Learning to use scissors and cutting along a line neatly are important skills necessary to develop learners' fine motor skills and perform more difficult activites in school. The team at Labels4School loves teachers and making their lives easier by providing them with FREE printable resources to develop these much needed skills in the classroom.
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Scissor cutting FAQ’s
Scissor cutting plays a big role in early childhood learning because learning how to use scissors correctly can also help develop pencil control. Cutting with scissors is considered a pre-writing skill and assists in developing the hand muscles and practising the dexterity required for pencil control.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about cutting with scissors to share with parents or your teacher friends.
How does scissor cutting improve pencil control?
A mature pencil grip requires the tripod fingers (thumb, index and middle finger) to work together to control the pencil. Kids need plenty of activities to strengthen their muscles and fine motor skills. Cutting with a proper scissor grasp allows the tripod fingers lots of practice in working together and developing these skills. It will improve fine motor skills and gives your child a great foundation for developing pencil control for good handwriting. Cutting on a line also improves visual-motor skills necessary to improve handwriting.
What is the correct scissor grip?
The tripod fingers (thumb, middle and index fingers) need to learn to work together. The ideal grip is where the thumb goes through the round hold and middle and index fingers go through the larger oval hole together.
OT TIPS for the best pencil grip
Rule 1: Thumbs up for good cutting – for the best control both thumbs should be facing up. Thumbs up means we are doing good!
Rule 2: Elbows in – you shouldn’t use your whole arm for cutting. Keeping kids’ elbows in allows them to develop shoulder stability and improve their upper body strength and stability. Use a folder or book between the elbow and body and ask your child to hold it under their arm while the cut.
Rule 3: Right side up – often we need to remind kids to hold the scissors the right way up – draw a smiley face on their thumbnail to remind them to put their thumbs up before they start cutting.
Rule 4: The writing hand is the cutting hand – children should have developed their hand dominance by the age of 4. However, they may sometimes switch hands for different activities. If your child is a lefty, getting them a pair of left hand scissors is a great idea!
Rule 5: Strengthen the muscles – work on hand strength with other activities so your child doesn’t get frustrated and quit. Use an empty spray bottle, water guns, tweezers to pick up beads, spaghetti tongs or even a sock puppet!
AVOID scissors that make your child use ALL their fingers for cutting.
Are left handed scissors necessary for left handed kids?
The simple answer is YES! Lefties using right handed scissors are missing out on strengthening the left hand muscles in preparation for handwriting. If they use right handed scissors they hold the paper and scissors awkwardly in order to see the line properly and results in untidy cutting.
Left handed scissors are made with reversed blades which has some great benefits for left handed kids.
- The reverse blades work with the natural left hand cutting motion and open and close much more smoothly that when a left handed child uses right handed scissors.
- These scissors make it easier for the lefty to see line along which they are cutting.
How does a child learn to cut with scissors?
Cutting with scissors uses 2 completely different skills.
1. Kids have to learn to use the scissors correctly (how to hold them and open and close them properly).
2. Then kids have to learn how to cut along a line. There are loads a new resources for teachers and parents to download.
Which labels are best for labelling scissors?
Losing scissors can be extremely frustrating, especially when so many kids have the same pair of scissors in the classroom. Our classic micro labels are great for labeling scissors becasue they are so small and long-lasting. Simply stick these onto the blade of the scissors to make sure your child's scissors stay theirs! Take a look at our micro labels here.
Comment below if you found these activities useful and feel free to suggest what printables you would like to see in the future!