Monday, July 7, 2014

Learning to Use Scissors

We all know it - many children have difficulty when learning to use scissors. One of the first steps in helping our preschoolers to master this skill is to build the muscles necessary for it and to practice the motion of bring together the thumb on top and the forefinger (and middle finger in many cases) together.

One fun way to do this is to let children explore with clothespins. Have them pinch the clips and put them on various papers or other materials. We'll be offering more fun suggestions on this in future posts. 

Children can have fun clipping a clothespin to different items.
Get children in the habit of seeing the creative possibilities of repurposing ordinary items. Save tops from milk cartons or juice bottles. Use painter's tape or Wiki-Stix to create little finger cymbals as shown. 
Wrap a Wiki-stick around a bottle top to make a repurposed musical instrument. 
 Encourage children to tap their thumb and forefinger together as they sing, using these “cymbals.” The movement mimics the motions of cutting with scissors!

Make sure children are making the motion of cutting as they tap their thumb and fingers together. 
Once you are ready for actual cutting, be sure children are holding the scissors correctly, with the thumb on top. It is helpful if an adult holds both sides of the paper and encourages the child to cut in a straight line - no circular motions yet!

Always be sure to hold the paper for children in the beginning. Encourage straight line cutting. 
Finally children are ready to cut in straight lines by themselves!

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