Scissors were a “no-no” item in my house for a long time. I mean, yes, kids need to learn to cut eventually, but couldn’t it wait until they were old enough to consistently follow directions? Because yes, cutting papers with scissors is great, but scissors also cut hair. And clothes. And people. Why in the world would I give those to my preschooler!? Well, it turns out, it’s actually really important to help your preschooler practice their scissor-work, and there are even ways to do it without risking an impromptu haircut! That’s why I’ve put together these five reasons you need to give your preschooler scissors!
Five Reasons You Need to Give Your Preschooler Scissors
My kids all have long hair, so I get pretty panicky thinking that the kids could give themselves a haircut. I tried to “trim my bangs” at 6, and ended up with a mullet that took 6 months to grow back. Trust me when I say, that prevented me from giving my kids scissors for way too long.
Thankfully I found the perfect way to give my preschoolers plenty of access to scissors without worrying at all about their hair. Or clothes. Or the boys using the scissors as their weapon of choice during a wrestling match! I pinky promise I’ll get to that, but for now, let’s talk about why you need to give your preschooler scissors!
Cutting is a Major Fine Motor Skill That Takes Practice
Cutting something may seem like one of the most basic skills you have, but it’s actually really difficult. It takes a ton of finger strength to hold a paper with one hand and maneuver the scissors with the other takes lots of focus, bilateral coordination, and strength.
Teaching Kids to Cut the Right Things Means They (Shouldn’t!) Destroy the Wrong Things
If you spend the time working on scissor skills with your kids, they will learn what they should and shouldn’t be cutting. When we first started, scissors were only for playdoh and paper. It made life so much easier to know that the kids had specific things that they could cut and things that they couldn’t.
Of course, kids will be kids, so this method isn’t foolproof. But don’t worry, there is a way to make sure that kids only cut what they should!
Cutting Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Cutting improves hand-eye coordination, which is really important in the early school years. Because there are so many minor movements involved in cutting, preschoolers really need to focus to cut where they should be cutting and to make all of the movements work together.
Preschoolers Love to Cut Things With Scissors
Seriously, preschoolers love to cut things with scissors. Whether it’s because they inherently know that scissors can make us parents panicky or it’s because they just really like destroying things with permission, preschoolers get wicked excited about cutting things.
Now, we shouldn’t give our preschoolers everything they want, but when they absolutely love an activity that’s also super beneficial to their development? Sign me up!
Cutting Uses Bilateral Coordination
Cutting uses bilateral coordination, which means that it uses both sides of the body. I know it may not seem that way, I mean, we all cut with one specific hand right? But you have to hold what you’re cutting with the other hand, which makes both sides of the body work together.
Bilateral coordination is a very important skill for preschoolers to develop, and cutting is a super simple way to practice it. It helps kids develop hand dominance, and will help them with their balance and coordination well beyond the preschool years!
Scissors Don’t Have to Be Scary!
So I absolutely know that handing over scissors to your preschooler can be panic inducing, but I pinky promise it doesn’t have to be. See, I found these incredible scissors that I can hand over to my super rambunctious preschoolers without any fear!
See, these scissors from Fundanoodle were specially designed by occupational therapists and early elementary teachers. These scissors are smaller than the average kid size, so they’re perfect for preschoolers. They also only cut paper and play dough. I know, you totally don’t believe me. But seriously, I test these babies out on everything I can. They don’t cut hair. They don’t cut clothes. They don’t cut fingers.
Now, if you’re like me, you may have had some frustration with other “safety scissors” that don’t cut kids’ fingers because they tend to just bend the paper instead of actually cutting it. But these Fundanoodle scissors actually cut paper in clean lines. I have absolutely no idea how they do it, but they do. And it’s freaking awesome.
I can leave the Fundanoodle scissors in my kids’ box of manipulatives that are “fair game” for them to use at any time. I leave the scissors in there with the I Can Cut! activity book, play dough, or scrap paper that the kids can use. I don’t have to worry about one of the boys giving Miss S an unauthorized hair cut or cutting one of their fingers. You can get a few pairs of these epic scissors here!
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