It’s easy to take using scissors for granted… until you watch a 5-year-old try to use them! Then we’re quickly reminded that cutting with scissors is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. We can sharpen our students’ scissor skills by reminding them of these four things:
4 things to remind students when using scissors:
1. “Always point scissors away from you when cutting.”
This is a habit that’s so second nature for us, it can be hard to remember ever not knowing this. It’s not intuitive yet it’s a key to mastering scissor skills.
You may need to remind students of this a few times. But once they experience how much easier it is to cut this way, there’ll be no going back.
2. “Turn your paper, not your scissors.”
This is related to the point (no pun intended) above. With scissors pointing away from them, kids will have to turn their paper to cut anything other than a straight line. Again, this will likely take a few reminders until muscle memory kicks in.
3. “Cut loosely around small shapes first, then fine-tune them.”
When cutting something small (or several small things) from a large piece of paper, cut loosely around each one first. The goal here is to have a more manageable piece of paper to work with. Once the extra paper is cut away, you can go back and more easily cut precisely around each shape.
4. “Hold scissors safely when walking or when passing them to someone.”
Kids will instinctively carry or pass their scissors the same way they cut with them… with their fingers in the handles and the blades pointing out. This leaves the sharp blades exposed… a danger to everyone around them. Instead, teach kids to hold their scissors with the points facing down and their hand covering the blades.
After watching you demonstrate, practicing, and hearing a few reminders, these rules will become habits. Before long, students won’t even remember they ever did things any other way!
Then, equipped with their new scissor skills, kids will be ready to tackle collage and other fun mixed media projects.
Speaking of scissors, if yours are getting dull, here are 4 easy ways to sharpen them!
an inspiring quote
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Learning any new skill takes effort at first, but with enough practice, muscle memory takes over. Then the process becomes a habit, and kids are free to focus on the next thing they need to learn. When doing things well becomes a habit, excellence will follow.