Every BBEd Yoga Course includes activities that practice ‘midline crossing’. For me, they are an essential element of child development, easy to do, easily repetitive (for embedding) and fun.
Why is it so important to add midline crossing activities into part of your children’s day?
Well, we all know that the left and right hemispheres of the brain control different things. (You can also look at our previous blog on this topic.) However, what is also key here is how the two sides are able to communicate. There is a bridge between the two sides called the corpus callosum. This allows both sides to essentially talk to each other. As each side carries out different tasks they need to be able to work together in order to coordinate learning and movement. Midline Crossing is a great way of enabling this communication.
For babies, this communication is the foundation for later work on the development of such things as the dominance of hand and bilateral movement (both sides working together – i.e pushing and pulling). However, how many teachers see children reaching primary school without the ability to hold a pencil or even have a dominant side?
So how can we add in activities early on in children’s development?
That is where Yoga comes in, specific moves are practiced to enable crossing of one limb over the middle of the body. Of course, we always make it fun and with repetition, this can be something that you can easily add into your classroom.
So to keep you going here are a few activities for you to try in class – or you can always pop along to a course and find out more!
- Head, Sholders, Knees and Toes – Yes, the old ones are often still the best! This can be done in the classroom, or outside and most of the early years and even KS1 will love it. The key is to ensure that the children are actively moving across the body. So keep the pace slow to start with. You can add lots of variations to make it more challenging too – not just speeding up but also changing over the crossing patterns too.
- Give me a hug –This is a lovely one to do with the EYF’s, get them to sit on the floor and give themselves a hug. Crossing the arms over their body’s. Everyone loves a hug and lots of children miss the contact they may have at home during the first year at school
- Hand to knee – Standing up – reach the right hand to the raised left knee. Repeat on the other side and maybe set it to some music or just count them through several repetitions.Again, start this one slow. Balance will also be part of the exercise so make sure that everyone has some space.
As you can see, they are all easy moves to incorporate as part of any day. You do not need any special equipment and, always make sure that the kids are having fun. These also work as a great brain break – so add in some mid-line crossing to your teaching day!
If you would like to know more about the activities or other top tips you can also visit our new Pinterest board, where we are collating lots of classroom-friendly ideas!
If you would like to know more about our courses designed specifically for Primary School Teachers then please do send us an email
Happy midline crossing!