Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Easy Scissor Practice for Beginners

(4 Years Old)

Lately, it seems like the kids are always asking to work with their scissors (by lately, I mean for the past six months- as you can see I've taken a break from blogging- I don't know how you mom's do it all).  Anyway, I give all the credit to those wonderful, and free, paint chip cards. These little gems are perfect for little ones to practice using scissors.  The paper is a heavier weight than printer paper and construction paper, it doesn't bend when they are holding it to cut.  The smaller size is perfect for little hands to grasp.  It really is perfect for learning how to cut.  Most of the paint chip cards even have the white line dividing the colors, providing a perfectly straight line to cut on.

We began with the narrow paint chip cards with the white dividing lines.  To get them hooked on that "Mommy, look I did it!" feeling, I sliced the cards in half lengthwise.  They only needed to make a few cuts and they were able to cut through the card.

Once they were able to easily cut through the sliced cards, I gave them the entire card.  I'm glad we started slow, it built up their confidence to work on the larger cards.

We introduced scissors to Little Miss and Wild One right after they turned three.  At first, neither had any interest in cutting.  So, I put it away and tried again around 3 1/2.  It instantly became a favorite activity.  Since they have shown an interest, I provided a lot of opportunity to practice cutting.  We didn't just cut the paint chip cards, they love cutting straws:

 The straws make a POP sound as they fly off the base of the straw when cut.
Keep those smaller pieces of straw, see here for some math, science, prewriting and art activities.

Also play dough can be easy or challenging depending upon the thickness and width of the piece of dough.  When they were about 3 1/2, I would roll out the ropes of play dough for them and they would cut them.  Little Miss would cut (using the play dough scissors) so fast, I could barely keep up making her the ropes.

Today, I used some of the paint chip cards that we had lying around, and drew zig zag lines, wavy lines and a circle so that we could begin practicing cutting out shapes.  Little Miss liked how when she cut apart the zig zag lines they looked like crocodile teeth.  She kept saying, "tick tock, tick tock."

 Can you see the little card cuttings by his knees?  He decided to cut some of the left-over cards into "tickets".

This cutting activity was quick and easy (set up, was less than five minutes- including gathering materials and drawing on some of the cards; activity length- was a little less than ten minutes), and more importantly both kids liked it!  There is a lot of cutting in Pre-K (that's next year for us), so my plan is to work on cutting out shapes at least twice a month, unless they ask for it more often.  There are so many wonderful art projects that will keep this type of scissor practice fun.  The hard part, for me, is choosing which projects I think they may want to work on.  I'll keep you posted.  Have fun today!

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