Cutting with scissors is a complex process for toddlers who are developing their fine motor skills. It can be frustrating to see your little one struggle with cutting, but remember mom, practice makes perfect. To help your toddler become a master of scissors, introduce him to some paper cutting activities. As your child enhances his paper cutting skills, he will build the dexterity and strength required for other essential skills, like holding a pencil. Have your child practice these skills that advance fine motor, bilateral and eye-hand coordination.
Masks are an exciting way for toddlers to bring out their creative side as they demonstrate their cutting skills. Have your child cut out a circle from a piece of colored construction paper, and decorate with pieces of colored paper, glitter, feathers, buttons and other craft goodies. Boys may be more inclined to create a dinosaur mask with cut-out eyes, ears, spikes and sharp scary teeth. Girls may like to create a pretty masquerade-style mask with two holes cut in the center for her eyes. Just attach a craft stick for your toddler to hold and she can pretend she’s going to a ball, just like Cinderella.
Most toddlers prefer to cut out things that they like, such as their favorite animal. Since every animal has a different shape, your tot has plenty of opportunities to practice his paper cutting skills. Parents can find pictures of real or animated animals in magazines, or print them from the Internet. If you prefer, draw your own animals on a piece of paper and allow your toddler to cut them out. Once cut, toddlers can add googly eyes or cotton balls to their cut-out animals, and even glue them to a larger piece of paper to create an animal farm.
Shape cutting can help toddlers advance their cutting techniques, as well as learn their shapes and colors. Have your child cut out a variety of shapes, including circles, squares, rectangles and hearts. Print out shapes online or use some old coloring books. Before your crafty tot begins cutting, have him color in his shapes. Once your toddler has mastered basic shapes, move onto more difficult ones, like diamonds, stars and hexagons.
If your toddler is one that loves games, he is sure to enjoy this collage activity. Gather up some old magazines, a pair of toddler-friendly scissors, poster board and a glue stick. Let your toddler flip through the magazines and find pictures of a specific topic, such as animals or shapes. For example, if he chooses to create an animal collage, he could cut out all of the animals he found in the magazine and paste them to the poster board. Show him how to slightly overlap the images to create his animal collage.