I recently wrote this article for my SCHOOL NEWSLETTER! Feel free to do the same!
Did you know that two year old’s should be cutting with scissors? That’s right! The developmental stages for cutting skills start at age 2! At age 2 they should be able to snip with scissors. At age 3 they should be able to cut through a piece of paper. At almost 3.5 years they should be able to cut on a line. Scissor skills are an important skill for a great number of reasons! Cutting on a line can promote good eye hand coordination, hand strength, bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body at the same time), and visual perception. It’s a skill that Occupational Therapists often measure as a way to determine the fine motor and visual motor skills of a child! As a parent, it can be scary to hand your child a pair of scissors. However it is important to supervise them and help them learn how to be appropriate and safe with scissors. Good fine motor and visual motor skills leads to good writing and reading skills! Here are some general tips to help promote good scissor skills:
Always instruct your child to keep their “thumb up” towards the ceiling.
Encourage them to hold the paper and turn it with their non dominant hand.
Start with straight vertical lines. Then try circles!
Use a thick marker to draw lines so that they have more success with staying on the line. Thin lines can be discouraging.
If they are having trouble with cutting from the bottom of the paper tape a piece of paper to the wall, draw 3-4 thick lines and have them cut from the bottom up (see picture)!
Sometimes lefty’s need lefty scissors (only if they are having difficulty). Not all scissors that you buy in a store are lefty’s. A lefty pair of scissors always has the left blade on top of the right blade. You most likely will have to order a pair of lefty scissors from a website. (FYI Fiskar scissors advertise that they are good for both right and lefty handed students and this is not always the case.)
If they are not ready to use scissors but you still would like to work on this skill, play games with tongs, Play Doh scissors, tweezers, hole puncher (my personal favorite), etc. You can also cut silly things like straws or silly putty!
Have fun and BE SAFE!!!