Most of my kids love to cut with scissors. They are very excited about the results they create, the action, and the fact that they are using a tool that is often off limits! Parents usually approach this skill with trepidation. We present scissors at about 35 months. Usually my preschoolers have never had scissors in their hands and when you are not quite three, it can be a challenge. Here are some simple items we incorporate into many different activities to help teach scissor skills.
Leave the children/students alone and let them work on the beads. Most children are highly motivated by this project, and will work for many hours until they A) learn how to manipulate the scissors with success and eventually B) get all the necklaces cut into individual beads. By the end of this project, your children/students will have much-improved their preschool scissor skills!
In order to use scissors correctly, children need sufficient finger and hand strength and stability, sufficient development of the hand arches, hand – eye coordination, bilateral integration skills (using both hands together) and the ability to cross midline. All the same skills contribute to the development of handwriting.
Most clinicians recommend that your child have a few prerequisite skills in place before attempting to teach scissor skills, but I believe that the process of learning to use scissors can aid development of the “prerequisite” skills and they can be acquired at the same time. It is helpful, but I believe not necessary, if your child can already do the following: use a fork or spoon, isolate the thumb and first two fingers (skill side of the hand), demonstrate good shoulder strength and stability, and use both hands together as in screwing/unscrewing caps, etc.