Have you introduced scissor cutting at home? A friend recently admitted she didn't do any scissor cutting with her son and thought she would leave it for him to learn at school. I totally get it. Introducing scissors to young children needs consideration but leaving it until the child is old enough to start school means the child is missing out on learning really important life skills, developing hand strength and coordination. There are absolutely other ways to develop coordination and to strengthen the hand but if you have been considering scissor cutting at home I would encourage it.
Lots of people try cutting play dough or straws but we started with cutting long strips of thin card. Finding good scissors is important. I know many families start with blunt tipped nail scissors. We chose blunt tipped safety scissors and the children still use them today.
To start we demonstrated to Otis how to hold the paper and how to hold the scissors. During this time I would often do the same activity next to him so he could observe the cutting action. Some children just love to snip and Otis would spend 10-15 minutes just snipping away. Both of my children had scissor cutting trays on their shelves at home and at their Montessori parent toddler classes.
After many months (perhaps close to a year) when Otis could cut proficiently we gave him card with lines on it. The aim is for the child to cut on the line and refine their movements.
We also used printed cutting strips with animals like insects to make it more interesting. The child can then use the cut out pictures for pasting.
Again many months later Otis was ready to cut out shapes, we started with straight edged shapes like triangles and squares.
Below are fruit that I printed for cutting. Otis is three in these pictures. The fruit have straight and curved lines. This tray was really popular. I think he loved cutting out images of something real.
Below Otis is using some of the more typical Montessori cutting strips. Lots of diagonal and curved lines. Otis has a face drawn onto his thumb nail. This is to remind him to keep the happy face looking up at him which stops him from rotating or twisting his hand - which some children tend to do when cutting more complex lines.
Over the years Otis has had many different cutting activities on his shelves. Most of them are pictured or are similar to what is pictured here. This is a recent spiral cutting activity that Otis has only started to use at four. Loads of concentration and coordination required.
The red spiral is Otis', the yellow one is the spiral that I cut out. They are fun to cut out and make 'snakes'.
This is a brief summary of our scissor cutting activities from toddler to preschooler. I hope you've picked up a few new ideas.
Have you tried any of these scissor cutting activities or do you have any tips for introducing scissor cutting to young children?