One of the biggest questions teachers have when facing a new class is what kind of skills their preschoolers will have when they enter the classroom. Add these scissor skills activity strips to your preschool back to school activities.
Scissor Cutting Practice for Back to Preschool
For most preschoolers, going “back to school” means starting preschool. However, for preschool teachers, that means getting back into the swing of things in their classroom.
The first days of school are an important time for teachers to see how their preschoolers do with various fine motor skills, including cutting with scissors. Knowing right away how skilled your preschoolers are will help you be more effective in the classroom.
FAQ About Teaching Scissor Cutting in Preschool
Scissor cutting skills falls under the umbrella of developing fine motor skills. Specifically, here is a list of skills needed for children to be able to cut with scissors:
~ finger strength
~ hand strength
~ independent finger movement
~ functional grasp
~ bilateral coordination
~ hand eye coordination
Cutting with scissors is one of the more difficult skills preschoolers need before entering kindergarten. To help your preschoolers develop scissor skills, keep these things in mind.
Ensure that your preschooler has her fingers through the right scissor holes. Keep the thumb upright and the elbow in close to the body. This will ensure your preschooler is cutting away from their body. Encourage your preschooler to hold the paper up off the table, using their other hand.
And finally, provide ample opportunity for your preschooler to practice cutting with scissors! For more tips and tricks, see my Ultimate Guide for Teaching Scissor Cutting.
Practicing scissor cutting isn’t limited to cutting paper! Try these alternatives as a way to change things up.
~ playdough snakes
~ grass planters
~ cutting lines
~ thin cardboard
~ cotton balls
Back to School Theme Cutting Activity
These cutting strips are simple, featuring only straight and slightly curved lines so that preschool teachers can gauge how skilled their students are in scissor cutting during the first week of preschool.
- free printable cutting skills sheets
- kid-safe scissors (below are some of our favorites)
Cutting Activities for the First weeks of School
In my first week of school preschool lesson plans, I add some scissor activities so I can gauge how well my incoming preschoolers can handle them. I not only consider how well a preschooler can cut on the line, but also how easily they handle the cutting paper, and how safe they are.
When I offer these to my preschoolers, I try to keep it a fun activity. I only ask that my preschoolers try to cut the lines, but I don’t correct the students if they don’t. This is a valuable time for me to assess my preschoolers, including their ability to follow directions.
This set of cutting strips offer straight and curved lines. I did not include zig zag lines because typically most children entering preschool don’t have the cutting experience or hand eye coordination to cut zig zags.
This preschooler carefully cut his way all the way up the practice strip. At one point, he even stopped to recut a part because he had gone too far off the line. This tells me a lot about his personality.
These cutting skills practice strips stay in our fine motor center all September long. The preschoolers love them because they love using scissors!
But if you supply some crayons, preschoolers can also trace the lines for some added prewriting practice.
Get Your Back to School Scissor Skills Activity Sheets Here
These cutting strips are perfect for back to preschool season, but they can be used all year. Grab your free download below.
More Back to Preschool Activities
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.