As parents, we’re always on the quest to help our children grow towards their highest potential. One area that we can't overlook is their brain development. There are many simple and fun ways you can help your child's brain develop. Read on for some helpful exercises, music, language and games that you can use to help nurture your children's mental abilities.
Crossing the Midline
For toddlers, developing the ability to cross the midline at an early age is essential for their brain development. According to Therapy Street for Kids, crossing the midline is the ability to reach across the middle of the body, with the arms and legs crossing over to the opposite side. Crossing the midline of your body helps build pathways in the brain and is an important prerequisite skill for developing more complex abilities later in life. Children who have developed cross the midline do well in reading, writing, completing self care skills and participating in sports and physical activities.
Crossing the midline is also related to developing right or left-handedness. Establishing a “worker hand” and a “helper hand” is a sign that the brain is maturating and lateralization is occurring, and is strongly correlated with the ability to cross the midline. Both sides of the brain need to talk to each other for the “worker hand” and the “helper hand” to work together and complement each other. Coordinating both sides of the body can be difficult for the child who avoids crossing midline. Often, these children have not yet established a hand preference, sometimes using their left and sometimes using their right to draw, color, write, eat, and throw.