Guest Post: Super Scissors - A Top Tool in a Preschool Back Pack

I am very excited to have Leslie from Forever Joyful guest posting today.  Her blog has so many wonderful resources and posts about literature.  Today Leslie is sharing about her top tool for preschoolers!!

Super Scissors: A Top Tool in a Preschool Backpack

Scissors are super! I wish I’d known this earlier.

Once my son turned three, I was eager to teach him to read. He was a reasonably willing and capable pupil so I began our successful adventures with the 1998 cassette tape version of Hooked on Phonics. I studied up on classical educational models and focused on memory work. He enjoyed it and was learning so it appeared to be an all-win situation! He had spent his early years in China so we plowed ahead with Chinese lessons. We also did twice-a-day math and daily handwriting practice. Don’t forget our AWANA Club memory verse drills!

Whew! That makes me tired just remembering it. You can tell that we were busy, but can you see what was lacking? SCISSORS!

By the time my oldest was four, he was the academic star of his preschool class, and I was his proud mama. The only problem was this didn’t impress his teacher much. I was all about academics. She was all about life skills and themed learning. I was concerned with fractions. She was concerned with cutting out circles. I didn’t yet have the wisdom to see that having your child cut out a circle then cut it in half (then quarters, then eighths) accomplished both tasks.

Looking back, I wish I’d focused less time on “academics” and more on life skills and having fun! My son's preschool teacher really was right. At the top of my regret list is not having him use scissors enough. (But don’t worry! My oldest has still somehow managed to learn how cut properly, and I won’t make the same mistake with my other children.)

Scissor skills give children at least four important advantages:
  1. Cutting allows children to practice fine motor skills and build strength in their hands that will be used for a variety of tasks later on. Play-Doh, paper, and yarn prove to be perfect cutting materials. You can get fancy cutting worksheets (available for free all over the internet), draw your own shapes, or let your child go to town making confetti out of construction paper. You can use it for a grandparent's birthday celebration later. Grandpa and Grandma will love it!
  2. Cutting enhances eye-hand coordination. This skill is essential for a variety of tasks from catching a ball to zipping a jacket. (Maybe our lack of scissors work was the reason my son was one of the last kids to get his name on the preschool zip list for learning to zip his own jacket!)
  3. Cutting is an enjoyable activity for most children, and they feel proud of their accomplishments. Provide the right tools, and scissors can entertain your children for hours (with appropriate supervision). When children are praised specifically for successfully accomplishing a task, they delight in their new achievement.
  4. Using scissors sets the stage for your child to learn to rub his belly and pat his head at the same time. There is a fancy name for this – bilateral coordination. Bilateral coordination helps your child use both sides of his body at the same time for the same task, an alternating task, or a completely different task. (Scissors work fosters the latter.) Strong bilateral coordination is essential for playing ball as well as playing the guitar!
As you buy your preschooler’s back-to-school supplies this year, don’t forget a quality pair of child-friendly scissors! What fun scissors activities do you love? Please share in the comments.  

I am a devoted wife, mother of three great kids and, most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ. I love long summer days, photography and stealing quiet moments for writing.