Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Last week when I was in Omaha a teacher asked if I had any tips for scissor skills.  Since I’ll be in Toronto doing my Summer Camp this week, I thought it might be helpful to give you suggestions for scissors, glue, pencils, and crayons to use at the beginning of the school year.

Those of us who have been teaching for many years have seen a dramatic decrease in small motor skills.  Children just aren’t cutting, drawing, playing with play dough, stringing beads, working puzzles, or doing other manipulative activities.  We not only need to engage children in these motor skills at school, but we need to remind parents of projects their children can do at home.

Cutting Tub
Ask parents to use a shoebox or purchase a plastic tub at a dollar store.  Insert safety scissors, junk mail, old greeting cards, wrapping paper, etc. in the tub.  When parents are busy cooking dinner they can get out the tub to entertain their child.

Tummy Cutting
Have children lay on the floor and prop themselves on their elbows.  If they cut in this position, their elbow will stabilize their arm and give them greater scissor control.
*Wad up two sheets of paper and put one under each arm.  As children keep their arms by their sides they will be able to cut better.

(Luckily Kalina was visiting this week
and could be my model!)

Demonstrate and Model
We have to remember that some children have never had a pair of scissors in their hands before.  It’s important to take your time, model, and give explicit directions on basic tasks.
            Thumbs on top, just like “Tooty Ta”, when you cut.
            Hold the paper in one hand.
            Take little bites with your scissors with the other hand.

Scisssors Snip
(Tune:  “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” – ALL DAY LONG CD)
Cut it out!  Cut it out! 
With your scissors cut it out.
Snip, snap, and cut it out.

Thumbs on top,
Take small bites.
Hold your page in the other hand tight.

Cut it out!  Cut it out!
With your scissors cut it out.
Snip, snap, and cut it out.