Tip 65 – Teach your child about the X in his or her body and how to cross it!
Mind: Crossing the midline of the body is beneficial for helping the left and right sides of the brain to work together. In addition it is reinforcing for the reading and writing process.
Body: With your hands up high and wide, take the X position opposite your child. Show him or her how to do it well. Then begin stretches that foster this shape. With high outstretched arms, bend and touch your left foot with your right hand and then your right foot with your left hand. Keep alternating. To emphasize the crossing point at the middle, with arms straight out to the sides, you can do twists rotating at your waist.
Spirit: With hands stretched high and wide over-head and legs out to shoulder width, your body is like an X. There are many stretching exercises that reinforce this natural shape. How special it is to gain awareness of this X for respecting the beauty of the body and always wanting to take care of it.
The X-ercise embodies the “mind, body, and spirit” of parenting.
In order to learn to read you have to be able to cross the midline of your body with your eyes. In order to learn to write, you have to be able to cross it with your hands.
NOTE: It is no accident that one of the first games parents learn to play naturally with their babies is “Patty Cake.”
Adapted from “Games for Gross Motor Development” in Make Your Own Preschool Games: A Personalized Play and Learn Program by Sally Goldberg, p. 62