Are you looking for fine motor activities for your fall theme? Teaching your preschoolers to use scissors can help them develop fine motor skills and pre-writing skills. This fall themed fine motor tray will help you easily differentiate your instruction by introducing scissors to your kids in a way that meets them at their individual stages of development.
Fall Fine Motor Skills
If you’re scared about teaching your preschool kids to use scissors, you’re in the right place! Teaching young children how to use scissors is so much more complicated than it sounds. You can’t just give them scissors and hope for the best. If you’ve been teaching for more than a few weeks, you know that introducing scissors to preschoolers usually results in cutting clothes, hair, and pretty much anything and everything they shouldn’t be cutting.
But introducing scissors to your preschoolers doesn’t have to be so scary. Developing fine motor skills, like cutting with scissors, is a process that takes place over time, it doesn’t just happen overnight. If you assess your student’s fine motor skills first, and then meet them where they’re at, learning how to cut with scissors will be much easier – for both you and your students.
Fall Fine Motor Scissor Practice
Learning how to cut with scissors is one of the most difficult fine motor activities for kids to learn, they can quickly become frustrated when they first start using scissors.
These fall themed cutting practice pages are the perfect way to keep your little learners from becoming frustrated. They’re designed with differentiation in mind, so you can meet each child where they’re at in their individual stages of fine motor development.
Let’s face it, cutting basic lines on white paper can quickly become boring for little children. You can quickly and easily make practicing scissor skills more appealing to your students by using these fall fine motor practice pages. The addition of acorns and leaves will help jazz things up and add opportunities to practice fall vocabulary.
Fall Scissor Skills Practice
When they’re cutting with scissors, your students are developing important pre-writing skills like holding pencils and writing.
There are many other educational benefits of cutting with scissors. Here’s a list of just some of the skills your students are developing when they use scissors:
- Practicing independent movement of individual fingers in hands
- Strengthening small muscles in the hand (necessary for grasping and holding writing tools and self-help skills)
- Developing hand-eye coordination
- Improving bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body at one time)
- Developing visual perceptual skills (directionality)
- Practicing fine motor skills (opening and closing scissors)
- Increasing focus and attention spans
Fall Cutting Skills
If you’ve ever had a child flat out tell you “No” when you asked them to write their name, keep reading! (Hint: it’s not because they’re spoiled or don’t have any respect.)
Instead of panicking or punishing a child who tells you “No”, I challenge you to think of these negative behaviors as forms of communication. What is a child trying to tell you when they say “No?”
When young children refuse to do something by saying no, it can mean that they may not have acquired the necessary prerequisite skills to do what you’re asking of them. The best way to handle this type of situation is to focus more on strengthening your student’s fine motor skills, before asking or requiring them to write. You can accomplish this goal by incorporating scissor skills and cutting activities into your lesson plans.
Fall Fine Motor Practice
You’re probably already doing some things to get your kids ready for using scissors. Offering your students opportunities to play with play dough daily in the classroom is one of the easiest ways to get those little hands ready to hold scissors.
You probably have a super fun writing center in your classroom too, which is perfect for practicing how to hold writing tools like crayons, pencils, and markers.
If you want to make teaching scissor skills to your kids less stressful and more fun, then you need the fine motor scissor cutting skills bundle. This bundle includes a developmental sequence for cutting skills, cutting skills practice pages for a variety of different themes, and an assessment sheet.
Now you can meet your kids wherever they are in their individual stages of learning.
Scissor Skills Assessment
Did you know that there are a few things your kids need to be able to do before they’re ready to hold scissors in their hands?
First, you’ll need to find out where your students are in the process of acquiring scissor skills. This is where the assessment from the scissor skills bundle comes in. This post has some great tips for teaching scissor cutting skills.
After you’ve introduced scissors to your students, and they’re able to open and close the scissors on their own, you’re ready to get started.
First things first, you’ll need a copy of the scissor skills checklist included in the scissor skills bundle. This will give you a better understanding of the different developmental stages young children go through when learning how to use scissors.
Cutting Practice Pages
When it comes to teaching scissor skills you have to assess your students first, then carefully plan how you will help each one develop their cutting skills. It can be tempting to just throw a bunch of cutting practice pages on the table and let the kids have at them – but there’s so much more to it than that.
The activities in the fine motor scissor skills bundle are only for intentional teachers, those who want to really help meet kids where they’re at and help them move on to the next level.
The scissor skills bundle includes black and white pages for each of the different cutting skills, including a fall theme. Did you know that crumpling and ripping paper with their little hands are two skills that come before the introduction of the almighty scissors? True story!
After snipping, scissor skills gradually increase in difficulty from straight lines to curved lines, and then to simple shapes. There’s an image of a thumbs up on each printable practice page to indicate where the child should hold the paper while they cut.
You can use AstroBrights cardstock paper to make this activity visually appealing for your kids, but it’s not a necessity. The different colors can also help you distinguish each stage of cutting. You can use whichever type of paper you prefer or have on hand. Or you can use a permanent marker on construction paper to make your own practice pages. Grab your copy of the fine motor scissor skills bundle HERE.