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.
You will need ~ strips of paper, stickers, a Sharpie, and scissors.
Just 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.
The 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.
Your child must also rely on his/her non-dominant hand to stabilize the paper while his dominant hand uses the scissors.
When 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.
But, 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.
Asymmetrical 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!” ~
Most 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:
See here a fun scissor activity ~ ✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash.
For more scissor practice, see here a lesson on simple strip-cutting on my blog Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo.
Also, 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.