Cutting with scissors has many benefits for children at preschool age. First they are building up the tiny muscles in the palm of their hand as they open and close the scissors; these muscles are used for writing, painting and holding anything with a grip. Cutting also enhances their eye-hand coordination as they process what they see while moving their hand. One most people don’t even think of is how cutting encourages children to use their bilateral coordination helping your child use both sides of their bodies at the same time. Using both hands while each one is doing something different is something your children are developing at this time and needs to be encouraged not only at school but at home as well.
You can help your child with cutting skills at home with a pair of children’s scissors and some scrap paper or envelopes that will be put in the recycle bin anyway!
- Hold it properly! First it is very important to encourage the proper way to hold the scissors. The thumb must go in the small hole and the next two or three fingers in the larger hole with the thumb on top.
- Practice opening and closing the scissors.
- Once that is mastered, start with small snips around a piece of paper or envelope. Some children may need you to hold the paper to begin with, but encourage them eventually to hold the paper on their own.
- Once they have mastered this, it is time to move on to cutting lines. Then they are off and ready to cut!