Why is scissors cutting skill so important?

In the Tui room, all the tamariki have access to the scissors at any time of the day. They can easily grab it from the art corner with a magazine or a piece of paper. Cutting is a fun, relaxing activity that the children love to do, whether is cutting out a picture in a magazine or simply cutting a line or shape on a piece of paper. The educational outcome from cutting with scissors is much more than just fun. There are so many benefits that a child can get from cutting with scissors.

Fine motor skills

Cutting engages three fingers at the same time, thumb, forefinger and middle finger. It requires children to open and close their hand continuously while holding onto the scissors with these three fingers. This motion creates a perfect workout to build up the muscles in children’s hands. It is important to work on these muscles because they are also used for holding a pencil or pen to learn to write and draw.

Hand-eye coordination

Cutting involves seeing, analysing the visual input, and hand-eye coordination to cut out the outline of an image. It boosts a child’s hand-eye coordination which plays a crucial part in self-help skills such as feeding themselves, putting on their shoes and clothes.

Bilateral coordination

Bilateral coordination is the ability to control both sides of the body at the same time in an organized way. It is tricky for a child because each hand is understanding its own task. Cutting, in this case, requires a child to use scissors with one hand while the other hand is holding onto a piece of paper and turning it around to get the right angle. Practising bilateral coordination is beneficial for a child’s self-care skills such as zipping up a school bag or jacket.

If your child is transitioning to primary school and has showed interest in writing, cutting would be an excellent activity to build up the foundation for writing skills. Start with something easy like cutting a line and then move to cutting out some shapes with smooth angles. Please remind your child to hold the scissors properly, and always have the thumb pointing up.