He already knows most of the letter names and we are working on the sounds and letter formations too (the only one he can do is 'A' and mostly it looks like a 'H'). Although I'm a teacher we're not pushing him and just letting him be naturally curious about letters and words. He will now often ask 'what does that letters say' and he happily points out letters he knows/recognises in the environment and books we read. We are also encouraging lots of other 'school readiness' skills too!
But all that is way off track, but slightly connected, to what I wanted to show you.....scissor skills!
Currently I teach year 3 and I'm astounded by the lack of cutting skills these 8 & 9 year olds show. So start them early and Christmas is a perfect time for 3 & 4 year olds to start using scissor or 'snissors' as Aden calls them. Get the 'safety' ones if you must, but they usually don't cut very well, and let them start having a go.
I first started Aden on scrap paper and just let him cut and cut and cut where ever he wanted. He did more 'tearing' than cutting and the mess was horrible, (but he now knows how to use the little hand vacuum!) I started holding the paper for him so he could use the scissor with 2 hands for a little while before getting him move to just one hand and do it by himself.
We then drew some biggish shapes squares, triangles, circles, diamonds, etc onto the scrap paper with a think texta pen and let him try and cut them out. He wasn't very successful but you could see that he was trying to cut near the lines.
He still hasn't picked a dominate hand yet and although all these photos show him using the scissors right handed he can and does swap between left and right and cut equally as good.
Each time he spots the scissors he asks 'can I 'snissor' something please Mum' and I point him to the scrap paper box and remind him that he can only use the paper in the box and let him go for it.
Last week after an obsession with using the stapler on all my sticky notes....grrrrrrr..... I decided to give him a purpose for his cutting and stapling.
This time of year is perfect for making paper chains so I found some coloured paper, or even newspaper or old magazines or old cards will do, and drew on some lines for him to cut along. Showed him how to loop them into circles and hold it still to staple it.
I tried to encourage a colour pattern (early maths skill) but he wasn't interested and just wanted to use lots of his favourite colours.
I'm trying to sustain his concentration span in readiness for Kindy so I encouraged him to keep going til it was as tall as he was.
He got there in the end and was very proud of himself! It now hangs very proudly across a bookshelf in the lounge room...ready to add more decorations to it this week!
This post is jumping all over the place sorry.....my point is
- my boy is very clever and I'm very proud of him,
- let your kids have a go at scissors before the get to school,
- supervise them while they are doing it and you wont have any nasty accidents that sticky tape can't fix!!
- paper chains make great Christmas decorations and
- it is now December!!!