We all could benefit from boosting our brain power, especially our kids. There are LOTS of ways to boost brain power out there, but few are more convenient and as simple as these 3 moves….(they should only take about 1 MINUTE to do!) A big part of boosting brain power comes from getting both sides of the brain to communicate as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When both sides are communicating well, the body has better overall coordination and balance, and the brain can complete reading, writing and math tasks at optimal levels. “Crossing the midline” is the body’s way of getting both sides of the brain to communicate better.
The term “crossing the midline” refers to an imaginary line drawn down the center of one’s body, dividing it into a left and right side (vertical midline), or a top and bottom (horizontal midline). When one of our body parts crosses over that imaginary line, its referred to as crossing the midline.
Our brains create new connections when we “cross the midline” which improve communication between both sides. If both sides of the brain aren’t communicating together well, there is often a slight delay or “hiccup” in processing information. Take reading for instance, when our eyes scan across a page of words and both sides of our brain aren’t communicating properly, there can be a small pause when our eyes have to cross over the midline of our body to read onto the next page.
This slight delay can decreased reading comprehension, attention, and concentration. The same applies to writing, math, and other academic subjects. If both sides of our brain aren’t communicating properly, our balance and coordination are also thrown off, which in turn affects nearly all aspects of daily lives from walking up steps to tying our shoes.
Fortunately, we can boost our brain power by helping our brains to communicate more efficiently through practicing simple midline crossing moves. Here are 3 quick and easy ways to boost your child’s brain power!
- Color Cross OversHave your child start with a different color of glove on each hand. Place stickers on the child’s knees (use the same colors as the gloves but on opposite side knees. For example, use a pink glove on the right hand and pink sticker on the left knee). Instruct your child to touch the matching colors together to get both arms and legs to cross the midline. Repeat for 20 knee touches, alternating between right hand-left knee, and left hand-right knee
2. Touching Markers
Stand back to back with your child and give your child two different colors of markers. The partner gets the same colors of markers as the child. Have both the child and partner put the same color in opposite side hands (For example, put the orange marker in the child’s right hand and the partner’s left hand). Instruct both to keep their feet still and turn to one side and touch matching colored markers. Repeat on the opposite side. Do 10 color matches, alternating between both sides. This move promotes crossing the midline for the upper body.
Start with two partners back to back. Take a ball (or stuffed animal as shown here) with both hands and pass it above their heads, with both people looking upwards at the ball or toy.
Then have the partners pass the object in between their legs next to cross the horizontal midline. Make sure your child keeps both hands on the ball and they are actively moving their hand up and down to look at where they are passing it (helps with vestibular stimulation as well which is important in regulating movement and motor skill development). Repeat for 10 complete above-below cycles.
Do these exercises each day for one month (they only take a MINUTE) for best results! Who knew boosting brain power would be so easy!