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Savvy Scissor Tips – Part 2
After reading “Savvy Scissor Tips, Part 1,” you should have a better understanding of why you should teach your kids to use scissors. Here are some savvy tips on how you can help them learn this skill. This is the developmental sequence when children should cut:
• 2 years: cut off the ends of a piece of paper
• 2.5 years: cut a piece of paper
• 3.0-3.5 years: cut 1/2″ darkened line (can’t cut line more than 3 times)
• 3.5-4.0 years: cut out a circle with dark lines (must stay close to the line for 3/4 of the circle)
• 4.5-5.0 years: cut out a square with dark lines (corners should be sharp)
Each time your child completes one of the above sequences, make sure he can cut through different materials. Cutting thicker material is easier than cutting thin material. So start by cutting the play dough, then move on to Manila folders, then construction paper, then regular paper, then tissue paper. This will ensure that your child will actually be able to cut out that particular shape. Keep in mind that when children are cutting on lines, the lines should always be very dark and at least 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick so that they are easy to see and the child is not frustrated.
Fiskar scissors are best for right-handed or left-handed users as they allow for maximum cutting stability and have rounded edges so they are not as sharp. You may want to hold the paper for your child when they first start cutting, as bilateral coordination can be difficult to learn. The child should first learn to open and close the hand and feel the sensation of cutting a piece of paper. If your child has trouble opening and closing their hand or is frustrated, you can try using other tools or doing other cutting tasks. For example, pliers and tweezers require the same scissor movement when opening and closing. Have your child pick up interesting objects using tongs or tweezers and drop them into the bucket. You can make it a race or have them crawl across the floor to build shoulder strength at the same time. Also, the hole punch is a fun tool and most kids think it’s really cool! Play-DOH scissors are also very safe for a small child. After your child can cut out the shape, have them color it, put their name on it, and hang it up so they can be proud of their work!
Please note that scissors can be dangerous and children should be supervised at all times when using scissors. Most of all, don’t worry and don’t be afraid to let your child use scissors if you are with them. This is a task that will help them succeed in many areas during adolescence! Share this experience with your child, be creative and have fun!
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