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I was extremely excited for this week’s test pin. As soon as I pinned it on Pinterest, I thought “Yes! Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?”
The focus of this activity is to work on scissor skills, specifically cutting along a line.
Here is the original test pin:
(Image from drzachryspedsottips.blogspot.com)
This website seems to generate a lot of pins on Pinterest, so I automatically think this lady is amazing. The idea is simple- create a boundary using plastic needlepoint sheets that guide the child to cut along the line.
Cutting activities are great for promoting bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body to work together for a task), hand-eye coordination, sustaining visual attention, as well as promoting separation of the hand which is important for grasping skills.
Parents are often baffled when I talk about cutting skills with their child. “No way are you teaching my kid how to use scissors! They will cut everything in the house!” Yes, this is a valid point, but when I break down all of the great skills cutting promotes, don’t you just want to hand over the scissors?
In all honesty, in standardized fine motor testing, the ability to snip a paper is expected at age two. And yes, cutting should always be done under direct supervision. So if you don’t have a lot of time to sit down one on one to practice, there are many pre-scissor activities out there that promote the same skills without the scissors.
Ok, back to the pin. Here’s what I came up with:
Prep time was minimal. It took me maybe 2 minutes to cut the needlepoint sheet to the correct size, rifle through my drawer for a few paperclips, and slide everything onto a note card.
I was mostly excited to practice this skill with some of my clients with moderate to severe autism. Many of them like to cut, (and seem to have a lot of assignments at school that require cutting) but they have difficulty attending to follow a line. I hoped that the guide would provide them with more awareness as they cut.
That didn’t quite work out as planned. Turns out the needlepoint sheet can be cut through, even with my kid-safe scissors. Some of my clients even preferred to cut through the resistive plastic sheet for the additional input. I found myself playing a dangerous game of shift-the-paper-so-they-cut-in-the-right-spot-while-avoiding-losing-your-fingers. It’s a classic OT game.
So then I tried it out with some of my higher functioning kids. They did a great job with it, and yes, it provided them with a little more guidance as opposed to my constant verbal cueing to stay on the line.
The only other issue I had was that the paperclips didn’t completely secure the needlepoint sheet, and it would lift away from the card if the child held it in the wrong spot. So perhaps more paperclips next time?
Overall, a good activity for kids that just need a little help in following the lines while they cut.
Have a Pinterest pin that you want to see tested? Contact me and let me know!