Did you know that our body needs stability before mobility? This means that our body needs to be secure in one position before moving a body part away from our body. For example, sitting down on the floor or in a chair to write, cut, or eat requires good balance, good posture and the ability for us to move our arms/hands away from our body. Our body needs to feel balanced and strong in the sitting position before we can reach out with our hands to do these activities. Two ways to help our body feel stabilized in the sitting position: Sit on the floor in criss cross applesauce style. Reversed W sitting (legs behind the body not sitting on the legs) can hinder the development of […]
If your child has not established a hand dominance, consider using “loop” scissors that do not require finger placement but rather use the whole hand for opening and closing the scissors. These loop scissors often have spring action which helps with the concept of “open and close” needed for regular scissors. Find these at www.funandfunction.com or www.therapro.com ! If your child is left handed, please purchase left handed scissors. Many left handers that I know actually use their right hand for scissor usage as they were not given left handed scissors early in education. Check out www.leftyslefthanded.com! There are wonderful scissors which allow the teacher to place their fingers along side of the child’s fingers to help with teaching the open and close motion! Find these at […]
Because development happens in a sequential fashion, it is important to respect the developmental sequence. This may help avoid frustration on your part (as you ask a child to do something they aren’t ready to do) and on the child’s part (whose nervous system is not ready to do this skill). Stepping Stones Age Norms From Birth to Age Six by Keith E. Beery and Natasha A. Beery have given us developmental guidelines for scissor usage. Please remember however that each child develops at different rates. You may have a child that is more advanced or one that is more immature than what is listed below as a guideline. Please work at the child’s developmental age level not his chronological age level to insure success! Make […]
There are so many blogs and webpages with great fine motor ideas! I am listing a few that you might want to further explore. If I have accidentally left yours out, please leave a comment alerting us to yours! I would love to know your favorites! http://prekinders.com/fine-motor-skills/ http://spaghettiboxkids.com/blog http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com http://pinterest.com/ness/montessori-fine-motor-skills-activities/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/2012/01/30-kids-activities-materials-for-promoting-fine-motor-skills.html http://www.2teachingmommies.com/ http://nancybarthtutoring.com/
Hand muscles have two functions: power and precision. Both are needed with scissor usage. Encourage the major players in scissor usage, thumb, index and middle fingers, with activities such as these: *Safety warning: An adult should always supervise these activities. The small items should be enlarged or eliminated with children who still put objects in their mouths. Tearing old Coke cartons and birthday cards before trashing them Pinching off play dough or clay, looking for small items hidden in the play dough, Using strawberry tongs, toaster tongs, tweezers to pick up pompoms, gold fish crackers, etc Stamping with stamps and paper (place the paper on a slanted surface or on an easel to help with wrist muscle strengthening) Plastic clothespins: favorite visual perceptual activity using […]
When you are using scissors, it’s necessary for each hand to work separately but yet together. Take a piece of paper and try cutting a circle out of it with a pair of scissors. See how well your two hands work together! Ideally, the dominant hand moves the scissors to cut the paper held in the other hand. The non dominant hand holding the paper will shift the paper, making it more easily cut. However, frequently in my population, the “dominant” hand will hold the scissors still while the other hand holding the paper does all the work. I see a lot of this with children who are late deciding which hand to use; or tend to still be deciding which hand to use; or […]
One rule to remember when you are preparing a child to do fine motor work such as using scissors, is “stability before mobility”. We all need to feel like we are not going to fall before we put our hands out to use tools. Encourage a “safe” feeling by placing a child in a chair that fits (feet flat on the floor) and at a table which fits (top should be two inches above his bent elbow). Encourage a “safe” feel by working in sitting on the floor. Try this interesting trick to see how it feels to fell “unsafe”. Sit in a chair of your choice. Scoot to the edge of the chair and pick up your feet to the point they are not touching […]
During my recent workshops, the subject of how to teach scissor usage repeatedly came up. I would love your input as we discuss the numerous skills needed for the actual use of scissors! These are the ones I could think of! Can you think of more? We will take time to discuss these in my next blogs! Good posture: Stability before mobility Use of two hands together Strong hands Interest in scissor usage Concept of open and shut Equipment: types of scissors, practice “stuff”, paper weight Isaiah 55:12
Beginners need stiffer paper to cut for easy success. Pull out your old holiday or birthday cards to cut up. Try old manilla folders but not too thick. So often regular paper or construction paper will bind in the scissors which frustrates beginners. Also start with short projects such as cutting a 4 inch strip in half rather than a whole page. Begin without lines on the paper as the child needs practice with just opening and closing the scissors. Then add lines, curves, and finally shapes. Most of all have fun!!!! Turn your short snips of paper into confetti and have a pretend party Safety Note: Always use blunt scissors with beginners. Make sure the scissor size fits your child’s hand size!
When teaching scissor skills to our little ones, please insure that they are cutting circles out in the correct direction: Right handers: Always cut the circle out going in counterclockwise direction. Left handers: Always cut the circle out going in clockwise direction. The direction is based on how our wrist works!