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Crossing Midline

What does it mean to "cross midline"?

The body has a midline that falls directly in the center of the body and divides the right and left side of the body. Crossing midline is the ability to spontaneously reach across the body with both arms and legs to perform a task on the other side of the body.

Why is crossing midline important?

Crossing midline is a crucial component for completion of functional, every day tasks that require use of both hands. Crossing midline is important to carry out scissor skill tasks, tying shoes, reading, writing, donning and doffing clothes, brushing teeth, catching or kicking a ball. Any type of task that requires use of both sides of the body and reaching across the midline of the body.

Signs a child may be having trouble crossing midline?

  • Swaps items from one hand to the other at the midline point, instead of reaching across

  • Appear "ambidextrous" and use both hands equally as often during daily tasks

  • Difficulty with coordination based activities

  • Have a hard time distinguishing the right vs left side of body

  • Rotates their body to pick up an object instead of reaching across their body

  • Unable to draw an "X" or "+" shapes

  • Often loses place when writing or reading

Activities to practice crossing midline:


As soon as your baby begins to start reaching out for toys, encourage your child to reach across their body for objects in different positions.

Baby Cross Crawlers:

Older Kids:

Popping bubbles with tennis racket or hands

Playing with sand and other textures

Fishing with rod held in one hand

Spray bottle activities

Drawing figure 8's with a race car on a track

Yoga poses


Play "keep it up" with balloon

Painting/ Sensory Play on a vertical surface

Other Crossing Midline Activities:

Simon Says

High 5's or Miss Mary Mack

Kick/throw a ball to a target

Pull stickers/ clothespins off with one hand on the opposite side of body

Pull squigs off mirror by reaching across body using one arm

Have a dance party with scarves

Touch hand to opposite knee/foot then switch


von Kaenel, N. (2021, February 1). What is crossing midline and why does it matter? Retrieved May 11, 2022, from


The content in this blog should not be used in place of medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes. All activities/exercises posted in this blog should be performed with adult supervision, caution, and at your own risk. Big Leaps, LLC is not responsible for any injury while performing an activity/exercise that has been posted on this blog. If you have any information on the content of our blog, feel free to contact us at


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