I observed some children cutting today and realized there was an odd assortment of scissors on the table.
I noticed that some of the children were struggling with the ability to cut so I wandered about the quality of scissors. I decided to check them out myself.
This pair was unusual in that it didn’t open and close. This pair always remain open and only allows the scissors to close. To cut, you squeeze the handles close then let go. The edge seemed sharp enough but you had to really give a good squeeze to cut.
I wasn’t thrilled that these scissors did not invite the children to learn the open and close skill they will need later. I also felt that the scissors did not promote good control over the direction a child would want to cut. The focus would only be on squeezing the scissors and letting go. Update: But as a reader pointed out in the comments below, the scissors (shown above) may be a very good choice for children with special needs. She says scissors are not a “one size fits all” kind of deal!
This pair of scissors is surrounded by a plastic covering along the blade. It was almost impossible to cut with this pair unless you cut using only the back corner of the scissors.
The tip of the scissors just folded the paper.
This pair of scissors had a thick plastic covering which made it more challenging to see what you were cutting.
This pair of scissors cut fairly easily and the grip was comfortable but the thickness of the scissors seemed to block your view. It was hard to see what you were cutting which doesn’t lead to truly mastering eye-hand coordination as part of the cutting process.
This pair of scissors was certainly the most ordinary looking pair of scissors.
This pair of scissors cut easily and smoothly and the handle was comfortable to hold.
My unscientific observation resulted in the following…
- Pair #1 seemed to be the most usable for teaching children how to cut properly and the best pair for promoting eye-hand coordination.
- Pair #2 came in second for being sharp enough to cut well. I could see how it also helps to build fine muscle strength but not necessarily control.
- Pair #3 came in third for having a sharp enough blade for cutting but I felt the handle was too large to promote fine motor control and eye-hand coordination.
- Pair #4 came in last. It was just a frustrating pair of scissors to try and cut with. It was easier just to tear the paper. I would use a pair like this in the play-dough center!
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