Educational Activities: Scissor Happy
Help your kid hone his super scissor skills.
- The line maker:Mom or dad.
- Cutter-outer:Your kid.
- Scissors:We suggest using blunt-edge scissors. Don't need any more trips to the ER, thank you.
- Paper:Construction paper is the best for beginners, but if your kid is a confident cutter try other types of paper (printer paper, newspaper, magazines, poster board and thin cardboard).
- An extra-wide black magic marker:Give your kid a shot at success and make a big, thick line for him to cut alongside.
- Eyedroppers, medicine roppers or turkey basters:Whatever you have lying around.
- Water:From the tap is fine.
- Plastic tongs:Easier to handle than metal ones. But if metal's all you got, so be it.
- Cotton balls:Pick them up on your next trip to the drug store.
- A pile of junk mail and used mags:You know, that stack of paper on the coffee table that you haven't sorted through since you went into labor.
- A bowl:Plastic or metal—something your kid can't break.
- First, get your kid to hone his "cutting" skills with these pre-cutting activities. When he asks you what in the world using an eyedropper and a pair of tongs has to do with wielding scissors, tell him it's kind of like hitting the gym before football practice. Gotta work the muscles before you use them.
- Give him a pile of old catalogs, magazines and junk mail. Encourage him to rip the pages to shreds. He should get the hang of this immediately. We're guessing he's probably been practicing this most basic pre-cutting skill since shortly after he left the womb.
- Next, give him an eyedropper or a turkey baster (nice to bust that thing out more than once a year, huh?) and a bowl of water and have him practice filling and emptying the dropper with water. Believe it or not, the skills needed for this educational activity are similar to those involved in using scissors. And this step buys you more time to finish any articles in the magazines he didn't shred up.
- Finally, have him try to empty a bowl of cotton balls by lifting them one at a time with a pair of tongs. Master this skill, and one day your little guy may be a mean barbequer.
- Once your child has mastered the pre-cutting skills, it's time for the big leagues. Pull out a piece of printer paper, and draw a very thick, straight line down the middle of it.
- Challenge your kid to cut along the line.
- If your kid is a genius (of course he is) and whizzes right through that step, make things more difficult by drawing curvy lines, circles, hearts and footballs. Raise the difficulty level as he gets more comfortable with cutting. Just make sure he doesn't get overzealous and turn his shears on your drapes or towels.
- Dying for a way to get your kids to play together? Have your older child take over your role as "line drawer" and make squiggles for the little one to cut out. You might be shocked to see that they can actually play nicely together for five or ten minutes.