Scissors Skills, Where To Begin?
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Teaching preschoolers how to use scissors can be very stressful for parents and educators in the beginning. It can be almost frightening for some to think about placing scissors in a child’s hand. Not to worry the key is knowing your options and individualizing the experience for your child. What I mean is if you child is using both hands to open and close scissor, they are not ready to cut out complex shapes. Like the old saying do not put the cart in front of the horse.
Instead, I would start by introducing Precutting Activities.
Tearing Paper is a fun way to build finger strength, eye hand coordination, and bilateral hand usage. Have your child tear tissue paper, then move to a different texture like foil, and then a thicker material like sandpaper, newspaper, or construction paper. It would then be fun to have the child make a sensory collage with the different textures. Another idea would be to have a sensory bin of just paper for your child to tear and play with other toys in. Let them turn the sensory bin into a jungle by tearing up green paper, and then adding some jungle animals to play with.
Clothespins or chip clips another great way to work on finger strength without it feeling like work. Turn it into a game or let your child help you hang items. I like using clothespins for letter matching or sticker matching on an index card. During holidays keep your eyes open for stores will often have themed clothespins which are motivating for kids to use. Keep in mind that chip clips can give more resistant which is a great way to make the activity harder if your child is ready for more of a challenge.
Cutting playdoh using a variety of playdoh tools. Playdoh is such a great activity to encourage little ones to develop fine motor skills. They make plastic kids toy scissors that are great for children to cut off small pieces of playdoh without having to worry about them cutting anything other than the playdoh. Have your child practice using both hands to roll out the dough into a snake like shape making it easier for them to cut small pieces. They can use their imagination to flatten out the pieces to make cookies and then go a step further by decorating the cookies with colorful small pieces. Such a fun activity to practice pre scissor skills through play.
Plastic Tweezers or Kitchen Tongs are great tools for kids to be exposed to holding an item in one hand that is similar to scissors. They learn to open and close the tweezers just like the movement necessary for scissors. Do you have a kid’s kitchen play area where they can pick up plastic food or small items? Make pom poms, cotton balls, small eraser, magnetic letters available for children to pick up with the tweezers. You can turn it into a game of picking the items up and dropping them into a container.
I hope you find these pre cutting ideas a good place to begin with scissor skills. My goal is to give you ideas in approaching the overwhelming task of cutting with your child. Take baby steps to make it easier for both you and your child. One thing to remember is to keep calm as your child will pick up on how you are feeling making the whole process stressful for everyone involved. Don't worry you have this!! These four pre cutting activities is a great way to begin and remember to have fun!!!
Thanks Everyone & Stay Safe!! Love Miss Farrah