Locomotion and crossing midlines

Locomotion – moving your body from one place to another - is one of the three fundamental themes that underpins all physical movement. Once they’ve mastered crawling and walking, children will naturally start to run, skip and hop.

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1. The left-hand side of the brain controls the right-hand side of the body and vice versa.

2. Before children can skip, swim, ride a bike etc. (anything that involves one side of the body doing something different from the other side), their brain needs to be able to cross-lateralise. This means the right and left sides of the brains can easily and automatically ‘speak’ to each other.

3. Cross-lateralisation (also known as ‘crossing the midline’) is also essential for cognitive skills such as reading, writing and maths.

4. You can help children to stimulate the crossing of the midline with games like crossing one foot over the other while walking sideways, or catching bubbles with one hand.

5. Another fun activity for children to do, maybe to music, is to march around slapping their knee with the opposite hand. And games that involve crawling, such as ‘crabs’ on the beach, are also great for stimulating the crossing of the midline.

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