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It's summer! You want to spend as much time as possible outside with your group to take advantage of the nice weather...I hear you!
If you've read a few of my other articles, you probably already know how much I love cutting activities. I recommend practicing cutting skills daily with preschoolers. Why? Cutting represents a complex and complete activity that fosters the development of fine motor skills.
During summer, rainy days are great opportunities for enjoying arts & crafts indoors. However, there is no reason why arts & crafts can't be enjoyed on sunny days too.
Have you ever thought of bringing your scissors outside and trading paper for leaves?
Here are a few original ideas that will provide children with the chance to practice their cutting skills outside, regardless of their current skill level.
1. Tearing tree leaves
Ask very young children to tear leaves to develop their ability to coordinate both hands. This simple activity forces both hands to work together; one hand stabilizes while the other hand performs the tearing action.
2. Cutting notchesFor this simple cutting activity involving wildflower stems or blades of grass, children gradually develop the automaticity of opening and closing scissors with each snip. At first, there is nothing wrong with letting children hold the scissors with both hands to cut the flower stems or blades of grass. Even if they cannot yet control the musculature of their dominant hand, they are developing their ability to coordinate both hands.
3. Cutting along lines
Here, invite children to cut along a leaf's veins. Children will slowly refine their precision with each consecutive snip.
4. Cutting shapesLarge leaves are perfect for practicing changes in direction. This really puts the complementarity of both hands to work.
If you would like to see these activities in action, click on the following video:
Josiane Caron SanthaOccupational therapist
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