Fun ways to Teach Scissor Skills To Young Kids!
Merog is recently trying his hands on Scissor cutting skills – his latest obsession! Whenever I am working on any of my diy craft-projects, he keeps himself busy with his scissors. Of course, under very strict supervision! As, scissors can be very dangerous and kids should always be supervised when using scissors. One should always opt for safe and child-friendly scissors (Links to buy Child-friendly scissors are given below in the post).
When can your child start using scissors?
The actual answer is, it varies from child to child. One can start experimenting with scissors at age 2 or earlier.
A child who is following the appropriate developmental track should start cutting at the age of 2 years old.
2 years: snip the ends of a piece of paper
2.5 years: cut through a piece of paper
3.0-3.5 years: cut on a ½” darkened line (can not cut off of the line more than 3 times)
3.5-4.0 years: cut out a circle with darkened lines (has to stay close to the line for ¾ of the circle)
4.5-5.0 years: cut out a square with darkened lines (corners should be sharp)
5 Tips to Experiment Scissor Skills :
- Right and Safe Scissors : The key point to start with scissor activities is to make sure your child is cutting with the right and safe scissors(buy here) , that comes with rounded edges (buy here). For early beginners, you can opt for plastic scissor to cut papers (buy here) or (buy here).
- Proper Hand Placement : Make sure your child has the proper hand placement. Tell them to keep thumb up all the time while cutting anything with scissor(Many parents opt to draw a smiley 🙂 on child’s thumb nail and keep reminding their child that, the smiley should always be visible (in front! )while cutting anything).
- What to cut (For beginners) : Cutting through thicker material is easier than cutting through thin material so, one can start Scissors activities with Cutting Color dough snakes, Cutting thin straws, Thick and soft Yarn, Foam sheets/ Felt sheets, Colorful and thick papers, etc. (Let them start with random cut out pieces and make a mosaic art of those shapes with the help of glue).
- Assist Them : At the beginning, your child may need help to hold the scissors and Paper or object properly at the same time(Bilateral coordination, can be little difficult for young children).
- Phases to Proceed: Cutting lines comes in later phase, once the child’s struggle to hold , open and close the scissors is over. Till that time, try holding the play dough or straws or thick paper or foam sheets for your child and get their scissors in right place while opening it. Also, Keep in mind that when children are cutting on lines, the lines should always be very dark, and at least a ¼”- ½” thick so that they do not get frustrated with the process.
- Fine Motor Skills : Cutting is good for developing fine motor skills and building up the tiny muscles of hands and fingers in kids (since a child has to continuously open and close the hand).
- Life-Skills : Fine motor skills are important while performing many of the every day tasks and to improve future life-skills like writing, drawing, coloring, buttoning, zipping, lacing, clipping, self care tasks, etc. Mature grasps to do such things helps in boosting self-esteem.
- Hand-Eye-Coordination : Enhances the use of hand-eye coordination, when brain is working with the two systems at a time.
- Bilateral-Coordination : Encourages your child to use bilateral coordination (For example, when cutting a circle, a child must hold the paper with one hand (and continuously turn it) while the other hand is opening and closing the scissors and moving forward to cut).
When Merog started showing interest in Scissors, I started researching on Scissor-skills for early learners and went through many of the scholarly articles and finally, I have found one of the best professional articles that is “Scissors and Your Child” by Kimberly Wiggins, Occupational Therapist.
For more details, please go through the link given below 🙂