Why scissor skills?

As parents, we receive a lot of advice. I often contemplate the words told to me and scissor skills always stuck out. We used to have an occupational therapist visit us once a week to help with our middle child’s motor skills. During her visits, she consistently mentioned to let the kids practice with scissors.

She explained how to teach scissor skills and why it was so important.

Gosh, I miss Mrs. A. She was sharp (no pun intended on the subject of scissors) and straight forward with her lessons. And, oh man,  did she have a heart of gold! Moreover, she helped me to realize how vital it was to invest extra time in the kids’ sensory and fine motor skills. These are things that parents, far too often, take for granted. We felt it all. Sensed it all. It’s hard to remember that our little ones haven’t. Even the most basic of functions needs to be taught.

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 How do we do it?

Here’s our step by step on how to teach scissor skills:

  1. Oddly enough, you start your lessons without a scissor in sight. You let them rip paper. The science behind it…ripping requires children to move their hands in opposite directions at the same time. This helps develop their bilateral coordination.
  2. Next, let them begin practicing with the scissors. Please, mamas, use blunt safety scissors especially designed for toddlers. We don’t want Timmy toddler running around with prorated kitchen scissors, sharp enough to go through leather. It’s a weird thing to have to say, but…. Anyhow, have them make short snips. Let them get used the movements. This develops the muscle strength needed to hold pencils or crayons. It’s also helps with gripping and manipulating objects.
  3. Once short snips are mastered, challenge them with straight lines. They are increasing their hand eye coordination as they make cuts across an entire sheet of paper.
  4. Last, have them do different shapes. Draw a simple circle and ask them to practice cutting it out.

Remember to stay patient.

As your little one learns, remember to stay patient. It’s a new feeling for their hands; and sometimes, the coordination is simply not there. Neither, is the strength. Encourage them and keep sessions brief. It should be enjoyable, not forced. There’s just so many toddler activities and ways to teach new skills. There’s even workbooks made specifically for certain tasks. Check out our review on Kumon’s first book of mazes.

Lastly, if you can think of anything to add on this tutorial of how to teach scissor skills,  let me know. Also, drop me a comment of how your teachings went.


Fullest Mom