One of the developmental skills that we have identified as being a current concern for Ruby due to her SPD issues is the ability to cross her midline.
In simple terms this means that she is having some difficulty reaching across the imaginary line down the middle of her body with her arms or legs to perform simple tasks…she finds it difficult to ‘crossover' basically. She tends to swap hands rather than reach across her body to perform an action.
This can also mean that she sometimes gets halfway through an action and then stops and swaps hands because she won't reach and cross over the body. She is also yet to display a dominant ‘worker' and ‘helper' hand although we are slowly making progress in this area.
Sometimes she will have something in both hands and needs encouragement to put one item down to continue or start another task. ..i can see she wants to do something (e.g a puzzle) but she has a puzzle piece in both hands and is not sure how to pick up another piece or make a new space for one she already has. She needs to put something down before she can complete her tasks. This can really frustrate her so it is important that i try to include some simple activities to encourage her ability to crossover her midline.
If she continues to have difficulty with this skill it can lead to issues later on with reading, writing and coordinating the fine and gross motor skills used in everyday activities.
Because she is only 2.5 my aim is to just try and encourage her to use the right and left side of her brain and coordinate her body as often as possible with some simple yet fun activities. Even if your child isn't having trouble crossing their midline they are still fun toddler activities that will help to strengthen this important skill!
These are just a few of our favourites so far but there are so many ideas out there for kids of all ages…i will leave a few links to pages i have found helpful at the end of this post.
Ruby loves to fill boxes and pack up at the moment so i placed the box of dinosaurs on one side of her and an empty cardboard box on the other side…she had to reach into the dinosaur box , pick one up and then reach across her body to place them into the empty cardboard box without changing hands to complete the task. Note the other hand being used to stabilise the box.
She had a lot of fun with this activity and never knew she was practicing an important skill!!
Tara really enjoyed driving her cars through the ‘squishy mud' so it was a fantastic sensory experience too.
It is a fantastic sensory activity, one which challenges Ruby as she is not to keen on the slippery texture of the foam.
One of our most recent activities was some painting on the garage doors. I simply filled a few buckets with some bright water paint and added a few different paintbrushes…i varied the length of the handles and the thickness of the brushes.