I admit it, I am the parent who never introduced her children to scissors early. I know, I know – bad teacher, but it never seemed like the right time. Then, my oldest son NHL was receiving Occupational Therapy and his therapist asked about his lack of cutting skills. He was barely three, but I had to put my fears aside and work on this with him.
You would think that I would have learned with my youngest, but I did not. Thanks to a hair incident involving scissors, many items were put well out of reach. When JSL started nursery school this fall, he had hardly used scissors aside from the Play-Doh only ones. This summer, I knew that it was time to beef up scissor skills with my four year old. Another perk? It was also great practice for NHL and his low muscle tone. On a rainy day, I pulled out my supplies.
- Old magazines – Disney Family is especially good for the NDK’s to use
- Color Store Ads – Lot of items to cut from the Sunday paper
- Construction paper
- Scissors – Make sure they are sized right for kids
- Glue Sticks
- Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils
- Imagination – Figment optional!
The first time we tried this activity, I allowed the boys to make a collage of their favorite things. It seemed quick, easy, and a nice introduction to scissors for the little guy. What I did not expect was that the boys fought over the Disney Family magazine. This is when I pulled out the color ads from Sunday’s paper that was chock full of toy photos (thank you, Cars 2 release). The reality is that NDKs really like their designs to have a lot of items from their Disney lives.
My older son got what we were doing and would scout our pictures of his favorite items. Then, he would carefully cut around the shapes. This was a great fine motor activity. For my little guy, he needed a little more assistance. I would pull pages out of the magazine that he liked. Then, I had to help him with some reminders for using the scissors. Once he had his fingers in the scissors, I had to remind him that his thumb goes up while cutting. We would chant “up/down” as he moved the scissors to cut out a Lightning McQueen or another Disney friend.
Before I knew it, both of the boys had enough items cut to start their collages. NHL had a plan and has had a lot of practice with glue sticks before. JSL needed some help since magazine paper rips easily. NHL’s original creation is below, and a second one that JSL finished is at the top.
The best part of this activity is that you can change it to work with different ages and to work on other academic areas at the same time. Another perk, kids love cutting/pasting, and it and will keep them busy for quite some time.
Some additional ideas:
- Color Book – Mark the top of each page with a color and have kids fill them in with pictures they cut out that have that particular color in it.
- Letter Sounds – Get some early phonics skills in. Pick a letter and only cut out picture that has a word that starts with that sound. L – Lightning McQueen, lollipop, lemon, and so on.
- Counting Book – Put a number on top of the page and have that numeral depicted with photos cut out. 1 Castle, 2 Mice, 3 Disney princesses, 4 Walt Disney World Parks, and so on.
- Senses – Make a page for each of the five senses. Do this with favorite items, or items that you could see, touch, smell, see, taste while on a Disney vacation (challenge for older kids).
- Rebus Story – Write a story book and use pictures you cut out in the place of some words. Another literacy activity for older children.
What book would you like to try first? Do you have some other ideas? Please feel free to brainstorm together.