Friday, February 27, 2009

Physical Friday: A Cut Above

Consider your child holding a pair of scissors. What's your first thought: a necessary evil or the ultimate challenge?

Sammi loves scissors. She loves to cut. Just before she turned two she really became aware of scissors and wanted to hold them, cut with them, even walk with them (if I would have let her!) I didn't think she was old enough to have anything to do with scissors, but it seemed every time I turned around she was pulling scissors out of my "secret" hiding spots.

I decided to embrace this advancement and take control of the situation. Education was in order. We talked about when we could use scissors, why we use scissors, what to cut, what NOT to cut, that we only sit when we cut (no walking or running) and so on. I was still apprehensive about her using regular-sized scissors so I found some craft scissors around the house for her to use. They were blunt tipped and the edges weren't as sharp. Then I tore out pages of a magazine and let her have at it.

She cut, seriously, for an hour! I had to vacuum to get up the tiny bits of paper she'd managed to cut. She went through probably only 3 pages of the magazine in that hour. She was so focused on developing that skill. I've since learned that I did a few things "wrong" in helping her use scissors. So you don't make the same mistakes I made, here are some tips I found in teaching children to use scissors:
  • have your little one cut through play dough first, roll it out into a thin log (about 2 years old)
  • move from play dough to card stock or manila folders
  • THEN move to construction and lined paper
  • move to tissue paper (about 2.5 years old)
  • once your little one can cut through all of these, practice cutting along a thick line (about 3-3.5 years old)
  • next practice cutting out a thick-lined circle (about 3.5-4 years old)
  • finally practice cutting out a square with sharp corners (about 4.5-5 years old)
Check out these great resources for finding scissors and teaching your child to use scissors here and here.


Sell...Party Of 3 said...

I am glad that I found your blog! =) I have posted pic's of the art day on my blog, and that picture of my Van and your babe is ADORABLE! Your site is great, and I will definitely be grabbin' a blog button.
I look forward to meeting up with you again.

SkylarKD said...

Thanks for the tips! My daughter is becoming interested in scissors, and I was wondering the other day what the best way to teach her would be! Right now though, she doesn't like me to show her how to place her fingers in the holes, so it might be a while! ;)

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