Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Preschool Kids and Scissors

This post is not going to show you how to make beautiful, fabulous snowflakes. If you have older kids and you want to make fancy snowflakes, check out the simple folding instructions to make 6 pointed snowflakes here. There are some cool templates here. Or you can get really fancy and make these incredible 3D snowflakes in this tutorial here.

This post is for the Littles. The tots that are just dying to try out scissors and make something along with the rest of the gang. The ones that are just learning how to hold scissors in the first place and still need to be reminded not to hold them upside down. Their snowflakes are pretty too... just in a different way.

On learning how to use scissors in general:
  • Kids can start to learn how to cut with scissors around ages 3 or 4... generally anyway. Fine motor skills vary.
  • Using scissors is a great way to determine if the child is right or left handed if you are not sure. Cutting with scissors require both strength and coordination and one hand is almost always stronger than the other.
  • Beginning cutters need constant supervision. I shouldn't need to explain this one too much! (hehe) I recommend keeping the scissors stored in a place where they are inaccessible to Littles.
  • To teach the correct way to hold the scissors I remind kids to start with "thumbs up" and present their hand as though they are offering a hand shake, then curl the fingers around the scissors.
  • In the very beginning, it helps to hold and move the paper for the child while they concentrate on the scissors. If they are still struggling, gently giving support under their forearm seems to help them find control.

I had the opportunity to peruse a popular book for kids to use to practice using scissors and was disappointed to see that the book had the children starting out cutting long straight lines. Cutting long lines is step #2 to me. Step #1 should be starting out with lots of little snips to gain strength and coordination. Making these snowflakes will give your little on lots of practice with little snips while making something meaningful.


As you can see I've got a leftie! This child just loves to keep things challenging for Mama!

Fold a square piece of paper into quarters. (We tried the six pointed snowflake and the paper was just way too thick for Littles.) Have the child cut little snips all the way around the paper, angling them this way and that.


Next, you go through with scissors and quickly connect some of these little snips to remove chunks of the paper and make a lacier snowflake.


Help your child gently open up the paper, and...


Voila! Now make another few dozen and hang them all over the dining room!

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1 comment:

  1. I love how you take the time & have patience with your guys. These learning sessions are very valuable steps in ttheir development.


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