We have been doing some cutting activities which is great for building up muscle strength in the the palm of children’s hands. Among learning to cut for cutting’s sake, the same muscles are used for writing, painting, gripping toothbrushes and spoon and forks as well as pulling up pants so it’s good to practise this skill. Cutting is also good for practising hand-eye co-ordination using vision to see what they are cutting at the same time as moving the hand to make the cut. Cutting activities also support devevloing bilateral co-ordination which involves using both sides of the body whilst each hand performs it’s own task so holding the paper with one hand and cutting with the other.
As a child approaches 3 years old then they will usually develop the skills to make small snips in paper with scissors and it might not be until is about 6 years old that they can cut with accuracy although we will be expecting their control and accuracy to be improving over time and with practise.
Of course there is also the safety aspect and we are teaching children that tools must be handled safely to avoid harm to themselves and/or others and showing them safe ways of handling tools.
We will start children off with simple cutting opportunities that give them confidence and then as they develop the skills we can add more challenge to the cut.