There are plenty of basic tasks that kids commonly struggle to learn as they hone their fine motor skills. Holding a pencil, tying their shoes, and putting on their own jacket, for example, are all skills we help them master with practice and patience. When it comes to wielding a pair of scissors, though, we may prefer to get them as proficient as we can, as quickly as we can.
Holding a pair of scissors properly is not intuitive for young children. They twist their hands and wrists at awkward angles, attacking that construction paper in a way that hacks at it rather than cutting it. But Susie Allison at Busy Toddler has a simple trick for that, and all you need is a marker or a small sticker:
Use the marker or sticker to mark the thumb of their dominant hand. As Allison writes:
Draw a smiley face with marker (permanent washes off just fine) and tell your child to “keep the smiley face up.” This helps make a REALLY abstract idea super concrete: kids can immediately “see” what to do to help them cut more successfully.
If they don’t practice with scissors at home, kids will eventually learn proper scissor techniques in preschool or kindergarten. But by using this trick with them during the preschool years, you can give them a head start so they’ll be better prepared to tackle all those school art projects.