Learning to use scissors is an important and challenging skill for toddlers/preschoolers to acquire. Using scissors helps to improve hand and eye coordination whilst also helping to build muscle tone that will later be required to help with writing skills.
Many children don’t use scissors often at home due to fear of them hurting themselves or using them to cut things that they shouldn’t – hair, rugs, the pets or anything else a toddlers curious mind will come up with!
Here are 6 things we do in our home to help build our preschooler’s skills.
1. Selecting appropriate scissors for their level.
There are many variations of scissors available, the best place to start is with a good quality selection of light weight plastic blade-less scissors like these My First Crayola Safety Scissors. It’s also great if you can find them with different cutting patterns – this helps to foster their creativity as well as helping to keep their interest and focus on the task. As your child’s skills and confidence grows you can move up to something like these Crayola Blunt Tip Scissors that are ergonomically designed blade scissors.
2.Using stickers as a learning tool.
A great way to encourage your child to hold their scissors correctly is by placing a fun sticker on both their thumbs. This is a great reminder for them to keep the top of their thumb pointing to the sky whilst using the scissors. It also helps them to hold the paper with their thumb pointing up too.
3. Use a wide variety of materials.
We keep a small container filled with a fun variety of cutting materials or tasks together with our scissors. Some examples include – old magazines, coloured paper, cellophane, crape paper, wool, ribbons, drinking straws. It’s important to keep cutting activities bright and fun!
4. Play dough or clay!
Our all time favourite scissor activity is playing with and cutting Model Magic! It’s far easier to handle than paper, the texture is fun, the moulding and kneading is also helpful in building those important hand muscles.
5. Play games and sing songs!
We often sing “Open shut them,open shut them, give a little snip, snip, snip.” We also enjoy making paper puppets by cutting around family photos and sticking them to a pop stick! There are some wonderful craft activities that involve cutting like this fun DIY Puzzle or these fun Family Magnets.
6. Provide a safe and comfortable learning area.
Provide a safe and comfortable learning area to practice their skills and make it a regular part of your weekly routine. Our children know they are only to use their scissors at their craft table – this helps me feel more comfortable in allowing them to use this space safely whilst fostering their independence. There are also important safety rules that we discuss – no running with scissors and remembering to hold the scissors closed in your hand when walking or handing them to a sibling/friend.
7. Keeping it fun and rewarding!
Keeping it fun and rewarding is key – ensuring you give positive praise (especially when holding their scissors correctly) will help encourage and boost their confidence whilst mastering their new skills.
The above tips have been sponsored by the ‘My First Crayola’ range.
Jenni & Louise xx
**We (Louise & Jenni) do receive products free for review from time to time, we will only promote products that we like and enjoy using ourselves and feel that our fellow Fun Mums might enjoy the product too. We will always give our own honest opinion of the product.