This week the children in the Burrow have been developing their fine motor skills (those skills that involve the small muscle movements of their hands and fingers in coordination with their eyes). In physical skills development, children are encouraged to practice scissor cutting to strengthen hand muscles and develop co-ordination for the later skills of writing.
We look at each child’s overall development to help us decide whether they are ready to hold and use tools such as scissors. We then introduce scissors as an adult led activity with small groups of children.
We encourage the children to hold scissors correctly, with their middle finger and thumb in the finger loops and the index finger supporting the scissor blades. This can be supported by offering a ‘hand-over-hand’ grip, with the adult’s hand over the child’s.
We have right and left handed scissors to help meet the needs of the children.
At the age of around 2 children can usually hold scissors using two hands. They can be encouraged to use one hand to snip, but need someone else to hold the paper. At this stage, children are involved in the action of cutting and snipping, NOT ‘cutting out’.
In the Burrow we provide old cards (birthday, thank you etc.) for the children to snip. Simple strips or shapes of any fairly strong paper will do – junk mail cut in strips about 1cm wide is ideal. The children are encouraged to practice snipping these strips, or the edges of larger shapes. We give the children lots of praise as they persevere with their skill development. Well done little Burrowers!
Other activities that support scissor skills:
- Using tongs and tweezers to develop the concept of opening and closing
- Games where children have to pick up balls, bean bags or other small objects
- Using basters, water bottles, spray bottles, squirting toys and droppers
- Tearing paper helps develop hand strength as well as how to use two hands together
- Using clothes pegs to hang different things such as washing, pictures, number cards etc.
- Playing with dough especially rolling, squeezing and squashing – we also have plastic scissors available to cut and snip the dough
As children achieve some control over their scissors they will be able to try cutting along a line. Drawing broad straight lines across strips and shapes will enable children to build confidence before trying the more challenging wavy lines and spirals.
Thank you for reading and please send in any old cards, wall paper samples, or paper off cuts that you have lying around.