Cutting is a difficult skill for children to master. Therefore it is important that children get a lot of practice to enable them to be successful in using scissors. If your children are in some form of child care or preschool it is likely that they will be getting some exposure to scissors and cutting in this environment. If they are not in a child care environment, you can help them by allowing them some time at home to practice scissor skills. Children should be being exposed to scissors from about age 2 obviously this activity needs to be closely supervised. Since Thomas will be 3 in a couple of months, I thought we should have a go!
There are some great scissors you can buy that help children who are just starting out with learning to use scissors.
These are called “Easy Grip” scissors and are great first scissors as children don’t have to worry about where to put their fingers, they can just get used to the squeezing motion and the idea of snipping the paper.
These scissors are called “Spring loaded” scissors. There is a little latch that can be lifted up to help open the scissors after they have cut. It can also be put back down when children become more competent.
Both of these scissors can be picked up at educational children’s shops or online.
When children first start to use scissors, it is important for them to succeed quickly. This will help for them to develop their confidence and they will be happy to persist at the task and try it again another time if they have been successful. Therefore it is important to provide an activity that is very simple.
What you will need:
Time and patience 🙂
What you do:
Cut some strips of paper approximately 1cm in width, don’t cut them too wide for a child that is just starting out, you want them to be able to cut it in one snip. As children get more competent you can increase the width of the paper so they have to do more cuts.
Set up another colour paper in front of your child.
Assist your child to hold the scissors (remind them ‘thumbs up’ while they are using the scissors) with one hand and the strip of paper with the other. You may need to provide some help with these things initially. Remember that you want your child to succeed at this task.
Encourage your child to make small ‘snips’ to cut bits off the strips of paper.
Help your child to apply glue to the small bits of paper and stick them onto the large piece of paper to create a shape picture.
What your child will be learning:
Fine motor skills – building up small muscles in the hand and fingers
Bi-lateral co-ordination – using both sides of the body to do a different task ie. holding the paper in one hand and cutting with the other. This can be a hard thing for children to learn and therefore need lots of practice. Threading is also another great activity to help with this skill.
Shape and colour recognition
Self confidence and self esteem!