Are you looking for a simple, easy-to-set-up activity that is fun and developmentally beneficial? How about a quick cutting activity to help children build fine motor skills and small muscles in their hands and fingers?
Scissor cutting can support the development of pencil grip and handwriting skills. In her article, Scissor Cutting FAQ, Tracey le Roux, a pediatric occupational therapist, shares that cutting with scissors will give little fingers practice in working together, especially the thumb, middle, and index fingers, all of which are used in proper pencil grip. Scissor cutting also helps to strengthen muscles in hands and strengthen the visual-motor skills that are foundational to handwriting.
Cutting also helps children to practice another very important skill: bilateral coordination. Vanessa Levin of Pre-K Pages explains that “Bilateral coordination involves using both sides of the body at the same time while each hand is performing different tasks. For example, to cut a square, the child must hold the paper with one hand and turn it while the other hand is not only opening and closing the scissors but also moving along the line.”
Setting Up a Cutting Station
An invitation to practice cutting skills does not need to be complex. Simply offering children something to cut, a pair of scissors, and a tray or bowl (to catch loose pieces) are all you need! You can have printables ready with lines for children to practice cutting along. Or, you can use recycled scraps of paper or other leftover art supplies.
See the list below for ideas to get started.