Cutting Skills Worksheets. Pre-School Cutting Skills

Cutting assists children to develop their fine motor hand muscles for pencil control and handwriting.  I believe it to be one of the most valuable pre-writing skills we have.  The cutting motion develops the exact muscles and movement patterns we need for pencil grip and pencil control so it certainly deserves our attention.  Once your little one has cut to the moon and back, and scissor skills development is on track, they are ready for handwriting.  We also look at the requirements for cutting worksheets for preschoolers.  Get going with our developmentally appropriate cutting skills worksheets.

A blog post on cutting skills worksheets and cutting worksheets for preschoolers with free downloads.Remember the following for preschool cutting:

1.  If possible copy you cutting skills worksheets onto 160g card.  The firmness of the card assists early cutters as it has the correct resistance and is not too floppy.
2.  The correct scissors.  Right handers use right-handed scissors, while lefties use left-handed scissors.  There is no such thing as a pair of ambi scissors – don't believe what they tell you – the blades of left and right-handed scissors are orientated differently!
3.  The correct scissor grasp.
4.  Roughly slice the parts of the cutting skills worksheets apart before cutting them out.  This allows more opportunity to cut, as well as ensuring the shapes to be cut out are of a more manageable size.  This promotes success of the cutting skill and ensures the children are able to manipulate the piece effectively with both hands.
5.  Cut to the "scissor side."  Right handers cut to the right-hand side of the shape and and lefties to the left.  If your children are looking awkward when they are cutting, this is something to look out for.
6.  Thumbs up always.  Both hands must be positioned so the thumbs are facing the ceiling.  Again, this is something to look out for if they are looking awkward while cutting.
7.  Time for the fun to begin!

Choosing cutting worksheets for preschoolers

We need to take care when choosing cutting worksheets for preschoolers.  The most important thing is that they need to be developmentally appropriate.  It is best to avoid thin lines requiring complex manoeuvres.  Our focus is on the repetition of the cutting motion.  Too much complexity can result in our little ones becoming frustrated.  If they have to spend too much time manipulating the scissors and paper to negotiate the corners, they will lose out on the chance to open and close those scissors over and over and over again.  It is this repetition on long, broad lines which develops the pencil grip muscles.

Only just beginning to cut?

If your child isn't quite ready to grab a pair of scissors and get stuck in with our hippo, take a look at Learn to Cut!

Pinterest is brimming with ideas so it is worth popping over there.

If cutting is introduced when your child is ready and interested, and done so carefully so your child feels a sense of mastery as they tackle it, you should be rewarded with loads of opportunity to develop their pre-writing muscles.  Grab your cutting skills worksheets to get you started!

©Bunty McDougall
Occupational Therapist

A post by Bunty McDougall about cutting skills worksheets and cutting worksheets for preschoolers with a hippo download.

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