The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.
Scissors can be a tricky tool for kids to master. Playful, open-ended scissor activities are naturally inviting to kids, and can lessen feelings of frustration for scissor-newbies. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect – the best way to improve scissor skills is lots of scissor practice.
Tips for success:
• Model the correct way to hold scissors, with lots of gentle reminders. Show your child how to hold the scissors with his elbows close to his body, and his hand turned so the thumb is on top.
• A quality pair of kid scissors is important, too. Nothing is more frustrating than scissors that won’t cut!
• Offer a wide variety of inviting materials and activities for scissor work, and let your child play and experiment.
Here are five simple ways to practice scissor skills and have fun, too:
1. Start with a Hole Punch
Some kids find a hole punch easier to master than scissors. While punching zillions of holes in colored paper and magazine pages, your child is building hand strength and coordination. Just keep the broom or vacuum handy!
One of our favorite hole punching activities is punching holes all around a paper plate, then doing some freestyle sewing with colorful yarn through the holes.
With a few snips, green paper turns into grass and yellow paper turns into a lion’s mane. Offer your child 2-4″ strips of paper and show her how to make a cut almost all the way across, but not quite. Keep cutting until you’ve turned your whole strip into fringe.
Glue the fringe pieces on a picture or collage. You can even roll each piece of fringe around a pencil or your finger to make them curl and coil.
Photo by Amy Anderson
3. Play Dough
We have a couple pairs of scissors that live in the play dough tool basket. Play dough’s soft texture makes it easy to cut, plus it’s a nice variation from paper cutting.
When my girls were first learning how to use scissors, I would roll snake after snake with play dough, and the girls would cut them into pieces. Try rolling out pancakes and cutting those, too.
4. Plastic Straws
All the kids at my girls’ preschool loved it when the sensory bin was filled with plastic straws, scissors, and lacing string. Straws are fun and easy to snip, plus sometimes the pieces fly across the room when you cut them. Fun, right?
When your child is finished cutting, gather up all the straw pieces and string them on yarn for colorful necklaces (and more finger work!).
Photo by Amy Anderson
5. Paper Strips & Sticky Contact Paper
Strips of colorful paper are fun to snip, but what do you do with all those tiny pieces? Try taping a piece of clear Contact paper, sticky side up, on the table. Then your child can cut skinny paper strips, letting the confetti pieces fall right onto the sticky surface. Add another piece of clear Contact paper over the top, and you’ve got a piece of artwork to hang in the window!
Even more scissor fun:
More things to cut:
- index cards
- pictures from magazines and catalogs
- colored tape
- fabric scraps
- craft foam sheets
- old drawings or paintings
- coloring book pages
Scissor Practice Box :: Pink and Green Mama
Preschool Haircut Craft :: Jen Spends
Flubber Slime Baskets :: Juggling With Kids
Are your kids scissor-newbies or scissor-pros? Do you have a favorite scissor practice idea or activity to share?