Cutting Practice & Learning Shapes

Dec 2, 2012

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Here's a fun activity that we did to help Maddie (3.5y) practice her cutting skills as well as talking and learning about shapes at the same time.

Ages: 2+
(see handy tips at the bottom for ideas to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs)

Materials: Plain paper, strips of coloured paper, scissors, glue, texta/marker

It's your choice to use child safety scissors or not.. they don't cut as well but it depends on your level of supervision and your child's abilities. We used safety scissors in the picture but my daughter used a regular pair of paper scissors for the activity

Draw lines along the coloured paper strips for your child to cut along. Draw the lines so that different shapes will be made when cut.

You can do this part with or without your child there. We did the drawing of the lines/shapes together as there was a lot of learning to be observed. The only lines we measured were that of the squares. 
Take this time to talk about shapes and how we identify them. eg. Squares always have 4 sides and 4 angles that are all equal.

What other observations can you or your child make while setting up?

She is improving all the time. It is still hard for her to manipulate the paper to always get the correct angles but practice makes perfect!

When we had one of each shape (I provided the circles already precut this time) we made a little poster together to also include some literacy learning.

While she worked on cutting practice, she was able to see, read and recognise the shapes and their names.

Once she'd cut as many shapes as she wanted, she used them and the marker to create a little shape collage.

Handy Tips

- Simplify this activity by providing basic straight lines for your child to practice cutting. You don't need to focus on shapes you can just concentrate on the fine motor, hand-eye coordination required to cut along a line. Save curved lines for another time.

- Extend this activity by having your child measure and draw the lines in themselves. Challenge them to create one cohesive picture out of the shapes. Older children can also identify and make a shape poster themselves.

- Demonstrate and discuss particular skills if your child is new to these techniques. Such as how to hold the paper and move it or the scissors to achieve the desired cut.

- Talk with your child about what they are doing. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "semi-circle" or "manipulation." This will help with their language development. 

More Activities to help practice Fine Motor Skills
(click the picture to take you to the activity)


Happy playing,
Debs :)

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