So Livia is turning 3 soon, and I thought she might be ready to learn how to use a scissors. It seems like such a simple thing, using a scissors. I bet most of us do not have memories of how we struggled the first time we used scissors. But learning to use a scissors is an important pre-kindergarten developmental milestone. I wasn’t sure when Livia was ready but I decided to give it a try today. I used Alex Toys safety scissors which I bought along with Curious chef safety knives, hoping she can also help me chop vegetables (haha).
Livia was very excited when I introduced to her the scissors. I found random scraps of paper for her to cut. She didn’t even let me show her how, she wanted to figure it out on her own. So I said, wait let me just show you just once. And I showed her how I cut through paper and left her to her own devices. There is no blade and I was watching her from the couch in case you are worrying I left her unsupervised.
The whole time she was figuring out where to place her fingers into the scissors’ handles and doing that while holding up the paper to cut. She kept dropping either the scissors or the paper. I heard a lot of frustrated groans and moans, and within thirty minutes, she started whining and screaming in frustration. I wasn’t ready to intervene yet, I wanted to see if she can self-soothe her way to calmness but the more I waited, the more she escalated in her frustration to the point where there were big fat wet tears rolling down her cheeks and a despondent look on her face. I guess that was my cue to help her.
So I said hey don’t worry, mummy will help you. And I guided her on how to hold the scissors and the paper, and cutting simple straight lines. Along the way I showed her how you can make simple shapes from cutting and each time I helped her cut a shape, I exclaimed, “Square!” or “Triangle!” And she seemed to really love that we were making shapes with scissors and paper. Her sorrow immediately transformed to joy at discovering what a pair of scissors can do. It was also a kid scissors so it wasn’t sharp and sometimes it wasn’t cutting through neatly and I explained to her that the scissors was not sharp. That made her feel better because when she tried experimenting cutting on her own later on, she kept telling me “Scissors not sharp!” when before she could not understand why she was not successful at cutting and at least now there was an explanation.
We were cutting and discussing shapes for like a good two hours before I got tired, even though she wanted to continue. I really wanted to get started on dinner and told her its time for dinner. She threw a tantrum again and I said, “Do you want to eat or go to bed earlier?” She obviously chose dinner and I avoided yet another tantrum.
I think she’s not wholly ready for scissors yet but she’s been asking to try again. I guess its a novelty. I’m not too sure to wait a few more months or let her keep practicing daily (which might possibly mean more frustrated groans, moans and tears).