For kids who are developing their scissor skills and need help learning to turn the paper while cutting along a curve (and who can read numbers), try this little trick…I came up with it on-the-spot during a recent therapy session when working with a child who hasn’t been able to figure out how to turn the paper while cutting, and it worked INSTANTLY! I’ve proceeded to use it with a variety of preschoolers and kindergarteners and it’s been working like a charm! This post contains affiliate links (see full disclosure here).
The day I first tried this trick, I shared it on the MamaOT.com Facebook page and, to date, it has been one of the most “liked” posts EVER on my page!
Want to see this trick that people are going so nuts-o over? Read on!
Take a curve and write a number on each spot that the child will need to place the thumb of the helper hand (the non-dominant hand) while turning the paper. You’ll notice that the setup for a right-handed child would be mirror opposite of the setup needed for a left-handed cutter. It’s important to make sure that righties use right-handed scissors (like these righty scissors) and lefties use left-handed scissors (like these lefty scissors).
The right-handed child starts by cutting on the right side of the shape while holding the left side of it with the thumb of their helper hand on #1 (opposite for lefties). Then as they approach the top of the curve, they move their helper hand to #2. Then as they get almost to the end of the curve, they move their helper hand to #3. And then they’re done!
A commenter on Facebook commenter asked if I could post a video about this trick, so here you go!
You could use dots, stars, or stickers instead of numbers, but I like how the numbers indicate the sequence rather than seeming like “random” dots to the child. If the child can’t yet identify numbers, you could just draw a star or dot on each spot, or place a sticker on each spot. Stickers could be different colors (so they move from one color to another such as green, blue, yellow) or even different characters or animals (such as pig, elephant, butterfly). Or you could still implement a sequence such as “green, yellow, red” (like a stoplight) or “A, B, C”.
For beginners, you may have to start by providing both physical assistance to move the hand to each number AND a verbal cue (“Put your thumb on #1”, etc). But then as they understand the concept and are physically capable, you can fade to just verbal cues for where to put the helper hand (“Put it on 1, move to 2, move to 3”), then you can fade more to only saying “1…2…3” and then eventually if they still need some prompting, you (or they) can slowly count “1…2…3” without actually having the numbers written on the paper. Then they’ve got it! I have done this in “real life” and it actually works!
SUPPLIES TO HELP YOU OUT:
*image shows right-handed scissors, but the link takes you to truly left-handed scissors
Heavy Paper for Beginners
Stickers for Visual Cues
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR FINE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
OT Mom’s Fine Motor Bundle (Discounted price on Fine Motor Activities plus Scissor Skills Activities plus FREE Bonus Cutting Template)
Want access to all of OT Mom’s e-books? Check out her Mega Motor Bundle which includes all of her e-books at a discounted price!