This week LO and I decided to go to our local library for family story time. I thought it might be a good way to meet other moms but unfortunately there were only three other kids who joined us, one about two years old and the other two about four years old.
The woman read two books and gave each kid, except LO, a pair of scissors and some glue sticks to make the craft associated with the activity. LO is still a little too young for this.
One of the four year olds got right to work, coloring with the crayons and then using the safety scissors to cut out his picture pretty well. The other four year old very obviously didn’t have a lot of experience with scissors. Her mom wound up cutting the picture out for her. This is such an important skill for this age. Children need to develop the fine motor skills associated with cutting things out. In fact, in kindergarten, they should already have worked with scissors.
Okay, end of rant…
Here’s how you can help your child develop this important skill.
- First, choose an appropriate pair of scissors for your child’s age. Show your child how to correctly pick up and hold a pair of scissors. Smaller hole gets the thumb while the larger bottom hole gets the pointer and middle finger. It helps if you know what hand your child is dominant with.
- Next, show your child how to open and close his or her fingers correctly while holding scissors.
- Have your child try cutting large pieces of paper. Don’t give them something too small at this point. That can come later. Just focus on their being able to use the scissors correctly. Have them hold the scissors in their dominant hand and the paper in the other.
This is a good starting point for teaching your child to use scissors. There are lots of resources out there for this important fine motor skill. Try online or at your local bookstore for activity ideas.
One thing you can do if your child is too young to participate in story time activities is to come up with a way to include them. At the library, they had a finger puppet LO loved to babble to. We danced to the music and looked at everyone else’s crafts. We talked about each one and the different colors.
As a teacher, the best activities are those that include something that every kid is interested in. Music, reading, dancing, and talking with you and other kids and adults are all things your child loves to do. Try incorporating some of those with the activities you already do.
Remember, just because your child can’t independently participate doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t be involved.