ABC and 123: Saturday Special: Scissors Giveaway

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Special: Scissors Giveaway

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Cutting is a skill that uses small muscles in the hand. These muscles are the last to be fully developed. However, according to the Early Childhood Continuum by the beginning of preschool a child should be able to use scissors appropriately. By the beginning of Kindergarten your child should be able to cut a circle and square; and by the end he/she should be able to cut any shape. Using scissors doesn't happen naturally. It is necessary to provide opportunities to cut both straight and curvy lines.

Teacher Tips:
1. Buy quality preschool scissors. They need to be sharp enough to cut nicely without becoming a frustration for both you and your child!
2. If your child seems to prefer the left hand, but left-handed scissors
3. Begin by teaching your child to open and close the scissors with both hands, as you would use a hedge trimmer.
4. Practice cutting with play dough, since it doesn't move it is easier to concentrate on the exercise of cutting (see our great tips on play dough)

According to Parents as Teachers, when your child begins to use scissors with one hand it is likely he or she will cut with the back of the hand facing up and thumb facing down. This is the position for holding a pencil. It is a good first step. Allow your child to use a grip that is comfortable. Hold the paper at an angle that allows for success with cutting. As you child's hand becomes stronger, she or he will turn the hand over and hold the scissors correctly.

There are many ways to help your child improve their scissor skills using materials you may already have on hand. Save the magazine subscription cards that seem to always fall out, they are made of cardstock and the thicker weight is stiffer than other paper and easier to cut. Have your child cut out simple pictures previously colored pictures from coloring books. Look through the newspaper after you've read it, as many ads or pictures are in rectangles or squares, perfect simple shapes to practice on. The backing for contact paper often has square grids on it, use a thick marker to draw larger squares for your child to cut out.

If your child is not ready for scissors there are still plenty of activities you can be doing to help prepare them and even after scissors are introduced children can still benefit from the activities suggested at Sensory Processing Disorder. Tearing paper, using tongs and clothespins, and wind up toys to prepare little hands are just some of the suggestions. My Montessori Journey shows a great set up for a cutting center, accompanied by some suggestions for the cut up paper.
Flipflops & Applesauce suggests an activity for recycling expired calendars and practicing the fine art of cutting.Melissa at Chasing Cheerios has her daughter cut paint chips as they are stiffer and the lines are wide. She also has ideas for what to use the pieces for, waste not want not!Katie's Nesting Spot suggests practicing by cutting play doh ropes and drinking straws.

DLTK has practice cutting worksheets you can print out in color or black and white with both straight lines and curves.

If you have any suggestions or have a cutting post on your blog, please leave a comment describing it and/or leave us a link in your comment.

Today's Giveaway:

2 pair of Fiskars scissors

You will receive one entry per comment. Please submit separate comments for each entry option you choose.

To Win:
Leave a comment - What are your favorite kid friendly scissors or scissor activities?
Send us a submission
Become a follower
Add our button to your site

Good Luck! We’ll announce a winner tomorrow!


  1. Hi! I am new to the site & LOVE it. My twin daughters (3 1/2 yrs.) got a playdoh kit for their birthday and they LOVE the scissors that came with them. They do not cut anything except play doh. What a great giveaway. I am now a follower too.
    Adding your button. thanks!

  2. We have a couple of pairs of children Fiskars. I got them when they had all the back to school stuff on sale. They are much better than the other children scissors we have some of which are just way too dull. I'm a follower too.

  3. I often have the kids cut strips of paper to practice cutting. They also like to use the big paper cutter to make their own strips and then cut those.

  4. we love cutting Playdoh, Pasta, and old magazines i keep for collages along with construction paper of course

    But if i had to pick one Playdoh would be the number 1 cutting activity here!

  5. forgot to meantion i'm a follower! I can't figure out how to add buttons to wordpress but i did add you guys under great teaching blogs does that count!?

  6. We love to cut! Normally it's just paper. Aidman has a homework assignment every week where he has to cut from magazines pictures of words that start with the letter of the week, when he's done it will be turned into a book. It's a homework that he LOVES to do.

    No need to enter me in this givaway as we have many pairs of scissors, just want to say that I love all the info/ideas you are giving.

  7. Hope your Birthday was fun! We love fiskars for little kids scissors and big (mommy.) I like the playdough idea. Lulu was getting frustrated with paper. I think I was having her cut too big a piece of paper. The paint samples seem ideal for beginners.

  8. All great ideas. I am going to Lowe's today and I am going to get some paint swatches and do that in my preschool class. They will love it.

    Your site is great.

  9. My 3 year old is currently obsessed with cutting. So, I'll be using all of these wonderful ideas. I'm a follower, and I'll be putting your button on my site today. Plus, I blogged about ABC & 123 yesterday! I love it!

  10. Great idea! I never thought about cutting playdough but I am definatly going to use that first!

  11. We just started scissor activities with Arin yesterday! I love the idea of cutting playdoh. It's going on our to-do list!

  12. My little girl loves to cut the Play Doh spaghetti we make with her Play Doh scissors. Thanks for the reminder about left handed scissors. My dd is a left, and I want to buy scissors in the next couple of months for her.

  13. to encourage cutting i provide traditional and atypical designs to cut out and scissors, straight and scalloped!
    as soon as my techy (hubby) can, he is posting the "featured me" button on my blog.
    thank you katie and katie for your hard work and sharing of ideas!

  14. Great ideas. =)

    I already follow. Adding a button, too!

  15. I draw zig zag and curvy lines on construction paper, and let my little guy practice cutting along the lines.
    I love the new site, and am a follower.

  16. I give my kids old Christmas cards and birthday cards to cut.

    You guys are doing awesome. I love the new site and I am excited it is up and running.

  17. Love the idea of cutting paint chips and we always are getting paint chips around here. Now to check out what to do with the chips.... :) Thanks for the great tips!

  18. We practice cutting out old coloring book pictures...especially fun with the scalloped scissors! For the little one, giving haircuts (with a playdoh scissors) to the playdoh creatures is great fun. Thanks for the great ideas.

  19. My 2 year old loves to cut plugged in electrical cords. Oops! I your children closely with scissors! I learned that lesson after he snuck a pair from me. My boys love to cut, and we do it "all together" now. :-)

  20. I haven't let our little guy (15 months) cut yet, but I grew up on fiskars, so that's probably what I'll buy.

  21. Posting your button to our site now!

  22. My 19 month old is at the two handed stage of scissor cutting. She LOVES her scissors, but I don't think they are good quality ones. I usually cut strips of construction paper for her to cut into bits and then we use those for collage. I have never tried to have her cut play doh but plan to try that today. This site is absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much!

  23. Does it count if I follow you on my Google Reader? I'll add myself as a follower, but right now I'm experiencing an Error message every time I click on the Follow button.

  24. My 3 year old hasn't used a pair, yet! PTL lol I will have to keep an close eye when she does. She may cut her hair off. Blah!

    My daughters favorite thing to do with scissors is when I get a prize in the mail. She can watch me open the box. Thanks.

  25. We just started "experimenting" with scissors. I forget that you actually have to teach little ones to do certain things. (I am a former 5th grade teacher!) I like the idea to use all those subscription cards from magazines for practice (I didn't want to waste my nice cardstock) and to cut play dough. We have a small pair of Fiskars, but I don't think the ones that are shown in the picture? Great ideas!

  26. Somehow I wasn't a follower yet. How could that be? :)

  27. One of the best things we have used to start our kids with cutting is playdough! they love it! Oh, and I already follow you on Google Reader.

  28. Katies,
    Thanks SO much for stopping by! I absolutely LOVE your blog and all you are doing. Thanks so much for sharing!!! And I would be honored if you want to link to us. How fun :o)

  29. We have the little fiskers ones like that and the girls love them! They can sit and cut for an hour! Right now they just cut into a million little pieces, but we will have to try some fun squiglies.

  30. I just have to say it again, this site is so AMAZING!!! I am working on starting scissors with Molly and you have helped so much. I put a link to your site on my blog today. Thanks so much!!!