By: Laura Petix, MS OTR/L

So you’re probably here because you’ve been told, or have realized yourself (maybe from reading about 5 common signs your child is not crossing midline) that your child or student may be avoiding midline crossing. Maybe you want to do something to encourage more midline crossing, but you’re worried about how to do it and whether or not you have any “pinterest worthy” materials or activities to set up at home. 


I’m here to tell you a little OT secret: crossing midline is really easy to encourage, if you know what to look for and how to set up the environment. You don’t have to set aside an hour of “Crossing midline” time (but that would be amazing!). Yes, there are a TON of really fun therapeutic ideas and activities for you to encourage crossing midline at home or in your classroom, (in fact, you can check out some activities here for ideas) , but setting up those activities take time and you may not be able to do them as much. 


 Allow me to share with you some really simple ways to start integrating crossing midline opportunities throughout your child’s day.


1. Environmental Set up is key

As much as possible, offer essential items/objects on the opposite side. For example, placing their tooth brush or a glass of water in a location that requires them to rotate their trunk to reach for it with their dominant hand. 


Keep in mind that this requires some observation and cuing on your part, to make sure that only their upper body/ trunk is rotating. If they pivot on their feet or shift in their seat to turn to reach for an object, they are not crossing the midline. Once you get this trick down, you can encourage crossing midline all throughout the day.


2. Cleaning up/ Chores

Don’t worry, it doesn’t count as child labor if you’re paying for their food and lodging so don’t feel bad when asking your child to participate in daily house chores! In fact, many chores around the house provide ample opportunity for bilateral integration and crossing midline, if you set up the activity properly. Here are some examples and tips:



3. The infinity walk

Crossing midline handwriting game
Crossing midline infinity symbol

The infinity (or lazy 8) symbol is a pretty universal crossing midline icon. Tracing it with your fingers (just like in this crossing midline game)or walking in a lazy 8 pattern just screams crossing midline. Anytime your child does an activity that doesn’t require hands (such as watching TV, memorizing spelling words or math facts), have them try this infinity walk.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that changing routines and adding new daily activities can be really overwhelming, even when you’re motivated and know the importance of them. The tip I give to all the parents I consult with (and try to remember myself) is to focus on ONE new activity or way of doing an activity and try to integrate it everyday for a week. Once you feel comfortable with that, add a second one and a third one.


While you’re here, check out these other helpful resources



EXPLORE A RELATED CATEGORY:

Developmental Motor Skills & Activities

SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER AND RECEIVE...

Free Instant access to my Members Only Vault with Resources & Activities

MEET THE AUTHOR

Laura Petix, MS OTR/L

I’m an enneagram 6, so my brain is constantly moving. My OT lenses never turn off and I can’t “un-see” the sensory and other developmental skills that go in to literally every activity. I love taking what I see and breaking it down into simple terms so parents can understand what goes into their child’s behavior and skills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.