Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cutting Work

My three year old is working on mastering scissoring. She knows how to be safe with scissors and how to hold them (through MANY past lessons and experiences guided by me) so now she's ready for some independent work. I put out one magazine (a parenting one so it has lots of pictures of children and babies and things kids are familiar with) and a pair of scissors. She is having such fun cutting out different items for Matt and I. I've also suggested she glue some of the pieces onto paper to make a collage, so we have her little collages all over the house!

Through practice children learn the skills needed to cut efficiently--how to hold the scissors, how tight to hold the paper, how to turn the paper, etc.

Often children are given "scissoring sheets" with lines to cut, and I do think that is okay in doses, but I've seen those overused many times in early childhood. Children really seem to enjoy unstructured exploration with scissors--and they learn the skills just as well this way at their own pace.

Note--magazine paper is a lot trickier to cut than construction paper--for newbies I use the cardstock inserts in magazines--those annoying little cards that try to get you to buy stuff or subscribe to the magazine. I put those out in a basket with some scissors. The stiffness of the paper makes them easier to cut.

Also, if you want to use this activity with older infants and young toddlers, instead of having them cut the magazine, they can practice tearing it. This is a precursor to cutting!
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