Using scissors helps improves fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination (being able to use both sides of their body together to perform a task).
To work on scissor manipulation and improve scissor use first make sure you have scissors that are good for a child. Scissors come in all sizes so make sure they fit the child’s hand. For beginners, scissors with blunt tips are good. Also, make sure the scissors are sharp enough to actually cut paper. If the child is left handed they should be using left handed scissors to be successful.
Before even using scissors below are some activities that that will help develop small motor skills, strengthen hand and finger muscles and improve bilateral coordination.
- Use kitchen tongs to stack small blocks or to move cotton balls from one container to another.
- Tear paper into small pieces to work on the skill of using both hands in a coordinated manner.
- Spinning a top to helps develop the muscles in the thumb, index, and middle finger.
- Use a handheld puncher to punch holes in construction paper, thicker paper or index cards to strengthen the hand muscles and improve bilateral skills.
- Use any kind of squirt toys to squeeze water out of into a sink to develop hand muscles.
- Use an eyedropper to develop small motor skills. Suck up water from one container and move to another, or use with different watercolors to paint.
- Use finger puppet play to work on finger isolation and dexterity.
- Place clothespins or kitchen clips on the edge of a paper plate to strengthen small hand and finger muscles and encourage bilateral skills.
- Use scissors with play-doh. Allow child to cut the play–doh. Roll playdoh into long “snakes” and cut them into short “snakes”. This helps to build the muscles in their hands. And will help them to hold the scissors correctly and manipulate them.
- Snip construction-paper or thick paper to create a silly or crazy shape
- Print out pictures from the internet, print one of my art patterns or tear out pages from magazines. Have the child cut them out. Then for fun have them glue the pictures onto paper to make an art picture.