Scissor skills are an important part of a child’s early education. Below are some things to consider when teaching how to use scissors.
Check the child is sitting in a stable position:
The child’s feet should be flat on the floor (you could use a box or telephone book if their feet don’t touch the floor).
When sitting, the child’s knees and hips should be at a 90º angle.
The child’s trunk (body) should be supported by the backrest of the chair (a cushion behind the back could help).
The table should be about 2Ëù below elbow height when the elbow is bent to a 90° angle and the child is sitting up straight. If the table is too high, you could place a firm cushion or piece of foam on your child’s chair.
When learning to use scissors:
Start with firmer paper as it is easier to cut. Then progress to thinner, less resistant paper, as your child’s scissor skills develop.
Start with small pieces as they are easier to manipulate, and progress to larger pieces of paper.
Use the right tools for the job e.g. if the child is left-handed – provide left-handed scissors.
There are a variety of adapted scissors available to help children who have difficulty using standard scissors.
‘Easi-grip’ scissors – designed for children who have difficulty using their fingers separately to open and close the scissors. These scissors are lightweight and allow the child to use their whole hand for cutting. The scissors automatically spring open when the pressure is released.
‘Spring-Assisted’ scissors – designed for children who have trouble opening and closing the scissors. These scissors automatically open when pressure is released.
‘Dual Control’ scissors – designed for children who have difficulty with the opening and closing movement needed when using scissors. These scissors allow an adult to assist the child by encouraging the movement needed when cutting. These may be useful as the child is learning to cut, but they may then like to progress on to other scissors.
These scissors can be purchased from specialist companies such as Taskmaster – www.taskmasteronline.co.uk