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Teaching a group of preschoolers to use scissors for the first time can be a little bit scary.
There isn’t a parent or teacher out there that doesn’t get at least a little nervous handing over these sharp objects to children with seemingly endless amounts of energy, but it’s an important skill for them to learn.
Learning to use scissors not only helps them build and strengthen their small motor muscles, it also allows them to further develop their hand-eye coordination.
These skills are vital to their future success as without them they’ll have a difficult time learning to read, hold a pencil, and write.
To fully develop them, they’ll need a lot of practice, but thankfully, there are a lot of easy activities out there that can make working on these skills fun!
These scissor practice apples are perfect fall cutting practice for preschoolers and are so easy to prep for your little learners!
Teaching Preschoolers to Use Scissors
For most preschoolers, holding a pair of scissors correctly is not something that comes naturally.
This is where those fine motor skills come into play.
To properly hold and use a pair of scissors, they’ll need to have strengthened those small motor muscles and for most young preschoolers, this is a process that they are just starting.
And learning to slow down, once they start cutting, and cut on the lines is even trickier than learning to hold those scissors.
A little bit of patience and hand-eye coordination can go a long way, but both of those require a bit of practice, especially with younger children.
Teaching your preschoolers to hold the scissors correctly, from the beginning, is a great place to start because it gives them an advantage. Not only will they be able to work on those small motor muscles right from the start, but they won’t have to try to unlearn a previous method that they may have already gotten used to.
More Fine Motor Practice
And there are plenty of ways to help them learn to cut along the lines!
First, remind them to slow down.
Preschoolers often remind me a lot of cheetahs. Everything seems like a race and they don’t want to miss a thing.
Remind them to take their time and start with larger, straighter lines.
There isn’t a single preschooler out there that is going to pick up pair of scissors for the first time and be able to cut out some super intricate design.
Make the lines clearly visible and slowly transition them from straight cuts to more complex curves.
Apple Cutting Practice for Preschoolers
Now, for me, introducing new preschoolers to using scissors has always been something that happens in the fall. Right at the start of each new school year.
This isn’t a coincidence, of course.
We want them to learn to use these scissors correctly right at the very beginning of the year so that they have the entire school year to practice.
But starting out, early in the fall, we try to find ways to incorporate it into what they’re already learning and more often than not, at this time of year, we’re often learning all about apples!
And apples make perfect cutting practice for preschoolers!
They’re small enough that your preschoolers can cut them independently without their hands getting tired and they’re super easy to prep when you don’t have a lot of time.
To use these printable cutting practice apples, you’ll simply need to print them off and cut them out.
Set them out with a few pairs of scissors for your preschoolers and let them practice their own scissor skills by cutting each of them in half.
Included in this set you’ll find, straight lines, zig zags, curves, and more giving them plenty of opportunities to practice.
If this is your preschooler’s first time using a pair of scissors, I recommend starting with the straight or slightly curved lines. This gives them a chance to build their confidence before getting into more complex lines that require a little more concentration.
Once they have some practice under their belts, move onto those bigger curves and watch as they build those fine motor skills!