DIY ❤️Valentines Heart Stickers ✂️ Scissors 🎥Cutting Activity for Kids

Fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers and are advanced by frequent practice. Strong fine motor control is essential in completing tasks such as writing, cutting with scissors or a knife, manipulating puzzle pieces, threading beads, zipping, buttoning, and many more. Without well-developed fine motor skills, a child may have difficulty learning other critical tasks presented in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms.

Below is a super easy ❤️Valentines Inspired DIY ✂️ Scissors Cutting Activity, which took about⏱two minutes to set up. 

DSC_0014-2You will need ~ strips of paper, stickers, a Sharpie, and scissors.

DSC_0016-3 Use stickers and draw various kinds of lines in between the stickers.

DSC_0019Adrian is used to cutting straight across, so curves and zig-zags will hopefully provide him with some challenge, spiking an interest.

DSC_0002Just like the proper pencil grip, the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grip your child likely used. Most children explore with their hands outstretched and their palms facing downward or hold small items with their thumb and pointer finger ~ the pincer grip.

DSC_0004The proper scissors grip, on the other hand, requires a child to rotate the hand so that the thumb faces upward and the pinky finger points at the floor. Then the child must spread his/her thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors.

DSC_0006Your child must also rely on his/her non-dominant hand to stabilize the paper while his dominant hand uses the scissors. 

DSC_0006When learning to use the scissors, the non-dominant hand will simply hold the paper in a stable position as the dominant hand moves the scissors forward. 
DSC_0006But, as your child begins cutting more complex designs such as zig-zags or curves, his/her non-dominant hand will be responsible for twisting and turning the paper as the dominant hand operates the scissors.

DSC_0015Asymmetrical bilateral integration is the ability to simultaneously move both hands in different motions to complete a single task. Nearly all fine motor activities, including cutting and writing, require a dominant hand (being left-handed or right-handed) and a non-dominant hand. Hand dominance can be seen as early as age two, although it may not be firmly established until a later time. Once a child becomes comfortable with one hand as the dominant hand, the remaining hand becomes the non-dominant hand by default, and while the dominant hand performs tasks such as using a pen or scissors, the non-dominant hand acts as the “stabilizer” by holding and moving the paper while the dominant hand holds the scissors during the cutting.

A Trick to Learning The Correct Scissors Grip: Ask your child to shake your hand, and while shaking, your child will naturally rotate his/her hand so that the thumb goes top and the fingers extend below (pinky finger is closest to the floor). After shaking hands, pick up a pair of scissors by the closed metal blade and place the end of the scissors with the finger holes into his outstretched palm. Help the child put his/her thumb in a large circular loop on top and one or two fingers in the larger loop on the bottom. (Ideally, you would want your child to place the middle finger in the larger bottom loop and the index finger be a "helper" in closing the scissors.) ~ “Nice to meet you, Mr. Scissors!” ~

DSC_0015Most children become interested in using scissors around age two and a half or three. When you notice your child’s interest, direct your child to spread his index finger and thumb as widely as possible, explaining how this motion makes the blades of the scissors open really wide. Then encourage him/her to close the scissors in one smooth motion. This will help make long, smooth and efficient cuts rather than short, choppy ~inefficient ones. 

For more on ✂️scissor practice, see below:

DSC_0065See here a fun scissor activity ~ ✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash. 

DSC_0069.JPG   A trick to learn a proper scissor grip~ offer a child to shake someone’s hand! 

For more scissor practice, see here a lesson on simple strip-cutting on my blog Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo.

DSC_0077Also, see here ✂️Scissors • Primary Colors 🍝Pasta Cutting.


Once the pasta dries out and can not be cut anymore, put those little 🙌🏻hands to use while practicing fine motor skills by threading! For more on Valentines Inspired activities, see here ❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids. 

✂️Scissors • ❤️💛💙Primary Colors 🍝Pasta Cutting Activity

How about the primary colors pasta  ✂️cutting activity! Reinforce the concept of the three primary colors: ❤️red, 💛yellow and blue while offering your child to exercise fine motor skills by cutting with scissors.

DSC_0077How to make this activity:

  • cook pasta as directed (we had some old pasta that was past due its expiration date),
  • once the pasta is cooked, rinse it with cold water to prevent further cooking,
  • divide pasta into three piles and place into separate ziplock bags, 
  • add red, yellow and green food coloring to each ziplock bag and mix,
  • once mixed, lay colored pasta out to dry just enough that the color absorbs and does not stain the fingers,
  • *make sure you offer your child to cut the pasta before it dries completely as it will harden, making it almost impossible to cut.


Proper Scissors Grip Trick: when I first taught Adrian to use scissors, I offered him to say, “Nice to meet you, Mr. Scissors!” and asked him to pick up the scissors as if he was offering to shake my hand. Also, note that a child must rely on his/her non-dominant hand to stabilize the object s/he is cutting while the dominant hand uses the scissors, so frequent practice will improve the non-dominant's hand coordination. 


Like the proper pencil grip, the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grip your child is used to. Most children explore with their hands and palms facing downward, or they default to holding small items with the pincer grip (with their thumb and pointer finger). The proper scissors grip, on the other hand, requires a child to rotate his/her hand so that the thumb faces upward and the pinky finger points at the floor. Then, he must spread his thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors.

DSC_0081Offer your child as many opportunities for cutting until the proper grip is automatic since little ones might find cutting to be a challenging skill which will only become comfortable with frequent practice. And reinforce the practice with constant verbal reminders of how to move fingers when using scissors since, otherwise, a child will likely revert to an incorrect grip (or to use both hands to open and close the blades of the scissors) which will allow cutting but without any precision or efficiency. So, offer various enticing scissors cutting activities to promote practice and be persistent and consistent in reinforcing the proper scissors grip.

Once the pasta dries out and can not be cut anymore, put those little 🙌🏻hands to use while practicing fine motor skills by threading! For more on Valentines Inspired activities, see here ❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids. 

DSC_0065See here a fun scissor activity ~ ✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash. 

DSC_0069.JPG   See here a lesson on simple strip-cutting "Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo."

DSC_0016-3Lastly, see here DIY ❤️Valentines Heart Stickers ✂️ Scissors 🎥Cutting Activity for Kids.

✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash

Today, Adrian got to practice his scissor skills while making a DIY♻️car wash. All you need is ✂️scissors, cardstock, ruler and a pencil, a ♻️recycled cardboard📦box, and a sprinkle of imagination. 


First, using a rule, Adrian drew straight lines and then he started cutting, making strips.  It is very important to instill the proper scissor grip from the beginning since the longer the child uses an incorrect grip, the more difficult it will be to unlearn such habit.


Just like a proper pencil grip or a pincer grip (holding small items with a thumb and a pointer finger), the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grips a child has used. The proper scissors grip requires a child to rotate his hand so that the thumb faces up, while the pinky points down. A child has to spread his thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors. Cutting can be challenging for little ones, and the only way to become comfortable with cutting activity is frequent practice.

DSC_0065Turn the cardboard box upside down and cut out a square for a door and few squares for the windows. After Adrian finished cutting straight lines, he wrote "CAR WASH" and glued the paper with cut-strips to the cardboard box.

DSC_0067The car wash is open for business!
DSC_0067This DIY toy offered hours of practical pretend play ~ we all like our cars cleaned, don't we?


 Do you make DIY toys with your children?

DSC_0069.JPG   A trick to learn a proper scissors grip~ offer a child to shake someone’s hand! 

For more scissors practice, see here a lesson on simple strip-cutting on my blog "Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo."

DSC_0077See here ✂️Scissors • Primary Colors 🍝Pasta Cutting.

DSC_0016-3Also see here DIY ❤️Valentines Heart Stickers ✂️ Scissors 🎥Cutting Activity.

For more about the toys we are loving, see here Educational Materials, 📚Books and Toys 🎥 Review.

👞Shoe Polishing •Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life •Care For Self •101 🎥 Series🎇

Montessori Practical Life Activities incorporate six main categories, one of which is Care for self and others which includes learning to get dressed independently, preparing/getting a snack, washing hands, buttoning or tying shoelaces, shoe polishing and many more. During these activities, children also learn body control and coordination, consequently developing the sense of confidence and the sense of independence.


What you will need for this Montessori 👞Shoe Polishing 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity:

  • a tray so that a child can take this activity off the shelf and bring it to the table (buy a set of three bamboo trays here), and a mat (we are using this vinyl mat),
  • a set of brushes: stiff-bristle shoe dauber (buy here)  and soft-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) ~ see details below,
  • a natural shoe conditioner (buy here) ~ see details below,
  • a child-size shoe buffer (buy here)~ see details below,
  • and lastly, a foam polish applicator (buy here) which fits perfectly in the natural shoe conditioner polish jar: press gently and rotate to coat or use as a final buffer.
  • *Buy the entire shoe polishing activity here, Or economy shoe/leather polishing here

DSC_0042This natural shoe conditioner (buy here) is great for the planet and for shoes! This environmentally-friendly, biodegradable conditioner polishes leather and leaves a soft, supple finish. This polish is made in the U.S.A., and it is great for the children since it has a divine lavender scent.


This stiff-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) has stiff bristles that can clean mud off shoes before polishing. The hourglass shape makes this brush easy to grasp, use it to apply and rub in the polish.

DSC_0042 Children learn through order and repetition and Practical Life lessons satisfy such need.

DSC_0054Practical Life lessons also develop concentration and focus, qualities which will help children when they, for example, are learning to read or master addition/subtraction skills. 


Dr. Maria Montessori, after years of research, had observed that children will choose real-life activities over imaginary ones almost every time because they want to feel needed, useful and important in their and our worlds.

DSC_0057Allowing children to participate in real life activities which will help their family or classroom are wonderful for building self-esteem.

DSC_0057This soft-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) has a long wooden handle, which is contoured for easy grasping. Soft horsehair bristles are good for dusting off shoes before polishing or for applying polish and then rubbing it in.

DSC_0057"The child who concentrates is immensely happy," said Dr. Maria Montessori, and I see it every day! 

Shoe Polishing Montessori Practical Life Activity Care For Self from Anya on Vimeo.

"The child can develop fully by means of experiences in his environment ... Such experiences are not just play ... We call such experiences ‘work’. [And] it is work he must do in order to grow up.”- Dr. Maria Montessori. 

DSC_0057Finally, this child-size shoe buffer (buy here) will enable children to easily shine their shoes using a soft fleece that covers a wooden block. Adrian also finished off polishing and buffing using this foam polish applicator.
DSC_0057Practical Life Activities lay the foundation and develop the skills the child will need for all other academic areas! Real life lessons such as folding, using a spoon, buttoning, cleaning and more, will help your child develop coordination, concentration, independence and a sense of order, thus facilitating immensely in the future academic lives. 

IMG_0086"I can do it myself!" says the child~ and yes, he can!

For more on Practical Life Activities Care of Self and Others, see here "👚Clothes 💦Washing Activity." For Care of the 🌐Environment Activities see here "💦Caring for 🌺Orchids at 3 Yo.

For transferring activities, see here "DRY Spout Pouring 1:1" and here "💦WET Spout Pouring 1:1 (Practical Life 🙌 Activities 101 🎥 Series 🎇)."

For Kitchen activities, see here  "🍒Cherry Pitting Activity • 101🎥 Series 🎇." For carrot peeling,  see here " 🙌🏻 Making Carrot 🍲Soup at 2.5 Yo." For more on cooking, see here  "Making 🎃Pumpkin 🍪Cookies at 3 Yo."

💞Valentine Inspired DIY Colander and ❤️️Heart Threading 🙌🏻 Fine Motor Activity

Montessori materials at home need not be expensive or require a laminating machine and a paper cutter. It took me less than few minutes to prepare this Valentine Heart and Colander fine-motor activity. I am sure we all have a colander in the kitchen somewhere, and since 💞love is in the air, we are using ❤️️red heart flower-pot picks, but you can also use red (or any color) straws, pipe cleaners, or wooden heart picks (buy here).

DSC_0013What you will need:

  • a colander,
  • a styrofoam block,
  • heart picks.

DSC_0013My heart picks were a bit long for the colander's hight, so I had to cut them to the correct length. 

DSC_0013 Make sure that your colander has round holes and that picks are small enough to fit into those holes.

This easy-to-prepare threading activity is great for toddlers and preschoolers to develop fine-motor control.

Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding. - Dr. Maria Montessori.

DSC_0013This simple DIY Montessori-inspired Valentine's Day activity for great for home or classroom.
Insert picks through the holes and into the styrofoam block so that picks stay put.DSC_0013Adrian,  4 years old, had a lot of fun with this threading activity. If you have a toddler, on the other hand, make sure your picks are safe or offer pipe cleaners for a fun fine-motor activity that is toddler-safe.

DSC_0015You can also add a math twist to this activity by encouraging your child to count picks as s/he is inserting them. Or count backward as the child is removing picks or even do a simple addition/subtraction activity. "If you remove one pick, how many would be left?"


At the end of the activity, to emphasize the intrinsic motivation or not an extrinsic reward, I would say something like: “You really worked hard at this; you much be proud of your work!” instead of “Great job.” You want your child to feel own accomplishment, rather than showing your own favoritism or opinion.

DSC_0022  As a variation, offer pipe cleaners to shape as hearts, inserting both ends into colander's holes.

DSC_0013"Mommy, this one is for you!" DSC_0022

Never help a child with a task at which s/he feels he can succeed ... The child becomes a person through work. - Dr. Maria Montessori.

DSC_0019We had a lot of fun setting up this simple and inexpensive way to use Montessori at home. I hope you will have fun too! 

For more on Valentine's Day inspired activities, see here a roundup "❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids."