Preschool Language & Literacy Development - Scissor Skills and Fine Motor Skills
- can use hands, wrists, and fingers to reach, grasp, and manipulate small objects and tools.
- child can cut out shapes and is turning the paper
Remember, every child will acquire the fine-motor skills needed for handwriting in a different time table. The more your preschool child uses her fingers in activities that help to strengthen their hand coordination, the sooner they will master these skills.
Fine Motor and Scissor Skills
Fine motor skills are our ability to use our hands, wrists, and fingers to reach, grasp, and manipulate small objects and tools.
To develop and strengthen the fine motor muscles that are needed to manipulate a pencil, encourage preschool children to practice their cutting skills.
Learn about children's development of scissor skills and fine motor skills:
Development of Scissor Skills by Tara Calder, OTR/L
It is important to remember that children will develop fine motor skills and scissor skills at different rates. Choose the skill stage that matches your child’s development and be patient but at the same time, make sure to reinforce the proper hand/scissor position. Tip: Teaching the skills with your hand over your child’s cutting hand can help and speed up the learning process.
The following cutting skills are arranged sequentially from the simplest stage to the most complex stage.
Scissor Skill Stages
1. Picking Up and Holding the Scissors
Provide young children with preschool safety scissors (these scissors are specially designed to fit a child’s hand well) and help them to cut while making sure to put safety first. First demonstrate how to hold scissors. Show children how to place the thumb in the upper hole and the first two fingers (index and middle) in the lower hole. Let children practice picking up and holding the scissors.
2. Opening and Closing the Scissors
Help children to learn the motion of opening and closing the scissors. It can be helpful if you guide their fingers with your own so that they can feel what it’s like to open and close the scissor blades.
Prepare one-inch wide strips of construction paper in different colors. Demonstrate how to snip the paper in one cut. Provide a tray to catch the cuttings. To start, hold the paper for your child and have him/her open his/her scissors. Let your child close the scissors to make a cut. Use saved cuttings to make an artwork by gluing the pieces on a piece of paper.
Change texture of paper strips (newsletter, copy paper, construction paper, etc.).
4. Free Cutting Practice
Have children cut play dough with scissors.
Have children cut magazines and advertisements.
Have children cut straws, yarn, or shredded paper.
Have children make fringe on the edge of a piece of paper.
5. Guided Scissor Skills
Scissor Skill – Straight line
Activity: Lily’s Flower Garden
At this stage, children learn to manipulate the direction of the scissors to stay on a line and to stabilize the paper.
Scissor Skill – Small curved line
Activity: EarTwiggle’s Wood Shop
Children learn to turn and manipulate the paper for the scissors to stay on a slightly curved line.
Scissor Skills – Zigzag line
Activity: Lily’s Vegetable Garden (view free sample)
Activity: Grape Juice
Children learn to turn and manipulate the paper for the scissors to stay on a jagged line.
Scissor Skills – Long curved line
Activity: The Rainbow
Children learn to turn and manipulate the paper for the scissors to stay on a curved line.
Scissor Skills – Large circle
Children learn to turn and manipulate the paper for the scissors to stay on the line around a circle.
Scissor Skills – Circles, square, and triangle shapes
Children learn to turn and manipulate the paper and the scissors to cut out simple shapes like circles, squares, and triangles.
6. Scissor Skill Mastery - Complex shapes and figures
Children are able to cut complex shapes and figures.
For free Samples from our Lily's and Eartwiggle's Scissor Skills Practice Workbook visit KidsSoup.com
More fun scissor skill activities and crafts can be found on our KidsSoup member site.