Fine motor skills and tiny fingers can easily cause frustration. Giving our littles plenty of opportunity to use and move their hands in projects is a good thing! Play-doh, using writing utensils, sensory bins, etc. I've held off on scissor skills for Sadie so far because she's just two and I'm not sure she's ready. However, she lets me know just how much she wants a chance to try using them every time she sees Macie Jane using them. It really depends on the child when you want to start letting him/her use scissors and there are lots of great scissor options out there for novice cutters. For today's activity I had Sadie use a pair of zig-zag scissors. I wanted her to be able to learn the correct grip and practice opening and closing her hand, however, how much she actually cut wasn't of importance today. (Although, she did find a way to cut.)
Teaching Proper Technique
Cutting with scissors requires the skill of hand separation, which is the ability to use the thumb, index, and middle finger separately from the little and ring finger. The wrist should be vertical. It's the vertical wrist that gives little ones a tough time. To help the girls remember I draw a small smiley face on their thumb nail to remind them to keep the smiley looking up. It really works ...except now they keep asking for smileys on all their fingers all the time. :)
Here are a few of my favorite training scissors:
These are great because the wide hand opening encourages tiny hands to give them a try. No tears crying, "mommy, my hand doesn't fit!" They also have a spring to help the safety blades pop back open for little ones still learning about the open/close motion. These boast the added benefit of cutting only paper so you can rest a little easy knowing no one is going to be giving themselves and unwanted hair cut or that the furniture is safe. :)
These are the pair of scissors that Macie Jane used. They're safety scissors as well. The blunt tip makes me feel better about letting my 4 year old use them. They do not have the spring to open the blades back up so these would be for a little one with more developed fine motor skills.
Here's my shameless IKEA plug (you'd think I'd get a kick back from them. haha!) We love this set from IKEA. Those zig zag scissors are the ones Sadie used today. They are simple, safe to cut only paper, and the set is only $4 for both.