on the dominant side and have the child reach across midline to drop the objects into a container on the other side of the body 
  1. Encourage your child to participate in swinging, bouncing and  rough housing. These activities increase the child’s body awareness and in turn helps the development of midline crossing.. 
  1. Sometimes, have the child lay on his tummy and reach for objects placed  to his or her non-dominant side.   Doing puzzles on the floor works well for this activity.  Be sure to spread the pieces out to both sides.
  1. Play games with your child, have him side sit supporting himself with his non-dominant side for part of the time.  He is keeping his non-dominant hand still to support his weight and using the dominant hand to move objects.
© 2004 Carrie Lippincott, OTR/L

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