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May 31, 2012


Six Stages of Cutting Skills

  1. Tearing
  2. Snipping
  3. Fringing
  4. Cutting strips
  5. Cutting on a line
  6. Cutting shapes

Each child has their own interest and skill level, so the above six points should be seen as guidelines. The most effective fine motor activities are those that allow a young child to explore their personal interests at their own pace (hands-on-activities, as opposed to pencil and paper). Young children love cutting and creating, so why not encourage it in fun ways?

Suggestions for Cutting Activities:

  • Leave a ‘paper bin’ out for the children to explore with child scissors. Make it colorful and plentiful! Provide paper and glue for them to make a collage.
  • Children love to tear – especially young ones! Direct them to a center with paper and a box and tell them to ‘tear away’!
  • Most children tend to hold their scissors with two hands and/or with their thumb down. Show them the proper way to use scissors: place a circle sticker on their thumb with a Happy Face on it. Tell them that the sticker needs to be facing UP when they cut. If you see a child cutting the incorrect way, ask him,”Where’s your Smiley Face? Show me how you change your hand so we can see it!”
  • Wouldn’t a nice fringed piece of paper be perfect as a strip of grass? Wouldn’t bits of brown paper be great for making a textured tree trunk? Click here to see an example of a project from Two-A-Palooza.
  • Snipping objects other than paper – like drinking straws – can lead to other activities, such as making jewelry.
  • Make Paper Clay out of your scraps! You will need 2 cups of medium sized scrap paper, 4 1/2 cups of tap water, 1/2 cup of flour. Have the children sort the scrap paper into like colors and rip into teeny tiny pieces. Pick a color and place 2 cups of the bits in a blender with 4 cups of water. Blend until it turns into a pulp. Dump the mixture into a bowl and squeeze out the extra pulp. Transfer it to another bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water and the flour to the pulp. Mix with hands or a spoon to start. As the water and flour are kneaded into the pump, the mixture will begin to resemble dough. After you are done sculpting, leave the finished product out for a day or two to dry.

Do you have any additional activities that you include throughout the doodle day? Share them in the comment section!