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We finally took down our Christmas boxes from the rafters. I wanted to take my time and nostalgically look at each piece that I’ve collected over our 11 years of marriage, but I’ve got two energetic boys who aren’t really interested in nostalgia. They want to play! (well, one wanted to play, the younger one went down for nap). After being cooped up inside because of rain, I knew it was high time to put something together for my oldest munchkin to explore and play with.
  • Child safe scissors
  • Old Christmas Cards
  • Tissue  paper
  • Bead garland
  • Bits of wrapping paper
  • Ribbon

Cannon had practiced using scissors only once before, so I was hoping this activity would be novel enough to keep his interest for at least 30 minutes (all it consisted of were various Christmas items which he could cut up at his pleasure). I was wrong. He sat there exploring and cutting each material for an hour. And when he left the tray, he would come back later in the day to do it again. He came back to repeat this activity no less than 6 times during the day! I was thrilled it kept his attention for so long and it gave him a great opportunity to practice his cutting skills!

 The variety of materials also offered a unique sensory experience. There was shiny, smooth wrapping paper. Flimsy, thin tissue paper. Slippery smooth beads, and curly, thick ribbon. Each material also took a little change in technique to cut. It was great to watch him try to figure out the intricacies of how to hold and cut each item.
The beads were his absolute favorite item in the tray! I found it was easiest if I held the string up while he cut it. And yes, I am aware that he wasn’t holding the scissors properly in these photos, but I was more about letting him explore and play than I was about correcting him here. He was having too much fun for me to interrupt for correction 🙂

My biggest surprise came when he was cutting some tissue paper. He made a few horizontal cuts that stopped short of cutting through the whole paper when he excitedly held it up and told me “Look mama, a E!” I was so stinkin’ proud! I love watching his literacy skills improve every day, and this was such a creative way for him to make the letter E (insert proud mama face here) 🙂

This is how he would leave the tray when he needed a break. I left it on the counter where he could reach it whenever he wanted to come back to the activity. I sure am glad I didn’t just pack it up when he walked away the first time! I’ll try keeping it out for another day and see if his interest continues 🙂
Christmas Cutting Tray for preschoolers
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