Home Activities to Help Work on Scissor Skills…Without the Scissors!
Contributed by our Ascend Staff Christina Pandolfo, MS, OTR/L
and Kevin Yang, OTR/L
Scissor skills work on more than just cutting lines and shapes – it also works on bilateral coordination (using the helper hand to help hold the paper while cutting, or helping to rotate the paper if cutting shapes), and visual motor skills.
No child-sized or adaptive scissors at home? Students not interested in scissors? That is okay! Without scissors, we can still work on the activities which help students work on similar hand movements as cutting. The goal at home would be to have the students do activities that practice opening and closing their hands in a similar manner, while also incorporating bilateral coordination.
Using things found at home:
- Use salad tongs to pick up socks from the floor and put in a laundry basket/box
- Use salad tongs to pick up cotton balls and put in a box/container
- Use salad tongs to pick up other small objects on the table and use tongs to put into a box/container
Smaller tongs would be easier, but we can make do with what we have at home!
If a child has fairly good motor control, they can use tweezers to pick up tiny things like raisins, beads, etc.
- Place clothespins around a box or tupperware container (i.e. shoebox)
If practicing letter matching, can write a letter on each clothespin and the corresponding letter on a sturdy cardboard or paper plate to match the letters
- Use a turkey baster or a little medicine pipette to squirt water into a container.
If Playdough is available, the child can pinch their thumb and index finger all the way along a playdough snake shape.
Bilateral coordination activities at home
- Squeezing out a cloth
- Tearing paper
- Opening containers