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My oldest son loves to practice with his scissors…to an extent. Cutting paper doesn’t necessarily excite him. He usually wants to cut everything else, though! Play dough snakes, plants, even coupons are more interesting than following a simple dotted line on a plain paper! And who says he has to learn to cut by using this old teaching method? He is thoroughly enjoying cutting a variety of objects that offer various degrees of challenge and interest, and I encourage it! After all, even adults don’t only use scissors for only cutting paper. I am trying to make a list of all the ways I use scissors and transforming those into “cutting trays” to offer my son. Today’s cutting tray was made up of one simple material: straws.
Related post: Choose the BEST Scissors for your Preschooler
Have you ever cut straws? It’s a fun experience! My son soon found out that snipping tiny pieces off the end makes it POP off in fun directions! He did his own experimenting and also found out that cutting larger pieces doesn’t give nearly the snap and pop that little pieces did. Talk about motivation to complete a task! He was engrossed in experimenting and cutting to make each piece snap off!
Intrinsic motivation at it’s finest. I didn’t need to stand behind him to remind him to hold the scissors correctly or force him to work on the activity. He was motivated by the novelty and fun of doing it! Isn’t this what learning should be like?!
He even decided that cutting down the center of the straw was a fun way to practice! If you have a proficient cutter, you can also extend this activity by challenging them to cut the straws to be a certain length (by using estimation or using this awesome measuring tape to self measure!) After the lesson, the cut straws could be used for invitations to play, or for sorting practice (color, size, etc).