Strengthening little hands for future writing. I have becoming rather repetitive in saying this. Friends, family, parents of students, the mail carrier… any one who even mentions teaching little ones to print (and quite frankly many who do not ask, as well).
The teacher in me truly believes that far before little ones should be expected to hold a pencil and print their letters, they need time.
Time to explore, create, and strengthen those little hands. With so many fun and natural ways to build fine motor skills, there is no need for preschoolers (or even bigger little ones) to hold a pencil.
Cutting practice is a wonderful way for preschooler to build strength in hands and fingers. And cutting paper, cardboard, or string is quite engaging for kids – making them less likely to use scissors to cut other things (for awhile anyways …)
My boys (shockingly) have yet to try to cut each others hair (or bodies) thankfully.
Though in my Kindergarten classroom a poor little girl was given an unsuspecting trim by a fellow future hairdresser. Luckily parents were understanding… even though it was a hefty chop out of beautiful long hair!
This Santa beard craft is a great way for little ones to fulfill that need to trim hair. And this cutting practice activity for preschoolers is a wonderful way to get those little hands ready to write down the road.
For this Santa craft I saw an idea on Pinterest – it was by Bixi and Goxi. The cute pictures, which you can see in their post on this Paper plate Santa, were all the inspiration I needed (and it’s a good thing, as I was not familiar with the language the post was written in … meaning it wasn’t English – though I would like to learn another language … maybe French… Anyways …)
I saw that craft and immediately knew my little ones would love it, since they are both loving cutting activities right now. The problem was that I didn’t have a paper plate.
Which is actually very shocking, as we ALWAYS have paper plates on hand, it is one of my crafting staples!
Since we are now in the country, and winter is also here, I have been limiting my driving a lot. Which has actually been a blessing in many ways. Instead of unnecessarily rushing out to buy paper plates (and undeniably a bunch of other things “while I was there” at the Dollar store), we simply used what we had.
For this Santa craft we used red and white construction paper.
We shaped a red square of construction paper into a cone. This was the Santa’s hat, and also gave a nice 3D effect so the Santa could sit on a shelf or table.
Next, we cut out a large white circle.
We then folded that circle in half and the cutting practice for preschoolers (and toddlers) began!
They snipped all around the rounded edge of that Santa beard. While they were cutting, I would help them remember to keep their “thumbs up”.
Sam also cut out a small white circle, and cut all around it, for a pompom on Santa’s hat.
After, my kids painted on eyes and a nose. Because no craft is complete in our house without paint.
We have had so many compliments on these cute little Santa’s!
They live perched over the edge of our peninsula, and look very adorable. Though every time we open the door a wind blows them over. One would think we would find them a new home… and yet, on the peninsula they stay! Because when the wind is not blowing them down they just look so cute.
Sometimes I catch my little ones giving Santa an extra little trim — no problem there — just happy it’s not a trim for his brother.
More activities that are great cutting practice for preschoolers:
And these are also great for the holiday season!