Learning to cut with scissors is both exciting for children and has a range of benefits for children.
Fine Motor Strength
The open and close motion of cutting allows children to build up the small muscles in their hands. These muscles serve an important purpose as they are the same muscles that will allow your child to hold a pencil, as well as carrying out everyday independent tasks such as brushing teeth, eating with utensils and getting dressed.
The task of cutting requires children to use their hands and eyes in unison. Developing hand-eye coordination is not only important for catching/throwing balls, eating with a spoon and zipping a coat, researchers have more recently discovered a strong correlation between hand-eye coordination, learning abilities, and social communication skills.
Bilateral coordination refers to the ability for children to coordinate both sides of their body at the same time in a controlled manner . Cutting is a task that demonstrates the need for children to use both their left hand and their right hand simultaneously to carry out individual tasks, with one hand holding the paper and the other opening and closing the scissors.
Bergland, C. (2013). Hand eye coordination improves cognitive and social skills.
Kidsmatter Early Childhood (2014). Early childhood neurodevelopment.
National Childcare Accreditation Council (2009). Supporting children’s development. Putting Children First. 28, 3-5.