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Today, I've got for you the Ultimate Guide to Scissor Skills

Kids usually interact with a pair of scissors early on in age.  Sometimes, they get the hang of cutting paper into shapes quite easily.  Other times however, children have difficulty with cutting on lines, holding and rotating the paper, determining how to open/close the scissor blades, or how to even hold the scissors effectively.  

This month in the Functional Skills for Kids series, I'm joining nine other Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in discussing all things scissor skills.  This is an ultimate guide to scissor skill development, fine and gross motor skills and sensory processing skills related to scissor use, tips for attention and behavior concerns, therapist-approved tips and tricks to build accuracy, 

Read on for everything you need to know about teaching kids to use scissors:

Ultimate guide to scissor skill use including fine and gross motor considerations, sensory processing considerations, scissor use development, and Occupational Therapist approved tips and tricks to help kids learn to use scissors and cut on the lines.



Ultimate Guide to Scissor Skills




Gross Motor Skills and Scissor Use  | Your Therapy Source




Creative Cutting Practice for Kids | The Inspired Treehouse



Ultimate guide to scissor skill use including fine and gross motor considerations, sensory processing considerations, scissor use development, and Occupational Therapist approved tips and tricks to help kids learn to use scissors and cut on the lines.

Looking for more ways to work on scissor skills? Try these creative tips and tricks:

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Martin's Food Markets for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Is there anything that says "Summer" more than a burger hot off the grill? Burgers, sun, and good times with friends and family are what summer is all about.  When families go to Fourth of July picnics or grill out, it is fun to make delicious foods that help to celebrate summer.  This Greek Turkey Burger recipe is a great addition to your summer grilling, and uses fresh ingredients.  

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe

I love a good burger.  There is no denying that.  It's my go-to meal when I need to get dinner on the table in a hurry.  One of my favorite ways to add variety to burgers is by trying new combinations of toppings and mixed-in ingredients.  These turkey burgers were a new spin on the classic hamburger and they were a huge hit in our house.  (One that we'll be making again very soon!) 

I found a bunch of recipes on Martin’s Savory Recipe Center and this American Gobbler Burger  really stood out to me.  It's a Greek-style turkey burger with a juicy cucumber sauce topping and basil and tomato feta that is mixed right into the ground turkey.  Anytime cheese is mixed into the burger meat, it's a win in my book! The flavored feta adds a nice pop of taste, but what really makes this turkey burger flavorful is the cucumber sauce.  It's an easy sauce to whip up. (So easy in fact, that my two year old helped me make it!) The American Gobbler Burger is a Greek turkey burger that's easy to prepare in an affordable way!

There were so many recipes at Martin's Food Markets that look amazing.  They are affordable and easy to prepare recipes, and easy way to give variety to your guests/family at a Fourth of July picnic or anytime!  I love how Martin's Food Markets makes it easy to plan out a Fourth of July picnic.  In fact, the planning is done for you with quality food.  I found so many recipes that I want to try this summer.  The ingredients and products are easily accessible and affordable which is perfect for busy, big families, like mine.  

Anytime a shopping trip is made easier when there are four kids aged 8 and under in tow, it makes this mama smile.  When we hit the grocery store, I usually have all four attached in some variety to the shopping cart so it can be a bit of a spectacle to see us troop through the produce aisles. And, when you've got four kids, affordable foods is a must, making Martin's Food Market the perfect place for us! 

Ingredients for the North American Gobbler Burger

(Yummy Greek-style Turkey Burger)

  • 1/2 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced cucumber
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup crumbled basil and tomato feta cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 onion rolls
These ingredients can be found at Martin's Food Markets.  It's a place where you can save time and money while getting fresh ingredients to help you celebrate summer!

  • How to make the American Gobbler Burger (aka Greek Turkey Burgers)

Cucumber ranch sauce to go with this Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Mix the ranch dressing and chopped cucumber in a bowl and place to the side.

Cucumber ranch sauce to go with this Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

My two year old helped me mix up the cucumber sauce.  We love cooking together. Cooking with kids is such a great way to add learning into the kitchen as they read and follow recipes, problem solve, motor plan, and build executive functioning skills.  I think that getting the kids involved in making the foods that they eat really encourages them to try new things like these turkey burgers.  

Combine the ground turkey with 1/2 cup feta cheese and black pepper. Shape into four 4-oz. patties and flatten slightly.

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Grill or broil turkey burgers, using direct medium heat, 6 to 8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF.


How amazing does that crumbled basil and tomato feta cheese look?

Meanwhile, heat onion rolls only until warm. For each burger, spread 2 tablespoons sauce on each roll. Place burgers on rolls and top each with about 1 tablespoon of feta cheese.

Top the burger with slivered red onions and lettuce.  And enjoy!

Fresh veggies go well on a Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Fresh veggies go well on a Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Be sure to check out Martin's Savory recipe Center for a huge variety of burger recipes, just in time for kicking off your summer or Fourth of July picnic!

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe, perfect for summer cooking and barbecues


Let us know if you try this Greek Turkey Burger at your summer picnics this year. What are your favorite Fourth of July foods?

Visit Sponsors Site
This glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle is one that is added to some of our favorite sensory bottles.
SO, if you've seen sensory bottles before, you might be surprised to see this calming sensory tool is made with CHALK. Yep, chalk!

Glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle: how to make a sensory bottle and why sensory bottles are great for self-regulation needs.

This post contains affiliate links.

But first,

Why use sensory bottles?


Glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle: how to make a sensory bottle and why sensory bottles are great for self-regulation needs.

Sensory bottles are a tool for calming and self-regulation in kids with sensory needs.  Some children (and adults) use them as a tool in their sensory diet.  Just like kids with motor planning issues NEED modifications or children with visual motor integration concerns NEED to use certain accommodations in order to write legible, there are kids who NEED self-regulation in their sensory diet in order to function in their day.  They are not just another blog post that you might see out there in your Facebook feed.

TIP: Add a DIY sensory bottle to your on-the-go sensory diet bag

Self regulation is essential skill that allows us to keep emotions in check and think before acting. 

Sensory bottles and self-regulation


Here are some of the benefits of using a sensory bottle as a self-regulation tool: 



  • Calms
  • Helps with focusing
  • Helps with attention
  • Allows clear thinking
  • Keep calm under pressure
  • Provides proprioceptive feedback
  • Provides a "just right" level of sensory feedback
  • Relaxes the mind

Can you imagine a child with sensory processing issues or social emotional concerns who could not regulate their emotions on their own or step back and make the "right" response in situations because of their self-regulation needs?  Can you imagine if this was your child who had these needs and there was a simple DIY (and often times quite inexpensive) tool that could help? Why not explore all of the sensory bottles out there on the internet to find one that meets your child's interests?  It's a sensory bottle no-brainer!

Now that I've stepped off my soapbox, on to the glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle fun!

Glow in the Dark Chalk Sensory Bottle

We've been making a bunch of sensory bottles this year along with a team of bloggers.  Each month, we've had a specific theme in mind.  This month is all about Glow In The Dark.  How fun is that?  I don't know a kid who doesn't get excited about glow in the dark toys, shirts, or glow sticks, do you?

When I was trying to brainstorm materials to make our glow-in-the-dark sensory bottle, I remembered a set of glow in the dark chalk that I bought on clearance at the end of last summer.  After a quick glow-check, I was excited to find that the chalk still glowed after 6 months in a storage bin.  We used the chalk for a cool sensory bottle that could calm and regulate in the dark!

Materials you'll need for a CHALK Glow in the Dark Sensory Bottle

Clear plastic bottle with lid

Green liquid dish soap
Warm water
Glow-in-the-dark chalk
Kitchen mallet
plastic baggie
3-4 Marbles
Silver Glitter and Star sparkles (optional)

Other glow in the dark materials that would work for a glowing sensory bottle:

To make the calming sensory tool:
Place the chalk in a plastic baggie and use a kitchen mallet to pound the chalk.  Try to get it as fine as possible.  This is a GREAT proprioceptive workout for kids and a lot like our ice pounding activity, so get the kids involved in this step!

Glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle: how to make a sensory bottle and why sensory bottles are great for self-regulation needs.

Next, mix together the chalk dust, one cup of liquid dish soap, and one cup of warm water.

Drop in the marbles (You will definitely need the marbles to break up the chalk dust as it will settle in the bottle of the bottle.) A benefit of the marbles is that it adds weight to the bottle, making this an even more effective sensory tool.

Next, pinch in glitter and sparkles.

Glue on the lid and start shaking!


Glow in the dark chalk sensory bottle: how to make a sensory bottle and why sensory bottles are great for self-regulation needs.

Want to see more glow in the dark sensory bottles? Try some of these:


Glow in the Dark Ocean Bottle | Sunny Day Family

Other glow in the dark materials that would work for your calming sensory tool:




Our favorite sensory bottle ideas: 

                            Valentines Day Sensory Bottle with Waterbeads


As an Occupational Therapist, function is the number one goal for working with clients. Whether in the school, clinic, acute setting, or home, all goals of an Occupational Therapist revolve and are based on functional skills. 

I've spent 12 years working as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings. I love to use my experience and knowledge to come up with creative ways to meet common goal areas. Take a look around this site and you will find everything from DIY pencil grips to a "egg-cellent" way to work on shoe tying (click on over to get the egg joke!)


Whether there is a diagnosis or not, a developmental delay or not, or just an area of weakness or strength...Kids can build on their strengths to modify, adapt, and address goal areas with one thing in mind: Functional Independence.

This is a place to guide you to areas of functional skill with hopes to bring kids closer to confidence and independence.

This is the place where you will find all of activities designed to promote functional skills of kids. From handwriting to scissor skills, to dressing, and self-care:  click around to find a lot of ideas to build independence, adapt, accommodate, and modify functional skills.


Functional Skills for Kids and independence in kids for self-care tasks like dressing, feeding, clothing fasteners, and more.

This post contains affiliate links.

Functional Skills for Kids and Childhood Independence


Functional Skills for Kids series by Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist bloggers

Handwriting Functional Skills

Scissor Skills

Self-Dressing Skills

Shoe Tying

Zippering

Buttoning

Toys to Help Kids Learn to Dress Themselves

Potty Training

Kids Cooking Tasks

Play

Functional Skills for Kids and independence in kids for self-care tasks like dressing, feeding, clothing fasteners, and more.





If you've ever tried to teach kids how to cut with scissors, you may have ended up with a snipped finger or two.  Teaching kids how to cut on lines can be a tricky thing.  When children with attention or behavior difficulties are learning to cut with scissors, it can be quite difficult to hand over a pair of scissors when there may be a safety concern. 

Cutting with scissors can induce anxiety in the most calm of teachers, parents, and therapists when they turn over a pair of sharp scissors to a child with attention or behavioral concerns.  Today, I'm joining the Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists who make up the Functional Skills for Kids team in this month's focus topic: Scissor Skills.  


You'll find tons of scissor skills activities here.

Below, you'll find tricks and tools to teach kids with attention or behavioral concerns how to slow down to cut on lines with scissors.  The tips in this post will enable children of all ages how to slow down and cut on the lines with scissors in order to complete classroom, art, and craft projects.  

How to teach kids how to slow down and cut on the lines with modifications and accommodations for sensory, visual, fine motor, difficulties due to behavioral and attention problems.

Attention, Behavior, and Cutting with Scissors

The attentive process helps us determine which sensations (cutting through a piece of paper) are relevant to an individual.  Attention allows us to process information in order to complete functional tasks. When we attend to a task such as cutting on a line through the whole shape, we make a decision to pay attention and this effort and concentration allows us to process the task and make adjustments to the task at hand and to future processing of information.

By deciding what to pay attention to, a person decides what information is transferred from sensory input and sensory memories into meaningful information that is stored for future use. 

Likewise, children who are not able to make decisions about behavior or attention levels due to sensory or physical difficulties will have trouble attending to the line, paper, scissor position, or seating position.  

Attention requires an ability to respond to priority information while disregarding and inhibiting simultaneous sensory input.  This concept of attentional ability coincides with an individual's cognitive, sensory, and physical abilities. 


How to Teach Kids to Cut on the Lines With Scissors


This post contains affiliate links. 

Children are able to learn to hold and snip with scissors at an early age. Around two years old is a great time to hand over a pair of safety scissors.  However, children with decreased attention or behavioral difficulties can affect that optimal age of introducing scissor activities. 


How to teach kids how to slow down and cut on the lines with modifications and accommodations for sensory, visual, fine motor, difficulties due to behavioral and attention problems.


Attention needs for using scissors

When kids use scissors, they need many skills in order to hold and use scissors appropriately.  There is a safety concern as well, and attention has a lot to do with accuracy and ability to adequately use a pair of scissors to cut lines or shapes:

Visual Attention needed for cutting with scissors- The ability to attend to a line while focusing on cutting along the line with the hands moving in the appropriate way to open and close the scissors and manipulate the paper requires visual attention and visual motor integration skills.
hold the paper, and remember to open and close the scissor blades allow a child to cut a line that makes up a shape.  

Bilateral hand use needed for cutting with scissors- A child who can not adequately use both hands together in a coordinated manner while each hand performs a different task will have trouble holding paper with their non-dominant hand as they manipulate a pair of scissors. 

Visual Motor Integration needed for cutting with scissors- Visual Motor Integration allows the hands and eyes to work together in an effective way.  Efficient coordination of the vision system and the motor system requires both of these parts to work well and to work well together.  The visual system requires all aspects of visual perception to work well and the motor system requires positioning, strength, dexterity, and manipulation to work in coordination. If one of these parts is not functioning effectively, a child might exhibit difficulty managing paper, scissors, or body/scissor positioning in coordination with the visual stimuli of lines, shapes, and cutting tasks.

Oculomotor Control needed for cutting with scissors- When we move our eyes to look at items in our field of vision, we use the muscles surrounding the eyes in order to rotate, look up, down, left, and right.  If there is a problem with development or use of these muscles, a person will exhibit poor control of eye movements.  This problem will result in poor visual tracking skills.  This leads to trouble with following scissors as they cut through paper, difficulty maintaining contact with a line, and difficulty with moving the eyes over the mid-line of the paper.  An individual with poor oculomotor control may also show difficulty with convergence as they attempt to focus on scissors and paper close together in the mid-line area at a near distance.  Cutting with scissors requires an individual to look down and toward the middle as their eyes rotate inward. A child with oculomotor control will exhibit attention difficulties, poor visual attention, inaccurate eye-hand coordination, poor visual tracking, and loss of place while cutting with scissors.

Auditory Processing needed for cutting with scissors- A child with auditory proessing disorder might shoe difficulty when cutting with scissors when given verbal prompts or directions.  They might mishear information due to an inability to disregard background noise.  This might lead to inattention during scissor tasks.

Visual Attention needed for cutting with scissors- Paying attention to the task at hand in front of a child can be difficult if that individual has difficulty focusing on the paper, scissors, and the lines while discerning important visual sensory input and disregarding background or peripheral information. 

Intact kinsthetic, tactile, visual, proprioceptive sensory systems needed for cutting with scissors- Integration of these sensory systems and the ability to process sensory input appropriately enable a person to use scissors while attending to input.  Kids who are seeking proprioceptive sensory input may exhibit 

When attention or behavior difficulties occur, a child may present in many ways while cutting with scissors:

These problem areas will interefere with cutting on lines.
  • Impulsive, cutting very quickly
  • Cutting with disregard for the lines
  • Cutting and omitting the corners and curves of shapes
  • Cutting with choppy cuts
  • Tearing the paper
  • Cutting and tearing the paper as a result of frustration
  • Cutting or snipping a helping parent, teacher, or therapist
  • Demonstrating visual distraction (paying attention to visual distractions in the classroom or home environment)
  • Demonstrating auditory distraction (paying attention to auditory sensory input from the classroom or home environment)
  • Cutting alongside the line or crossing over the line as a result of difficulty focusing on the scissors position or cutting lines due to difficulty with oculomotor control
  • Difficulty maintaining scissor position
  • Difficulty holding and manipulating the paper with the assisting hand
  • Inappropriate seating position as a result of sensory needs 
  • Difficulty stopping when cutting into a piece of paper to cut a fringe
  • Difficulty grading the opening and shutting of the scissor blades
How to teach kids how to slow down and cut on the lines with modifications and accommodations for sensory, visual, fine motor, difficulties due to behavioral and attention problems.
How can a child with attentional or behavioral difficulties overcome deficits to complete a scissor activity given modifications or adjustments? There are many accommodations that can be made to meet the needs of these individuals to prevent impulsivity, choppy snips, and torn paper.


How to teach kids how to slow down and cut on the lines with modifications and accommodations for sensory, visual, fine motor, difficulties due to behavioral and attention problems.

Accommodations and Modifications to Help Kids Cut on the Lines

Try these tips to teach kids to cut on lines.  These strategies will help children with attention or behavior problems, or other underlying difficulties.  These are also great tips and tools to help typically developing children learn to cut on lines when cutting shapes.
  1. Use bright paper with dark lines for a high contrast cutting line to help with poor oculomotor control  and visual distractions.
  2. Make lines bolder using a thick black marker.
  3. Spring action scissors to help children with difficulty attending to graded scissor motions or attention to opening and closing the scissor blades. This pair is great for kids.
  4. Verbal cues to slow cutting speed
  5. Provide concise and concrete directions.
  6. Visual cues: Darkened lines, thick and bold cutting lines, stickers to show where to stop and turn the paper, stickers to follow when cutting and turning the paper. Read more about this trick here.
  7. Provide a small movement break between tasks.
  8. Hand over hand physical cues. These training scissors are a great way to practice with hand-over-hand assistance.
  9. Reduce visual distractions: Provide a quiet space for scissor work, use desk dividers, reduce classroom decorations or distracting stimuli, and clear desk or table surface from all items. Find more information on attention in the classroom and home environments here.
  10. place desk away from windows, doors, and the pencil sharpener.
  11. Reduce auditory stimulation. Provide headphones or position desk away from noisy centers of the room.
  12. Develop active listening skills and direction following through eye contact and and upright body position.
  13. Try a stability cushion
  14. Provide thicker paper for increased resistance an more tactile and proprioceptive feedback while cutting. More resistive materials include oaktag, index cards, construction paper, and paper bags.
  15. Try gluing worksheets and cutting pages to thicker paper like cardstock.
  16. Trial graded and physical, verbal, and auditory prompts.
  17. Ensure the cutting task is purposeful and meaningful in order to maintain motivation.
  18. For the child with oculomotor convergence insufficiency, try holding the paper up higher or using a bold cutting line.

Stop by to see what the other bloggers on the Functional Skills For Kids team to see what they have to say about Scissor Skills:


Gross Motor Skills and Scissor Use  | Your Therapy Source
Creative Cutting Practice for Kids | The Inspired Treehouse


How to teach kids how to slow down and cut on the lines with modifications and accommodations for sensory, visual, fine motor, difficulties due to behavioral and attention problems.

Looking for more scissor activities? Try these scissor skills activities:

Use stickers to help with scissor skills


Scissor Skills Crash Course

Creative Scissor Skills Activities

Easy Scissor Skills Practice Idea

Scissor Skills Activities for Kids

Scissor Skills gift guide

Improving Scissor Skills with Play Dough

scissor-skills-kids







Resourses: Zoltan, B. Vision, Percpetion, and Cognition: A Manual for the Evaluation and Treatment of the Neruologically Impaired Adult. Thorofare, New Jersey, Slack Inc.;1996.