Fun Crossing Midline Games for Children

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We've already talked about the importance of crossing the midline and how it can affect your child's fine motor, language, and handwriting skills. Today I wanted to share some fun crossing midline games for kids that will encourage this skill.

Picture of two girls playing a hand clapping game. Green text overlay with white text at the top of the picture which says "Fun Crossing Midline Games for Children".

Fun Crossing Midline Games for Kids

1 || Simon Says

With Simon Says, you can include directions like “touch your left shoulder with your right hand” or any other type of Simon Says direction that gets the children to cross over their body with their arms or legs. Write them all out on index cards or a piece of paper ahead of time so you don't have to come up with them on the spot.

2 || Hot Potato

For the added benefit of crossing midline, each child needs to place BOTH hands on the “hot potato” at all times when grabbing it and passing it on to the next person.

3 || Twister

The classic game of Twister is a great way to encourage children to cross the midline. You may need to adapt it for safety or play with small groups of children.

4 || Hello 5-4-3-2-1

A reader, Jill, gave this great suggestion when she greets students for tutoring. Facing each other, “give 5” with the right hand then the left hand. Then hold up four fingers (give me four!) then 3,2,1, and ending with a fist bump. Her kids love it!

Since this suggestion was given pre-pandemic, you could adapt it for the classroom and do air high 5's, then 4's, etc, and include an elbow bump at the end.

5 || Hand Clapping Games

Many of us are probably familiar with Patty Cake, Miss Mary Mack, or The Cup Game. These are classic hand-clapping games that are excellent for crossing midline practice. Here are 10 Classic Hand-Clapping Games that include videos of each one.

6 || Modified Bean-Bag Toss

Another reader, Cheryl, had this suggestion with some modifications.

She said: “I often get kids to stand on a small stool or set spot and reach for a bean bag on the opposite foot to throw at a target. I usually use solo cups to stack as they make a great sound when they crash. The kids tend to naturally cross once given cues by holding the opposite hand or asking them to put it in their pocket. Having them stand on a stool prevents cheating by turning the whole body. This is my favorite demonstration for parents.”

You could use a small step-stool like this one from IKEA for this game and it would be perfect. I had about 4 of these step-stools in my therapy room at school and we use them at home with our children.

7 || Weight-Bearing Activities with a Therapy Ball

This excellent idea is from Chanda at Pink Oatmeal. She is a Physical Therapist and shares lots of great ideas like this on her Instagram account.

Here is a great one.

Here are some other great additional ideas from Your Therapy Source.

She has a great suggestion here of learning a new TikTok dance with your children. Many of those popular dances include movements that cross the midline and kids will be naturally drawn to learn them since that is a popular thing right now.

I'd love to hear any of your suggestions for a game that promotes crossing midline. Just leave your suggestions below in the comments. I'll also be updating this post as I find or come up with more game suggestions.

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Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
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