The magic of working with scissors outside
Summer is magical! The sun seems to beg little explorers to spend more time outside. As early childhood educators, we want nothing more than to spend as much time outdoors as possible too...
Indoor activities are often somewhat left behind during summer months. Tricycles, sandboxes, and water games are more popular. We aren't complaining! However, it can be a good idea to use outdoor games and activities to stimulate children's motor skills. In this article, I would like to share simple activities that can help improve children's scissor skills. Far from typical "cardboard and glue" crafts, these activities will also provide children with the opportunity to explore flowers, branches, grass, and water. I'm willing to bet your group will love them.
Tiny magic bottles
Purchase several dollar store spray bottles. Use them to water your flowers and plants. Once children are done caring for your garden, invite them to spray water on walls to "clean" them. You can also add a few drops of poster paint to your water-filled spray bottles and let children spray colourful water on your driveway or parking lot. On a hot day, let children gently spray water on their friends to cool them off. Trust me, children will be begging for your spray bottles all summer long!
Give each child ice tongs. In your yard, encourage them to use them to pick up rocks and pebbles and deposit them in a bucket. If you can take your group for a walk in the woods, bring your tongs and let them use them to collect tiny branches, pinecones, leaves, etc. Don't forget buckets to carry their findings back to daycare.
Here, you will need doll clothes, buckets of water, a rope that will become a clothesline, and clothespins. Let children wet the clothing items and then hang them on their clothesline to dry. The use of clothespins can represent a challenge for young children at first. Give them a hand if necessary and they will quickly understand how they work.
Other uses for scissors
During summer, take your scissors out of your crafts bin and into your yard. Let children use them to cut blades of grass, flowers to make pretty bouquets, etc.
Believe it or not, each of the activities mentioned above can help develop the motor skills required for using scissors. I am convinced they represent a great way to get the boys in your group who are less attracted to crafts to practice their scissor skills. Hours of fun await!
Maude Dubé, Specialized child educator