Cutting Practice – Making Snowflakes and Sunbursts.

October 23, 2012

My big boy has had an attack of the ‘can’ts’ lately.

If he can’t do something perfectly, first time, then he ‘can’t do it’ at all and often storms off or chucks a wobbly, no matter what anyone does or says.

Controlling scissors has been one of his biggest ‘can’ts’. He sees the girls cutting intricate little crafty masterpieces, and of course he wants to do that too. The thing is, he’s quite good with scissors and with a little practice and confidence he’d be right there making a huge mess all over the table and floor with his sisters.

So… some cutting practice was in order. I needed an activity that was cool enough to keep him motivated, easy enough that he didn’t give up straight away, but challenging enough that he really got to practice those skills and feel proud of what he achieved…. Snowflakes and Sunbursts it is!

snowflakes and sunbursts

Making Simple Snowflakes and Sunbursts.

You’ll need…
paper – cut into fairly large squares and/or circles.
scissors – child sized, for the correct hand, and a set that cuts thick paper well.
pencil/pen
pastels or markers – optional.

You’ll do…
I know you all remember doing this when you were a kid, and nothing has changed. The basic idea is to start with a square or circle, fold it and fold it again, cut out sections, unfold and there you have it… snowflake.

To make it a little more kid-friendly we started by colouring in our squares and circles, because I know Morgan likes to draw and colour and is confident with it. See what I did there? Boosting the confidence factor early before getting to the tricky ‘I can’t’ part!

folding

Then we folded the paper; in half, then in half again. With the squares you can fold them diagonally into triangles or across into a rectangle then square, you’ll get different results with each one.

Then I drew and coloured in the shapes to be cut out so it was easy for Morgan to know where to cut.

Then we picked up the scissors….

cutting

“Thumb on the top, thumb on the top” we chanted to remind him to keep his hand the right way around.

“Guiding finger ready?” – to remind him to put his middle finger in the hole and use his pointer to support and guide the scissors.

“Little snips!” – to remind him to cut in small sections and slowly so as not to snip off more than intended.

With a little help guiding and holding the paper at first he was soon managing on his own and was well pleased with the results.

starburst

We found that only folding the paper over twice worked best – it meant that there were not too many layers to try and cut through, enough space to draw larger shapes which were easier to cut and more space to hold onto the paper without snipping your fingers.

snowflake

The sunbursts cut from the circles are my favourites…

starburst

For some fabulous, straightforward information about teaching kids to use scissors check out OT Mum Learning Acitivites. For more snowflakes pop on over to Lessons Learnt Journal and for another great cutting activity pop on over to Childhood 101 and make some paper bags together.

Do your kids ever have an attacke of the ‘I can’t’s? What do you do about it?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others...
[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

pauline@lessonslearntjournal.com October 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

We’ve had our fair share of those “I can’t do it” cries over here lately. Master N is particularly competitive and having a twin doesn’t help. Today he declares, “I need a break!”. (Mmmm…. I wonder who he is quoting there tee hee hee). Thanks for the link kind Lady. Love your big boy’s work :) xoxo P

Reply

Victoria @ Mommy Marginalia October 25, 2012 at 4:38 am

My nearly 3yo is so keen to use scissors, but I was having a hard time finding the right words to describe the process to him – this is a huge help! Thanks!

Reply

Pinkoddy October 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

I’ve never made a sunburst!
I LOVE how you are building confidence – what great ideas too.
Thanks for sharing.

Visiting via RedTedArt

Reply

Kimira October 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

We made a load of these a few days ago out of a book that has multiple patterns – spiders and girls and the like
http://anjalicuric.blogspot.sg/2012/10/things-we-have-been-doing-with-paper.html

Reply

maggy, red ted art October 26, 2012 at 3:32 am

Awe he looks so happy! ANd agree, great to get the kids practicing their cutting!

Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

Maggy

Reply

Kendall October 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

My 3.5 year old daughter reacts the same way with the whole “can’t” issue!

Reply

chach November 16, 2012 at 12:58 am

I like it.I think it works wonderfully.I try to teach my students appreciate this concept.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: