Scissors skills can be introduced to children beginning at the age of three years old. Children should demonstrate an interest in cutting and have the ability to hold scissors safely in their hand. Scissors skills are introduced in the William P. Gorman Pre-School by first using adaptive scissors. Adaptive scissors such as, Easy-Grip Scissors, require children to squeeze the handle in their palm and alleviates the need to position fingers into the handle. Children then progress to using Self-opening scissors that have a built in hinge to allow for easier opening and closing.
When ready for regular scissors, the Fiskar scissors is the preferred brand being used in the WGFB Pre-School classrooms. To help children grasp scissors correctly, lay the scissors on the table with the blades pointing towards their helping hand and parallel to the table edge with the small hole on the bottom. Have the child place their helping hand over the blades. They can then place the thumb, index, and middle fingers into the handle more easily. Children should grasp scissors by placing the thumb of their dominant hand in the small hole of the handle and place their index and middle finger in the large hole of the handle. Keeping a "thumbs up" position will promote a proper wrist position. Drawing a dot, or a happy face, on the thumb nail with a washable marker can help a child with maintaining a "thumbs up" position. Encourage children to keep the handle closer to the ends of their fingers (and not close to the palm of their hand). Telling children to "point the scissors to the sky" also helps with proper positioning. When cutting on curved lines teach children to turn the hand holding the paper and keep the scissors pointing straight up. Working with scissors improves fine motor, visual motor, bilateral coordination, and visual perceptual skills.
Snip along the edge of a piece of heavy paper such as, index cards, or manila folders
Cut up straws
Roll Play-Do into a long pieces and cut into sections, i.e. "pieces of candy"
Cut construction paper into 1" wide strips and cut into small squares to glue on pictures and make shapes
Practice cutting on lines by making wide, short, straight lines on paper to follow
Draw a line on the crease of a greeting card and cut along the line
Cut out coupons and pictures from magazines, catalogs, etc.