I have been wanting to try Cutting Box Surprise for some time now, and I don’t know why I waited so long because it was 1) awesome and 2) took way less time to set up than I thought it would.
My son loves to cut and is now at the point where he can finally maneuver curves and simple shapes so this was the perfect fun learning activity for him.
Scissor skills can be tricky for some kids, as it is such a multi-faceted skill that involves so many different areas of the brain and requires a lot of coordination.
Here are a few reasons why it’s so complex and tricky:
- It requires high level motor planning skills (opening and closing the scissors AND moving the hand forward)
- It requires bilateral coordination (coordinating the left and right sides of the body together in a coordinated way)
- It requires children to cross midline (which is harder for some kids)
- It requires careful modulation of pressure and safety skills (pressure modulation is the ability to grade the amount of pressure to release on the scissors)
- Positioning the fingers in the correct holes is hard at first (thumb on top)
- It requires divided attention (attention to the process of moving the hand correctly AND attending to the line that is to be followed)
a box + scissors + index cards + marker
I have seen parents, teachers and caregivers become frustrated themselves when trying to teach cutting skills to their children and I totally understand why.
When approaching cutting skills, its really a matter of breaking it all down into simple steps and teaching them the skills in a progressive and sequential order.
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for teaching cutting skills: **Start with only 2 or three skills a day as to not overwhelm or frustrate the child.
- Start with teaching how to hold the scissors before you even get them near any paper (orient them with the thumb in the top hole and three fingers in the bottom hole)
- Once they master holding them correctly (its okay if they forget tomorrow) teach them how to open and close them (by modeling)
- First learn how to cut straws (watch out! they go everywhere!)
- Then, learn how to snip on an index card.
- Next, teach how to cut a small line on a small index card (like the orange strips below)
- Then, try cutting a bigger piece of index card on a line (like the pink strips below)
- Once cutting on a line is mastered, you can experiment with diagonals, squares, curves, and then circles.
- Make child aware of the placement of their stabilizing hand (for safety)
- Last and not least, if you or the child becomes frustrated, take a deep breath + take a step backwards (go back to step 1 or 2) or try again tomorrow.
I hope you all found this helpful! Enjoy cutting with your littles!