At the dinner table the other night, there was a conversation about ages and grades, and something about Eleanor turning 4 next school year and the next thing I know, she got all excited about Preschool. "Then I can do school with Elliott and Emory!" She really looks up to her big brothers, and she likes to be part of everything they do, so I am constantly looking for age-appropriate activities that are fun and purposeful and "feel" like school without being too structured. I was happy to review a preschool scissors training set that includes My First Scissors and a Kumon Let's Cut Paper Book. I realized quickly that this set would serve its purpose of being intentional enough to feel like schoolwork in her eyes, but also informal enough to not feel like busywork to me. Scissor skills are a great preschool activity that build fine motor skills, and these books are so much cuter than those preschool packets floating around online.
My First Scissors are made by Faber-Castell, and are suggested for ages 4+ but Eleanor (3) had no trouble using them. Well, it took her a minute to figure out how to hold them, but only because she's already played around with traditional scissors and was trying to put her fingers through the loop. Once I showed her how to grasp them, she was off! These scissors are spring-loaded, have round blade points, and their ergonomic design makes them easy to grasp--by left or right-handed children! Since they are spring-loaded, they are easier to use because they pop back open, which means she can focus on controlling direction and depth while cutting, until she has the coordination to open and close traditional scissors smoothly.
Kumon Let's Cut Paper books are so cute! They are geared for ages 2+ and I think 2-4 yrs is the ideal age range with the graphics, but the activities are certainly appropriate for older children who struggle with fine motor skills. There are simple instructions for the parent on every activity page, but it's definitely designed with preschoolers in mind. The cutting pages are made with a sturdy paper that is easy to handle and easy to cut. The pictures are large and colorful and allow preschoolers to cut something purposeful. They start with short one stroke cuts, then slowly move along to longer cuts and zigzags and curves. I really like that Eleanor isn't just cutting lines across a plain piece of paper that we'll throw away when finished. She is cutting animals or simple puzzles that she can play with again, and she takes pride in her little creations.
Eleanor asks for her "cutting book" frequently, and she will happily do several pages without any prompting from me. This is a great no-prep preschool activity to add to any preschooler's rotation. I love that she's doing something age-appropriate and fun for her, and I've already added this to her Preschool Plans for the upcoming year. I received one book, and in all likeliness, we will be purchasing more from this series, because this will not last all year if she has her way!
Timberdoodle offers multiple ways to create an age/skill appropriate "curriculum" for preschoolers, so here are some relevant links:
My First Scissors
Kumon Let's Cut Paper
We've really enjoyed the various products we've used from Timberdoodle, and I'm really looking forward to some upcoming goodies...so stay tuned!
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