When little hands need to master scissors for cutting, practice will help boost the fine motor skills necessary to handle this cutting tool. The snipping and clipping might get messy, but it’s all good when youngsters need to learn scissors skills. With engaging and entertaining activities, children can enjoy the process of developing cutting skills.
1. Introducing the Scissors
The first time you hand your youngster a pair of scissors, take your time introducing them to give your child a thorough overview of the tool. Demonstrate how the thumb goes into the smaller hole of the handle and the index and middle fingers go in the larger hole, advises the Earlychildhood News website. Demonstrate for your child the process of pulling the thumb and fingers apart to open the scissors blades and moving the thumb and fingers together to close the blades. Encourage your child to practice opening and closing the scissors blades in a cutting action.
Draw lines onto a sheet of cardstock paper for your child to practice cutting – cardstock is easier to cut than paper because it is thicker. Use a thick marker to make straight lines with a width between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, advises G & E Therapies. Start with straight lines, then progress to wavy lines, wriggly lines and shapes. You might make the lines gradually thinner as your child develops more cutting skills.
3. Cutting Straws
Introduce an engaging project that combines cutting and stringing to make a necklace, suggests an Early Childhood Learning Center newsletter. Provide drinking straws and a scissors and encourage your child to snip off the straws in varying lengths to make stringing beads. Sizes between 1/2 inch and 1 inch would be ideal. After your child cuts a generous amount of straw pieces, encourage her to thread a shoelace through the straws to make a necklace, Tie the ends of the shoelace in a bow to finish the straw necklace.
Your child can make snowflakes anytime throughout the year with circles of white paper and a scissors. Trace around a plate to draw a circle and cut out the circle – a parent might perform this part of the project to make the circle precise and neat. Fold the circle in half three times to make a wedge. Show your child how to cut shapes out of the folded edge of the wedge – triangles, half-circles and even random shapes work well. After your child finishes cutting as many shapes out of the folded edge as desired, open out the paper circle and marvel at the snowflake.
Caution children that scissors are sharp and they should only cut while seated at a table. Instruct your child not to walk or run while holding scissors. Consider instituting a rule that children do not cut with scissors unless an adult supervises the activity.