Jan 30, 2015

Introducing Scissors to Toddlers

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Happy Fine Motor Fridays! Kingston has been begging me lately to learn how to use his "safey scissors". He talks about them constantly and wants to learn how to use them like a "big big boy". Apparently he has been thinking about it a lot. Learning how to use scissors is a quintessential life skill and fine motor skill. We haven't had any practice with using scissors yet, so after he asked for his scissors for the millionth time, I figured it was time to start the learning process. 

I set up an "invitation to learn" with a pair of Fiskars Pre-School Training Scissors, a homemade cutting worksheet that I made with a piece of white paper and a black permanent marker, two drinking straws , Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Modeling Dough and some Play-Doh Scissors.

The first thing I did when we sat down was give Kingston the real safety scissors. I showed him how to properly hold the scissors. After a little bit of trail and error, he seems to really understand how to hold them. He practiced cutting on the worksheet I made him. Cutting on the straight line was challenging enough, so we didn't even attempt the zig-zag. He mostly made little fringe clips on the edge of the paper. 

Then he tried cutting a straw. This was difficult for him to do on his own, so I stepped in and held both end of the straw so he could focus on snipping it. 

Then we moved on to the dough scissors. These scissors had smaller holes, so he had to maneuver his fingers differently. I let him figure out how to hold them on his own. I was happy to see that he was trying to use his two fingers and thumb as I had showed him. 

He spent some time cutting "green beans". Cutting the play dough really helped him to become comfortable with the act of cutting and maneuvering the scissors properly. 

Before we tried this activity, I asked my fellow Fine Motor Friday ladies for some cutting tips. They have all been there and done that before, so they were fantastic in inspiring how I showed Kingston how to use his scissors. Here is some of their sage advice: 

"Offer lots of opportunity to practice using a variety of materials. Model the proper way to hold scissors." - Dyan of And Next Comes L

"We started with small snips. I just gave my daughter a strip of construction paper and helped her to hold the scissors correctly. I think holding her elbow down has been the hardest part for her." - Laura of Lalymom

"Playdough! Also, we have tried many types of scissors, and I think using good scissors is key" - Nicolette of Powerful Mothering

"Thumbs up!" - Devany of Still Playing School

"Finding fun things to cut like straws, bows, ribbon, and pool noodle pieces makes for great simple snips instead of following lines to get started!" - Sarah of Little Bins for Little Hands 

"The tip that was the most successful for us going forward was drawing the smiley face onto the scissors so F always knew which way up to hold them." - George of Craftulate

"Give lots of opportunities to cut with paper and/or junk mail. We once did a class where the teacher covered a table with paper to draw on and since it hung over the table, kids were able to practice cutting fringe." - Kristina of School Time Snippets 

"I really recommend these scissors: Faber-Castell My First Scissors" - Samantha of Stir the Wonder 

Don't forget to check out the other awesome Fine Motor Fridays posts:

QTip Train Art Printable from Craftulate

A is for Alien Craft from Stir the Wonder

Pom Pom Push Activity for Toddlers from School Time Snippets
Toothpaste Slime for Dental Health Month from Still Playing School

Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

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99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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